Chalfont St Peter


Church: St Peter

Hundred: Burnham

Poor Law District: Amersham

Size (acres): 4758

Easting & Northing: 500190

Grid Ref TQ000900 Click to see map



Chalfont St.Peter PARISH St Peter
Celfunde NAMES name for Chalfont in Domesday Book in 1086
Celfunte NAMES name for Chalfont in Domesday Book in 1086
Chalfounte NAMES name for Chalfont in 1535
Charlfont NAMES name for Charlfont in 1766
Chawfount NAMES name for Chalfont in 1538
Baptist NON-CONFORMIST Gold Hill. First Mentioned: 1870
Austenwood PLACE within the pariah
Gerrards Cross (Part) PLACE hamlet in parish until 1861
St Paul, Horn Hill PLACE Victorian Chapel of Ease with 40 places.
Stampwell (Fm) PLACE within the parish




Church Stained Glass Church Stained Glass
Church Stained Glass Church Stained Glass St Joseph (RC)
Buckinghamshire Remembers - War Memorial Buckinghamshire Remembers - War Memorial at the Church
Victoria County History Victoria County History
Village History Village History
Church Stained Glass Church Stained Glass
Search The National Archives for Chalfont+St.+Peter Search The National Archives for Chalfont St.Peter
Buckinghamshire Remembers = All Saints Buckinghamshire Remembers - All Staints
Buckinghamshire Remembers - St Joseph Buckinghamshire Remembers - St Joseph
Buckinghamshire Remembers - St Paul Buckinghamshire Remembers - St Paul
Buckinghamshire Remembers - Royal British Legion Buckinghamshire Remembers - Royal British Legion
Buckinghamshire Remembers - Chalfont St Peter Buckinghamshire Remembers - Chalfont St Peter - Baptist Church
Church Stained Glass Church Stained Glass All Saints


Photographs in our Gallery Photographs in our Gallery
Pictures in the Frith collection Pictures in the Frith collection

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These population figures are based on the Census results. The boundaries are those used in the particular census which may vary over time..

1801 1174
1811 1153
1821 1351
1831 1416
1841 1483
1851 1482
1861 1344
1871 1459
1881 1456
1891 1509
1901 1753
1911 2802
1921 4183
1931 6217
1941 N/A
1951 8114
1961 12460
1971 14498
1981 13027
1991 12669

There was no census in 1941.



Parish  Church  Register  Start
Chalfont St Peter   St Peter   Baptisms   1539   1901   Yes,
click here
click here
Not available
Chapel of St Peter   Gold Hill   Baptisms   1791   1836   Yes,
click here
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Not available
Chalfont St Peter   St Peter   Marriages   1538   1902   Yes,
click here
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Not available
Chalfont St Peter   St Peter   Burials   1584   1901   Yes,
click here
click here
Not available




These were extracted from our own records and presented as a guide.

PositionBefore 1700  18th Century  19th Century  Overall Surnames  



Chalfont St Peter is a village and parish on the main road, A413, from London to Aylesbury. It lies in a valley on the spur of the Chiltern Hills. The river Misbourne runs through the middle of the main village street, now culverted in the shopping area.

This was an agricultural area, but much has changed since the population exploded. This grew tenfold in 100 years from 1,456 in 1881 to 14,498 in 1981, the latest census year, and certainly much more by 1986.
The village street was very pretty, with some early 16th century buildings of rare and distinctive architecture. These included two very rare brick-built, half-timbered cottages which we called Wingfields.

The parish church of St Peter, in the diocese of Oxford, stands in the centre with the churchyard flanking the road. The church is a red brick and stone building with a fine tower. The present building was re-erected in 1708, the previous one having collapsed.

The Greyhound Inn, a striking red-brick building, had an imposing coach entrance. Sadly, this has been infilled of recent years. This was a stop for the stage coaches in the 18 th and early 19th centuries. The infamous Judge Jeffreys held court here when he lived at The Grange, a short distance away.
The George Inn, a cream washed building, stands facing the parish church. This still retains its coach entrance. A notice over a low door states: 'Duck or Grouse'! Alongside the inn a large modern shopping centre, with car park, has risen from the ruins of the 16th century 'Barrack Yard'.

The Grange is a charming house, built on the site of a former imposing residence and is steeped in history. Here was once the home of the infamous Judge Jeffreys and is now the Holy Cross Convent, a boarding and day school for girls.
The Cottage Hospital, its early title, was built in 1871 and was the gift of the Hibberts of Chalfont Park, with initially six beds and one cot. Now there are over 30 beds and, through the generosity of the public, outpatients and physiotherapy departments, a new X-ray department, day rooms and many other amenities have been added. It is now named The Chalfonts and Gerrards Cross Hospital and serves several parishes.

Article written by members of the Buckinghamshire Federation of Women's Institutes for the publication "The Buckinghamshire Village Book" (1987) and reproduced here with their permission


I was born in Chalfont St Peter in 1902 and remember well conditions before the First World War. The milk was delivered to my home by a man who carried a heavy can, with half pint and pint measures suspended inside the can. We came to the door with a jug for twice-daily deliveries and once on Sunday. If we needed milk on Sunday afternoon, we collected it from the farm.
Mr Keys was the postmaster and he also ran a grocery business on the same premises. Mr Mills had a bakery and sold both bread and groceries in his shop. Mr Brown sold groceries, hardware and paraffin oil (no oil to be sold after dark!). Mr Bonsey kept The George and he also had a butcher's shop, now the saloon bar. At the rear of The George was a slaughterhouse where cattle were brought on foot controlled by a dog and a man (or often a boy), from Watford cattle market (ten miles away) and Slough (six miles). Mr Stone also had a bakery and confectioner's shop. Mr Dell was the carrier "to and from London twice per week”, and Mr Bastin “to and from Uxbridge daily”.

Article written by members of the Buckinghamshire Federation of Women's Institutes for the publication "Buckinghamshire Within Living Memory" (1993) and reproduced here with their permission


The River Misbourne once flowed over the main road   at one point and was known as 'the splash'. Horses and carts paused here to be washed down. When the first cars came they often got stuck in the splash and the local lads would call out, 'Push you out for a penny, Sir'. At times the houses were flooded and on one occasion the customers were marooned in a pub. A foot-bridge was built and eventually by 1968 the River Misbourne had competely disappeared under a shopping precinct and parking space with flats above.
The London to Aylesbury coach stopped every five miles and as a coaching stop Chalfont St Peter was a village of pubs. Several have been demolished in the last twenty years, but the Greyhound, visited once by Sir Winston Churchill on his way to Chequers from No 10 still stands. A few years ago a grand archway through which the coach and horses passed, was blocked up and made into a dining room.

When the first buses came, their route could be changed without warning because the driver went wherever the majority of passengers wished and stopped at their own front gates. The fare to London was- half a crown.

There have always been gravel pits in the area, many now filled in and built on. A local pig farmer was  distressed when because of swine fever his animals had to be destroyed, but while digging graves for them he found gravel and made more money than he ever had on pigs.

Phyllis Warden, Chalfont St Peter

Extracted from 'A Pattern Hundreds' (1975) and reproduced with the kind permission of the Buckinghamshire Federation of Women's Institutes

Horn Hill

Horn Hill was meant to have been a model village and, where the Hall now stands, there were at the turn of the century, six picturesque cottages but without 'mod-cons'. Mr H. D. Harben, the then Chairman of the Prudential, bought Newland Park and much of the adjoining land, farms, and above-mentioned six cottages.
On inspecting his agent's book, he saw that one cottage was rented by someone and found it to be a young man who used it in the week-nights for a games and reading room for the youth of the locality and, on Sundays, for a Sunday School and evening service. He refused to take more rent and said that he would build a suitable building for the Sunday work and a recreation room. It meant the demolition of the cottages, and, firstly, he built 12 cottages in three blocks of four higher up in Roberts Lane, and as a temporary measure, let the young man have rent-free a cottage he owned up Rickmansworth Lane. He intended making a model village of the whole area, but alas he died in 1910 before completion of the Hall. The Village Hall was being built on the site where had stood the six cottages opposite the small church - St Paul's - a Chapel of Ease.

Mr Eric Harben, his son, had the Hall completed and he opened it in 1911. Mr Harben was a barrister and he drew up the rules for the running of the Hall. Unfortunately, the First World War made it impossible for Mr Harben to carry on living at Newland Park, so that the model village his father had envisaged did not come to pass. So many people have wondered why such an outstanding building is found in such a rural setting, and one wonders what Horn Hill would have been like had Mr Henry Harben lived and had fulfilled his dream. The first 12 cottages were the beginning of the dream, and the Village Hall was and is a monument to his memory.

Article written by members of the Buckinghamshire Federation of Women's Institutes for the publication "The Buckinghamshire Village Book" (1987) and reproduced here with their permission


Description of Chalfont St Peter from J. J. Sheahan, 1861.

This parish is about thirteen miles in compass, and contains 4,717 acres. Population, 1343; rateable value, £5,751. The soil consists of chalk and brick earth, interspersed with numerous flints. The Misse, or Misbourne stream runs through the parish, about three miles from north to south. A great portion of Gerrard's Cross Common is in this parish. The village is large and situated 5 miles N.E. from Beaconsfield, 5 miles S.S.E. from Amersham, and 5.5 miles N.N.E. from Uxbridge. There is a Fair for pedlary and toys on the 4th and 5th of September. At Durrants Heath is an earthenware pottery, and brick and tile manufactory.

Chalfont Park is on the verge of the turnpike road to London, and is a fine and extensive demesne, undulated and beautifully timbered. Here is an ash said to be the largest and most ancient ash-tree in England. It is 25 feet in circumference.


Chalfont Saint Peter's, Parish (Pop. 1,416)

Two Daily Schools, in which about 24 males and 30 females are instructed, at the expense of their parents.

One Day and Sunday National School (commenced 1829), which is daily attended by 60 males and 36 females, and by 70 males and 45 females on Sundays; supported by subscription.

One Sunday School, of the Baptist denomination, in which 36 males and 45 females are gratuitously instructed.