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Chenies

Introduction

Church: St Michael

Hundred: Burnham

Poor Law District: Amersham

Size (acres): 1759

Easting & Northing: 501198

Grid Ref TQ010980 Click to see map

Names

Names & Places

NameTypeNote
Chenies PARISH St Michael
Cheynes NAMES name for Chenies in 1536
Cheyney NAMES name for Chenies in 1675
Esthamstede NAMES name for Chenies in 1506
Estmansted NAMES name for Chenies in 1535
Estnamsteyd NAMES name for Chenies in 1523
Particular Baptist NON-CONFORMIST First Mentioned: 1662
Dell (Fm) PLACE within the parish
Latimer (Part) PLACE within the parish

 

Population

Population

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

Note  
1801 423
1811 510
1821 595
1831 649
1841 625
1851 565
1861 468
1871 495
1881 388
1891 378
1901 324
1911 361
1921 341
1931 366
1941 N/A
1951 652
1961 1068
1971 1091
1981 279
1991 259

There was no census in 1941.

Records

Records

Parish  Church  Register  Start
Date  
End
Date  
Online
Search  
E-Mail
Search  
Publication  
Chenies   St Michael   Baptisms   1592   1871   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available
Chenies   St Michael   Marriages   1593   1907   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available
Chenies   St Michael   Burials   1592   1909   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available

 

Surnames

Surnames

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

PositionBefore 1700  18th Century  19th Century  Overall Surnames  
1 DELL BALDWIN BEESON BEESON
2 HARDING ARNOLD BROWN DELL
3 ARNOLD REED WALLINGTON BALDWIN
4 ROW DELL KENTISH BROWN
5 WELLS BURROUGH BODY ARNOLD
6 PORT REDMAN BALDWIN WALLINGTON
7 TRAFFORD PORT YOUNG KENTISH
8 VERNON NEWTON WARRELL BODY
9 BUTTERFIELD SOUTH FLOYD BRYANT
10 RUSSELL BRYANT BRYANT HARDING

 

Notes

The village of Chenies is mainly situated on a hill above the beautiful valley of the river Chess.
Its history is a long one, dating back to Saxon times when it is believed that there was a wooden church on the site of the present St Michael's church. The name Chenies is thought to derive from Cheney; a family of that name once being the Lords of the Manor.

In 1526 John Russell married the heiress to the Cheney estate and became the village's most notable personality. The owner of a small Dorset estate and a gifted linguist he had the good fortune to be presented to Henry VII, who made him a gentleman usher — the first step to an earldom and the great Bedford fortune. Under Henry VIII John Russell became Lord High Admiral of England and he served both Edward VI and Queen Mary Tudor as Lord Privy Seal. It is said that his portrait shows a man who was cautious, prudent and thoughtful and this he must indeed have been to serve four Tudor monarchs and to die peacefully in his bed!

John Russell loved the village. He enlarged the manor so that he could entertain Henry VIII and he expressed the wish to be buried in the village church. This his widow arranged and built the Chapel in which all the subsequent Earls and Dukes have been buried up to the present time.
At the same time that the manor was enlarged the village also grew and became considerably bigger than it is today, though there are still several timber-framed cottages dating from this period.

A later and quite different personality, whose memory is still treasured in the village was the Rev Lord Wriothesley Russell, a younger son of the 6th Duke of Bedford. He came to be Rector of Chenies in 1829, when he was 25 years old and stayed until his death in 1886. Although offered high office in the Church he refused to leave his village flock. In the days before the school was built he taught the village children to read and write in the Rectory kitchen and it is recorded that he refused to have a new carpet in his study as the men would not like to walk on it in their boots. The affection in which he was held is attested to by the lovely illuminated address, with its charming watercolour scenes, which still hangs in the church. This address was presented to the Rector by the villagers to mark his 50th anniversary as their priest. On each side of the address may be seen the signatures of the donors -said to include the whole village. It is interesting that some of these names are still to be found either in the village or the surrounding area.

Life in the village must have continued with little change for many years. The men worked on the estate farms and woodlands. Dodd's Mill, at one time a paper mill, functioned as a corn mill until 50 years or so ago and watercress was and is still grown in spring water near the Chess. The larger houses in the area provided work for both men and women. The village blacksmith shod horses and repaired farm machinery. Bread was baked locally and the necessities of life could be bought in the village shops. With mechanisation, however, came change. Young people were forced to seek employment in nearby towns. Buses and cars took people to more urban areas to shop at more competitive prices and so the local shops closed, the last being the post office in 1975.

In 1954 the Duke of Bedford sold his Chenies estate in order to pay death duties, bringing to a close the Russell family's long tenure of the estate. However, the split between Woburn, the seat of the Russell family and Chenies is not complete. The family still show an interest in the affairs of the village and it is still in the Bedford Chapel in St Michael's church that the Dukes are laid to rest among their ancestors.

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

Description of Chenies from J. J. Sheahan, 1861

 The parish of Chenies, called also Iselhampstead, contains 1,744 acres, and 469 persons. Its rateable value is £2,171. The surface is hilly, and the soil is a gravelly loam, resting on chalk of unexplored thickness.

The village, which is one of the prettiest in the county, is picturesquely situated on the brow of a hill, and commands good prospects. The houses are grouped around a "green" which has a fountain shaded by elm trees.

Education

Chenies Parish (Pop. 649)

One Infant School, in which are 20 males and 23 females.

One Daily School, containing 35 males and 26 females.

Two Sunday Schools,
In one of which (having a lending Library attached) are 47 males and 42 females.
 
The other consists of 38 males and 59 females.

The three first Schools are wholly supported by the Rector, Lord Wriothesley Russell; the last appertains to the Baptist denomination, and is by them supported.

ABSTRACT OF EDUCATION RETURNS, 1833.

Chesham

Introduction

Church: St Mary

Hundred: Burnham

Poor Law District: Amersham

Size (acres): 12746

Easting & Northing: 496201

Grid Ref SP960010 Click to see map

Names

Names & Places

NameTypeNote
Chesham PARISH St Mary
Asherugge NAMES name for Asheridge in 1535
Cestreham NAMES name for Chesham in Domesday Book in 1086
Chesum NAMES name for Chesham in 1675
Codmer Fm NAMES name for codmore in 1766
Codmers NAMES name for Codmore in 1619
Baptist NON-CONFORMIST Hinton Chapel, Waterside. First Mentioned: 1701. Rebulit 1898
General Baptist NON-CONFORMIST Broadway. First Mentioned: 1712. Present building 1901
General Baptist NON-CONFORMIST Blucher Street. First Mentioned: 1710. Rebuilt 1735, 1835
Particular Baptist NON-CONFORMIST Red Lion Street. First Mentioned: 1701. Present building 1897
Particular Baptist NON-CONFORMIST Old Meeting House. First Mentioned: 1719. Rebuilt 1814
Quaker NON-CONFORMIST Bellingdon Road. First Mentioned: 1672
Asheridge PLACE within the parish
Ashley Green PLACE within the parish
Barn Wood PLACE within the parish
Bellingdon PLACE within the parish
Blackwell Hall PLACE within the parish
Blakwell Hall PLACE within the parish
Botley PLACE within the parish
Charteridge (Part) PLACE within the parish
Chesham Bois PLACE within the parish
Codmore PLACE within the parish
Germains PLACE within the parish
Highham (lost) PLACE within the parish, now lost
Hundridge PLACE within the parish
Hundridge (Part) PLACE within the parish
Hyde House PLACE within the parish
Leyhill Common PLACE within the parish
Pednor PLACE within the parish
Skottowe PLACE within the parish
The Bury PLACE within the parish
Waterside (Part) PLACE within the parish

 

Population

Population

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

Note  
1801 3969
1811 4441
1821 5032
1831 5388
1841 5593
1851 6098
1861 5985
1871 6488
1881 6502
1891 8018
1901 9005
1911 8204
1921 8584
1931 8812
1941 N/A
1951 11433
1961 16297
1971 20447
1981 20809
1991 19819

There was no census in 1941.

Records

Records

Parish  Church  Register  Start
Date  
End
Date  
Online
Search  
E-Mail
Search  
Publication  
Chesham   Christ Church   Baptisms   1864   1895   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available
Chesham   St Mary   Baptisms   1538   1902   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available
Chesham   St Mary   Marriages   1538   1911   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available
Chesham   Calvinist & Old Baptist   Burials   1828   1837   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available
Chesham   St Mary   Burials   1538   1933   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available
Chesham   Independent   Burials   1813   1836   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available

 

School

School Records Project

Place   School Type   Name   Start Year   End Year   Indexed   Document Type
    Chesham Newtown - Not available         Chesham     1932     1948     Yes     Logbook
    Chesham Newtown - Not available         Chesham     1948     1960         Logbook
    Chesham Newtown - Not available         Chesham     1960     1973         Logbook
    Chesham Newtown - Not available         Chesham     1973     1986         Logbook
    Chesham Newtown - Not available         Chesham     1986     1994         Logbook

 

Surnames

Surnames

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

PositionBefore 1700  18th Century  19th Century  Overall Surnames  
1 DELL WARE SMITH BIRCH
2 GROVER BIRCH BIRCH WARE
3 BIRCH NASH BARNES SMITH
4 WARE DELL WRIGHT HARDING
5 HARDING HARDING DARVELL DELL
6 COCKE HOW BATCHELOR BARNES
7 COCK BURCH GOMM GROVER
8 WEEDON COCK PAYNE HOW
9 BYRCH SMITH PUDDEPHATT PAYNE
10 GATE JONES KING WRIGHT

 

Description

Description of Chesham from J. J. Sheahan, 1861

 The town and parish of Chesham, with its several hamlets, extend over an area of 12,657 acres, and contains 5,985 souls. Its rateable value is £20,137. The place derives its name from the small river Chess, which has its source here. Chesham is a small market town situated 3 miles N from Amersham, 13 miles S.E. from Aylesbury, 14 miles N.W. from Uxbridge, and 28 miles N.W. from London. The town is improving, and the country is beautifully diversified and very picturesque. The soil on the high lands abounds with flint and chalk, in the valleys it is more alluvial.

The town, which consists chiefly of three streets, is situated in a pleasant and fertile valley, and was formerly noted for its extensive manufacture of wood-ware and turnery. A considerable trade in shoe-making for the London and foreign markets is now carried on. The market for corn, cattle etc., is held on Wednesdays; and there are Fairs for cattle and sheep on the 21st of April, 22nd July, and 28th September. The town hall was partly rebuilt by Lord Chesham in 1856. Petty sessions are held in it on the first and third Wednesday in every month. The Gas works were erected in 1847. The Savings' Bank was established in 1854. The Mechanics' Institute was founded in 1851, and is held in the town hall. The library contains 400 volumes. The Young Men's Christian Association was instituted in 1854. The Temperance Hall was built for the Temperance Society in 1852 and a Police Station is about to be erected.

The Cemetery was opened in 1858, and consists of six acres, equally apportioned to the church people and dissenters. The grounds are tastefully laid out. The total cost of the cemetery, including the erection of two neat Chapels, is about £4,500.

The Vicarage is in the patronage of the Duke of Bedford, and incumbency of the Rev. Adolphus Frederick Aylward. Its annual gross value is £550, for which sum the small tithes were commuted in 1843. The rectorial tithes were commuted for £2,326. The great tithes were formerly divided between the Abbeys of Leicester and Woburn, each of which appointed a Vicar; but the medieties of the Vicarage were consolidated of both, built the present Vicarage House, and pulled down the two houses which had belonged to the portionists.

Notes

Is situated in a fertile vale, 29 miles from London, 9 from Rickmansworth, 3 from Amersham, 9 from Wycomb, 7 from Wendover, 7 from Tring, 5 from Berkhamsted, and 7 from Hemel Hempstead. The town consists of tree streets, the chief of which goes almost in a direct line from North to South, in which is the market-house; the market is kept, on Wednesdays, chiefly for corn. Chesham is considerably full of inhabitants.

The principal manufactures are,-1st. Lace, which is counted very good; and large quantities are made, especially black lace-2nd, Shoes; it is computed that near 1ooo pairs of shoes are made per week.-3rd, Wood-ware, which is considerably large ; round-ware, hollow-ware, Tunbridge-ware, &c. - There are three fairs annual viz. April 21, July 22, both for cattle, and Sept. 28 for cattle and servants. Here is one church, and four meeting-houses for dissenters; also, a charity school.

The post-office opens at 8 o'clock in the morning, and shuts at 8 in the evening- The inns in Chesham are, the Red Lion, the Nag's Head, the George, and the Crown. Chesham stage-coach sets out from the George innn at 7 o'oclock in the morning, in summer, and 8 in winter, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, arrives at the Bell and Crown, Holborn, the same days,.12 at noon in the summer, and 1 in winter; sets out from the above inn Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at noon in winter, 1 afternoon in summer; arrives at Chesham the same days, 5 winter, 7 summer, in the evening; by Cleadon and 7s. inside-3s. 6d. outside.

The town stage-waggon setc outt Mondays and Thursdays, at 11 o'clock in the forenoon; arrives at the King's -Arms, Holborn-bridge, at 5 o'clock Tuesday and Friday .morning; -sets out from thence the same days, 12 at noon arrives at Chesham Wednesdays and Saturdays, 'at 4 in the afternoon; by Mr. Hern.

The villages and seats in the vicinity are, Chesham Boies, Rev. Mr. Clarke rector, 2 mile.-Latimores, seat of the Right Hon. Lord George Cavendish.- The Rev. Mr. Stilton resides about 3 or 4 miles from Chesham.-Chines; in Chines church is the family vault of his Grace the Duke of Bedford; Rev. Mr. Sim, curate.

Description

In the past, Ley Hill was well-known for its gypsies and drunkards! The former for the good camping facilities and the profusion of hazel twigs (from which they made clothes pegs) on the Common, and the latter for the close proximity of the four Pubs - The Swan, The Crown, The Five Bells and The Hen and Chickens.

The population of the village has changed over the past 50 years from agricultural workers and brickmakers, to professional people. Bricks are still made locally but by machine, not by hand.

The Common, still a very popular recreational place, has altered in appearance since local farmers ceased grazing their sheep there in the late 1930s. This has resulted in the growth of many scrub oak trees, and the disappearance of the gorse and raspberry canes which used to grow in profusion.

Ley Hill is proud of its community spirit, and a quarterly Newsletter is published and distributed by the Village Hall Committee. A good variety of activities take place during the year, which cater for all sections of the residents. One of these events happens at Christmastime, and is much looked forward to, especially by the children. People assemble outside the Village Hall around a glowing brazier, and sing carols. Afterwards, mince pies and coffee are served in the Hall. Another traditional annual event is a Meet of the Old Berkeley Foxhunt on the Common.

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

Notes

Miss Emma Harding of Savecroft Farm, Bellingdon, near Chesham, writes of her grandparents Daniel and Emma Harding who told her of their childhood in the country. Daniel Harding was bom in 1847. His grandfather was a farm bailiff at Ashley Green and was born in the latter part of the eighteenth century.

Daniel and Emma were married in July 1871. They walked to the church in Chesham for the wedding. Weddings were performed free to encourage couples to get married because so many people were living together.

When Emma Harding was a girl still at school, she got a job at a silk factory. She regretted it but her mother made her leave school to keep her promise to go to work. She had to get up in the dark and walk through unlit lanes to work.

Later she took a job nearer home, joining other girls and women in plaiting straw. These straws were first split with a little wooden implement and then plaited. The plaits were then taken to Luton to be made into straw boaters for men. This was a flourishing cottage industry around Chesham. A highly skilled worker could make sixty yards of 'three score' a day, but as the best price was a shilling a score or less she could hardly earn a pound in a seven day week.

Both plaiters and lacemakers did without a fire because they had to keep the work clean, so they filled an earthenware pot with hot wood ashes and warmed their hands with it and sometimes they would put it under their skirts to warm their legs. These pots were called 'chaddy pots'. When the warm weather came they took the plaiting out of doors.

The corn was cut and tied by hand and there was one lady who cut and tied two sheaves of corn when she was a hundred and two years of age. A lot of the straw was taken to London to sell as there were many stables in London in those days.
The women and children picked up stones from the fields and these were placed in heaps by the roadside ready for road mending.

Once a week the huge brick oven was heated with furze, cut from the common, and faggots and when the oven was white hot all the cinders were removed.
A long wet mop cleaned the oven and then loaves of bread were gently laid in rows at the back of the oven using a wooden shovel called a 'peal'. Then at the mouth of the oven meat pies and cakes were placed. These lasted the family all the week.

Emma Harding (died Dec. 1973), D. Mills Bellingdon & Asheridge

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

Bellingdon

Bellingdon is a small village about a mile out of Chesham on a ridge of the Chiltern Hills, 600 feet above sea level.
Before the Second World War this was a close-knit community with most of the villagers employed in farming and brick-making. The squire was Mr William Lowndes who lived at The Bury in Chesham.

The children walked to the next village at Asheridge to attend school. There were no buses and they walked through the fields and looked for the first honeysuckle leaves in the spring and they knew where the birds' nests were.
Their parents grew all the vegetables in their gardens and they had cherry, apple and plum trees as well. They were able to find wild raspberries and crab apples in the woods.

The church is still the centre of the village activities. It is a small wooden building about 100 years old.
There used to be two public houses, The Bull and The Golden perch. The latter one was demolished years ago.
About 50 houses have been built since the war, reducing the farmland. Small farms have been taken over by larger farms. Far fewer men are needed on the farms and they now work in the factories in Chesham or commute 'up the line' to London by car or train.
The Village Hall was built 38 years ago on ground given by Miss Marian Thompson, the first W.I. President. The Hall is well used by the various village societies.

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


Education

Chesham Parish,
including the Hamlets of Ashley Green, Billington, Chartridge, (with Hunbridge and Ashbridge) and the Chapelry of Lattimers, (with Waterside and Botley) (Pop. 5,388)

Five Daily Schools,

One a Lancasterian School for boys, built in 1827, and capable of containing 150, but from great poverty in the place, the average attendance does not exceed 50; this School is supported by subscription, aided by weekly payments of two-pence from each child; it has a small lending Library, published by the Kildare-Street Society.

Another at Ley Hill, (commenced 1822), supported by the Countess of Burlington, contains 30 children of both sexes.

Another, 12 females

Another, 50 males and 10 females.

And the other (commenced 1819) 26 children, (chiefly females;)

In the last three Schools the children are instructed at the expense of their parents.

Three Day and Boarding Schools,

One with 30 males.

The other two with 50 females, whose education is paid for by
their parents.

Six Sunday Schools

Two of which are of the Established Church;
One with 30 males and 60 females,
The other with 48 males and 56 females;

Two appertaining to Independent Dissenters,
consisting of 95 males and 90 females ;

Two to the Baptist denomination (commenced since 1818),. 126 males and 200 females;

The first Sunday School is supported by the Countess of Burlington, all the others by voluntary contributions.

In addition to the above there are several small Schools kept by women, wherein young children are taught to plait straw.

ABSTRACT OF EDUCATION RETURNS, 1833.

 

Chesham Bois

Introduction

Church: St Leonard

Hundred: Burnham

Poor Law District: Amersham

Size (acres): 910

Easting & Northing: 496199

Grid Ref SU960990 Click to see map

Names

Names & Places

NameTypeNote
Chesham Bois PARISH St Leonard

 

Population

Population

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

Note  
1801 135
1811 130
1821 160
1831 157
1841 218
1851 185
1861 218
1871 258
1881 351
1891 552
1901 767
1911 1253
1921 1792
1931 2055
1941 N/A
1951 1640
1961 2054
1971 2847
1981 2839
1991 2761

There was no census in 1941.

Records

Records

Parish  Church  Register  Start
Date  
End
Date  
Online
Search  
E-Mail
Search  
Publication  
Chesham Bois   St Leonard   Baptisms   1813   1901   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available
Chesham Bois   St Leonard   Marriages   1561   1906   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available
Chesham Bois   St Leonard   Burials   1813   1901   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available

 

Surnames

Surnames

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

PositionBefore 1700  18th Century  19th Century  Overall Surnames  
1 WARE WARE COX WARE
2 LOVET GROVER HOLT BATCHELOR
3 DELL BATCHELOR SAUNDERS COX
4 LARKIN CHARSLEY BIRCH BIRCH
5 LOVETT LOVETT BATCHELOR HOLT
6 HOWE HERNE WILKINSON SAUNDERS
7 GROVER NASH SMITH SMITH
8 CHILD SWAIN AYRES WILKINSON
9 HUNT HILL WARE GROVER
10 COCK CLARKE CLIMPSON AYRES

 

Notes

The earliest that is known about Chesham Bois is that a prehistoric trade route came down from Ley Hill, across the river Chess and up Hollow Way Lane, continuing to Amersham, Penn and eventually the south coast. Ancient tracks such as this were marked at frequent intervals by stone boulders and locally the distinctive puddingstone, a mass of pebbles in a stone-like matrix, was used. Many of these stones can still be seen lining the drive from Bois Lane to the church.

The Domesday Survey of 1086 records that Chesham included a Saxon manor given by William the Conqueror to his half-brother Odo, Bishop of Bayeux: but in the reign of King John its ownership in fee was acquired by a Norman family named de Bosco or du Bois. William du Bois occupied a manor house which he either rebuilt or erected about 1213, with a family chapel nearby. This forms the chancel of the present parish church of St Leonards, although the house itself has long since disappeared. The church is approached through an avenue of chestnut trees, and is first seen across an open meadow.

The manor passed through a number of different hands until Sir Thomas Cheyne purchased it in 1446. Sir Thomas was a Lollard, of whom there were a number in the Amersham area, and some were burnt at the stake in 1414. Sir Thomas himself was imprisoned in the Tower in the same year for his heretical beliefs. The Cheynes held the manor for the next three centuries until 1738 when it passed to the Russell family, who became Dukes of Bedford. The old rectory on Chesham Bois Common was designed and built in the characteristic Russell style, similar to that used in Chenies village and at Woburn; the two-storeyed porch bears the date 1833 and displays the ducal coronet.

Two farms were recorded at Chesham Bois in the 16th century, Manor Farm and Bois Farm. The latter is now part of the Beacon School on the main road to Chesham, where a massive and splendidly timbered Elizabethan barn, partly converted into a farm building, can still be seen. For a time in the 1930s this was used as a repertory theatre. Bois Mill, in the Chess valley has a long history. The house occupies the site of the original water-mill recorded in the Domesday Survey, when it was worth three shillings.

Even up to the middle of the 19th century very little development took place in this peaceful part of Bucks. The population in 1806 was 135 and fifty years later it had risen to 258. Towards the end of the century the village around Anne's Corner began to develop and when an enterprising builder, William Gomm, built some of the substantial houses facing the Common, most of their doors, fireplaces, balustrading and window-frames came from the late period houses which had been demolished to make way for Marylebone Station. Most of the present day housing development has taken place since the Second World War, with large gardens being divided up.


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

Description of Chesham Bois from J. J. Sheahan, 1861.

Area 905 acres; population 218; rateable value £1,115. The situation is hilly, and the soil in general is a stiff clay resting on chalk. The small river Chess forms a boundary of the parish of the parish to the north. The village is small and seated on high ground, 1.5 mile N.E. by N. of Amersham, and a like distance S. from Chesham.

The family of De Bosco or De Bois, is the first to which the Manor can be distinctly traced. Wm. de Bosco was lord of this parish in 1246. The estate was afterwards in the Chesham family, and subsequently in the Windsors. About 1445 it passed to the Cheynes. William Cheyne, Viscount Newhaven, died without male issue in 1728, and his widow bequeathed this manor to Lady Gower. About 1738, John, Lord Gower, sold it to the Duke of Bedford, and the present Duke is the Lord of the Manor; but Lord Chesham, Benjamin Fuller, Esq., Mr John Garratt, and Mrs Kingstone, are the principle landowners.

The mansion of the Cheyne family stood near the church, and the field through which the carriage-way to the house passed is now called "Coach Meadow." A very interesting account of the Cheyne family, by the Rev. W.H. Kelke, is given in the Records of Buckinghamshire (vols i and ii).

Education

Chesham-Bois Parish (Pop. 157)

One Daily School, containing 22 children of both sexes (commenced 1831), who are instructed at the expense of their parents.

One Sunday School (commenced 1831), in which about 36 receive gratuitous instruction.

ABSTRACT OF EDUCATION RETURNS, 1833.

Cholesbury cum St Leonards

Introduction

Church: St Laurence

Hundred: Cottesloe

Poor Law District: Aylesbury

Size (acres): 178

Easting & Northing: 493207

Grid Ref SP930070 Click to see map

Names

Names & Places

NameTypeNote
Cholesbury PARISH St Laurence
Chollisbury NAMES name for Cholesbury in 1526
Baptist NON-CONFORMIST Buckland Common. First Mentioned: c1850

 

Names

Links

Victoria County History Victoria County History
Search The National Archives for Cholesbury Search The National Archives for Cholesbury
Buckinghamshire Remembers - St Laurence Buckinghamshire Remembers - St Laurence
Cholesbury & St Leonards Local history GroupHisto
Cholesbury & St Leonards Local history Group
Church Stained Glass Church Stained Glass

 

Photographs

Photographs in our Gallery Photographs in our Gallery

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Population

Population

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

Note  
1801 122
1811 114
1821 132
1831 127
1841 124
1851 113
1861 105
1871 109
1881 99
1891 95
1901 107
1911 107
1921 100
1931 115
1941 N/A
1951 921
1961 925
1971 1011
1981 950
1991 919

There was no census in 1941.

Records

Records

Parish  Church  Register  Start
Date  
End
Date  
Online
Search  
E-Mail
Search  
Publication  
Cholesbury   St Laurence   Baptisms   1575   1907   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
Cholesbury   St Laurence   Marriages   1576   1906   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
Cholesbury   St Laurence   Burials   1583   1906   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here

 

Surnames

Surnames

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

PositionBefore 1700  18th Century  19th Century  Overall Surnames  
1 WILKINS COCK BISHOP COCK
2 PUTNAM GURNEY BROWN WRIGHT
3 WRIGHT CARPENTER WRIGHT BRACKLEY
4 BIRCH BRACKLEY THORN GURNEY
5 DARLEY NORRIS GOMM BROWN
6 WARD CULVERHOUSE SILLS BISHOP
7 TOMLINS GEARY BRACKLEY NORRIS
8 NORRIS BATCHELDOR BATCHELOR THORN
9 HOLYMAN DAVIS GURNEY CARPENTER
10 COCKE DELL KEEN SILLS

 

Description

Description of Cholesbury from Sheahan, 1861.

The small parish of Cholesbury forms part of a narrow strip of land lying between the hundred of Aylesbury and Hertfordshire. In 1858 it was attached to the hundred of Burnham. Its area is only 176 acres; population, 105; rateable value, £304. The village is small, and situated 4 miles N.W. of Chesham, 3 S. of Tring, and 5 W. from Berkhamstead. The dwellings are dispersed over an unenclosed common of 44 acres. Cholesbury was formerly a hamlet of Drayton Beauchamp.

Notes

A group of four villages comprising Hawridge, Cholesbury, Buckland Common and St Leonards are known as the Hilltop Villages, because they range along the north edge of the Chiltern Hills.

This is designated an area of outstanding natural beauty, and the many beautiful beech woods, planted to supply the chair industry of High Wycombe and brush making in Chesham were used to support the local craft of 'bodging'. Brick making was the other industry, and Matthews still produce hand made bricks. Most of the clay pits have been filled in, as grazing land is in demand for the newest local industry of horse riding. New, timber stable buildings  and arena for schooling horses are becoming quite a feature of the landscape.

Village life was different in pre-Second World War times. A resident remembers when she lived in a two room cottage on Hawridge Common. Every Saturday she walked to Chesham to do errands. Later she cycled to work, as a housemaid and even today some people cycle daily down to Chesham. A bus service started in the 1930s and we still have a limited service, used by the few who have no car. Walking is now a leisure activity, the motor car a necessity. Today all shopping has to be done in the local towns, our post offices and village shops have closed, and tradesmen no longer call, but one feature of village life survives. We have at least fifteen clubs and societies covering a wide range of interests from the Vale of Aylesbury Hunt Pony Club, to football, cricket and seniors clubs.  Our best natural feature a large common is kept cleared by the Commons Preservation Society

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

Education

Cholesbury Parish (Pop. 127)

No School in the parish.

ABSTRACT OF EDUCATION RETURNS, 1833.


Coleshill

Introduction

Church: All Saints

Hundred: Burnham

Poor Law District: Amersham

Size (acres): 1850

Easting & Northing: 494195

Grid Ref SU940950 Click to see map

Names

Names & Places

NameTypeNote
Coleshill PARISH All Saints
Branford Barns NAMES name for Brentford in 1766
Honger Hill NAMES name for Ongar Hill
Winshmore Hill NAMES name for Winchmore Hill in 1674
Brentford PLACE within the parish
Ongar Hill PLACE within the parish
Stock Place PLACE within the parish
Winchmore Hill PLACE within the parish

 

Population

Population

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

Note  
1801 184
1811 429
1821 492
1831 497
1841 547
1851 558
1861 531
1871 533
1881 501
1891 516
1901 535
1911 570
1921 560
1931 635
1941 N/A
1951 1293
1961 680
1971 676
1981 581
1991 560

There was no census in 1941.

Records

Records

Parish  Church  Register  Start
Date  
End
Date  
Online
Search  
E-Mail
Search  
Publication  
Coleshill   All Saints   Baptisms   1861   1901   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available

 

School

School Records Project

Place   School Type   Name   Start Year   End Year   Indexed   Document Type
    Coleshill     Mixed     Coleshill     1866     1888        
    Coleshill     Mixed     Coleshill     1888     1899        
    Coleshill     Mixed     Coleshill     1899     1918        
    Coleshill - Not available     Mixed     Coleshill     1918     1943        
    Coleshill - Not available     Mixed     Coleshill     1943     1955        
    Coleshill     Mixed     Coleshill     1850     1890        

 

Surnames

Surnames

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

PositionBefore 1700  18th Century  19th Century  Overall Surnames  
1 CLARK CHILD SLADE SLADE
2 WEBB BALL LANE LANE
3 BALL HOBBS HARRIS HARRIS
4 CHILD SALTER SAUNDERS SAUNDERS
5 ALLNUTT BABB ROGERS ROGERS
6 ASHBEY ALLNUTT PALMER SHRIMPTON
7 FRANCKLIN PAGE SHRIMPTON PALMER
8 CLARKE LANE MUCKLEY MUCKLEY
9 KIRTON BOVINGDON WINGROVE WINGROVE
10 COSTARD PUSEY SEARS SEARS

Notes

Coleshill is a lovely village which is set back from the main road between Beaconsfield and Amersham leaving us free from through traffic.

In 1669 Thomas Ellwood, the Quaker leader, wrote these directions to his friend:

'Two miles from Beaconsfield, upon the road
To Amersham, just where the way grows broad,
A little spot there is called Larkin's Green,
Where on the bank some fruit trees may be seen;
In midst of which, on the sinister hand,
A little cottage covertly doth stand.
"Soho!" the people out and then enquire
For Hunger Hill; it lies a little higher.
But if the people should from home be gone,
Ride up the bank some twenty paces on,
And at the orchard end, thou may'st perceive
Two gates together hung. The nearest leave,
The furthest take, and straight the hill ascend,
The path leads to the house where dwells thy friend.'


Larkin's Green is still there to-day, by the Magpies Pub. Ellwood's timber framed house at Hunger Hill, where the Quaker Monthly Meetings were held, was just in Hertfordshire, conveniently out of reach of the Buckinghamshire magistrates who persecuted the Friends. It was replaced by Ongar Hill farm in 1873. Going up Magpie Lane, Bowers Farm lies back on the right, a lovely red brick and timber framed house with the oldest oven in Coleshill, panelled walls, and a cased staircase so that the servants could reach their bedrooms without disturbing the family. Bowers was probably built by George Coleshill in 1614, on the site of the medieval manor of Stockbury.

Passing Old Rafters, The Wattles, and Lawyers Cottage, all old names, you reach the little fork in the road, and the Common. In 1300 it was called Coleshill Green, and later, Donkey Common, as horses and donkeys grazed there. On the other side of the road stands the windmill, which the new owners are restoring to its former full-sailed glory. This is the start of the village centre. The blacksmith's Forge, Fleur-de-Lys pub, and two more cottages formed a row, now converted into Forge House. The Slade family worked this forge for over a century, and in the last generation, seven out of nine sons were blacksmiths. Their family cricket team played the rest of the village, in the middle of the road before we had a cricket meadow!

One of the features of the village is the pond, which aised to be called the 'Clenemer' and was then part of the Common. Once a year the gypsies would camp there and hold a fair, watering their horses in the pond. Waggons would be driven through in dry weather to stop the wheels from splitting. One cold winter, Mr Slade made a bet that the pond was solid ice, and drove a team of two horses, (shod with ice studs), and a loaded coal waggon across to prove it. He won his bet!

On round the village is Stock Place, once the manor house, and home of the poet Edmund Waller. He wrote a flattering ode to his relation, Oliver Cromwell, and later another to Charles II at the Restoration. The King complained that his ode was inferior to Cromwell's. Waller replied 'May it please your Majesty, we poets are never so successful in fact as in fiction'. Some of his poetry was said to have been written under an oak tree which gives its name 'Waller's Oak' to a nearby house, and still stands to-day.

The road forks again at Hill Meadow, a group of houses built by the Council, and a little further along is The Rosary (a farm in the 17th century), and the imposing late Georgian facade of Coleshill House, which conceals an earlier 18th century building. Sir Bernard Docker lived here, but now it has been converted to comfortable flats, which command a view to Windsor Castle and the Post Office Tower in London. The original grounds now form the gardens of the houses in Chase Close. Round the corner lies the cricket meadow. The Club is enthusiastically run, with a flourishing club house, and the far side of the pitch is used by an archery club.

More old cottages complete the semi circle back to the main road where the water tower stands, perhaps our best known landmark, which can be seen from miles around. Its small reservoir provides all the water for our village, so that old wells and storage tanks have fallen into disuse.

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

Notes

Village life in Coleshill has changed considerably since we were children about fifty years ago. It is a very beautiful village and over the past twenty years has attracted the financially better-off. Consequently all the cottages which in our childhood were rented to people with families, some of them quite large,-have been bought up and enlarged and on the whole are occupied by elderly and retired people. Most of the young couples from the village are unable to afford to buy any property here—there being now very few to rent—so they have to move away to live, and this means that we have far fewer children living here.

As a village we are lucky in having our own school, church and Baptist chapel and quite a large hall, and fifty years ago our lives revolved mainly around these.

We had seasons for all our different games—of course, there was very little traffic about and so it was safe for children then to play on the roads.
In the spring we had our season for skipping to the rhythm of 'Salt, mustard, vinegar, pepper' and 'All in together, girls'.

We played with hoops—bowling them along the road with a piece of stick—some of us couldn't afford a proper hoop and one wealthier family in the village gave us old car tyres which we used. .Marbles was another game. We bowled them along the ground into a 'dossy-hole' made by screwing our heel round into the soft ground.
We derived great pleasure in picking bunches of wild flowers which grew everywhere; heather and harebells from the common, bluebells, primroses, cowslips, kingcups, milk-maids, fox-gloves, violets and celandines from the hedgerows. We also gathered many a basketful of dandelion heads for our grandmother to make into wine and we picked baskets of blackberries in the autumn and collected wood each week to store for winter.

We were lucky in having our own village blacksmith and wheel wright who used to allow a few of us at a time to go in and watch him at work, as did the village shoe mender.

There were two small shops in Coleshill which sold groceries and dozens of other odds and ends. We looked forward eagerly to our 'Saturday penny', which often we would spend a farthing at a time.

We used to visit the meadows in early spring to see the first lambs and in the early summer watch the sheep being sheared by hand and 'dipped'. At haytime and harvest we went into the fields to take the men's tea—usually sandwiches and a bottle of cold tea, always referred to as 'wittles' by my grandmother. A highlight on the farms in mid-winter was the visit of the threshing machine which travelled round the villages to thresh the grain from the sheaves of corn which had been stored in ricks since harvest.

Our local farmer brought the milk round in large churns by horse and cart—carried it to the doorstep in a large can with a half pint measure hanging on a ledge inside and served it into a jug. We could also fetch a quart jug of 'separated' (skimmed) milk for a penny for milk puddings.

More tradespeople came to the village then, such as grocers, butchers and bakers. On Good Friday our baker from Amersham would deliver warm cross-buns before we were up and leave them on the ledge above the door. The muffin-man came weekly through the winter carrying his tray of muffins on his head and ringing a hand bell. A traveller we called 'the London man' came down every Friday from London via Beaconsfield station with a huge case in which he carried an assortment of underclothes, socks and haberdashery for sale.

We never went on holiday but looked forward eagerly to our Chapel Sunday School outing—to Bricket Wood and Hampton Court and eventually to the seaside.
When anyone was seriously ill straw was spread on the road outside their home to lessen the noise of traffic—mostly horses and carts. There wasn't much hospital accommodation then. When anyone in the village died, the knell would be tolled by the church sexton—three 'strokes' for a man, two for a woman and one for a child. We all knew each other so well that if anyone was ill, and we heard the knell, we would realise straightaway who had died. This custom was dropped during the war.

Louie Edwards, Violet Darwill, Penn Street

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

Notes

I was born in Winchmore Hill in 1903 and always lived there. As a child, I recall, after walking home from Penn Street school, I would be met at the door by my mother with a piece of bread and jam in one hand and a milk can in the other, and off I would go again walking to Woodrow to get a pennyworth of skimmed milk.

The annual chapel outing was usually to Burnham Beeches, Mr Hatch from Fagnall Farm was Superintendent of the chapel and his horses and carts transported the villagers. The carts may have been the dung carts the day before, but the men stayed until they were scrubbed clean for the outing.

My grandfather lived at the Lord Nelson public house and made chair legs for the other chair factories in the village. A cul de sac of houses called Nelsons Close now stands on the site of The Lord Nelson. In those days Winchmore Hill had three shops and two chapels, but neither of the latter had a licence to perform marriages. It was said Winchmore Hill people were looked down upon because they had to go to Penn Street to be married.'

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


 

Great Missenden

Introduction

Church: St Peter and St Paul

Hundred: Aylesbury

Poor Law District: Amersham

Size (acres): 5820

Easting & Northing: 489201

Grid Ref SP890010 Click to see map

 

Names

Names & Places

NameTypeNote
Great Missenden PARISH St Peter and St Paul
Afflecks NAMES name for Affrick's Farm in 1806
Belynger NAMES name for Ballinger in 1535, 1550
Halligar Wood NAMES name for Halligar Wood
Mantils farm NAMES name for Mantle's Farm in 1703
Maundell NAMES name for Mantle's Farm in 1500
Missedene NAMES name for Missenden in Domesday Book in 1086
Missenden Hyde NAMES name for Hyde in 1550
Ninningwood NAMES name for Ninneywood in 1714
Nynning (wood) NAMES name for Ninneywood in 1540
Petterley NAMES name for Peterley 1559
Petterlow NAMES name for Peterley 1550
Baptist NON-CONFORMIST Hyde Heath. First Mentioned: before 1891
Baptist NON-CONFORMIST High Street. First Mentioned: 1838
Baptist NON-CONFORMIST Holmer Green. First Mentioned: 1831
Methodist NON-CONFORMIST First Mentioned: 1841. Closed 1937
Primitive Methodist NON-CONFORMIST First Mentioned: 1830. Closed 1938
Abbey Park PLACE within the parish
Ballinger PLACE within the parish
Ballinger Bottom South PLACE within the parish
Ballinger Common PLACE within the parish
Basseybones (Part) PLACE within the parish
Beamond End PLACE within the parish
Breaches Wood PLACE within the parish
Deep Mill PLACE within the parish
Frith Hill PLACE within the parish
Grange Farm PLACE within the parish
Haleacre Wood PLACE within the parish
Hunts Green (Part) PLACE within the parish
Hyde Heath (Part) PLACE within the parish
Little Kingshill (Part) PLACE within the parish
Little Pednor PLACE within the parish
Maples Green PLACE within the parish
Mobwell PLACE within the parish
Ninneywood (Fm) PLACE within the parish
Peterley PLACE within the parish
Potterrow PLACE within the parish
Prestwood (Part) PLACE within the parish
Wycombe Heath (Part) PLACE within the parish

 

Population

Population

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

Note  
1801 1411
1811 1576
1821 1735
1831 1827
1841 2225
1851 2097
1861 2250
1871 2278
1881 2170
1891 2385
1901 2166
1911 2555
1921 2882
1931 3289
1941 N/A
1951 4464
1961 5737
1971 8509
1981 10152
1991 9839

There was no census in 1941.

Records

Records

Parish  Church  Register  Start
Date  
End
Date  
Online
Search  
E-Mail
Search  
Publication  
Great Missenden   St Peter & St Paul   Baptisms   1694   1901   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available
Great Missenden   St Peter & St Paul   Marriages   1575   1901   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available
Great Missenden   St Peter & St Paul   Burials   1603   1874   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available

 

Surnames

Surnames

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

PositionBefore 1700  18th Century  19th Century  Overall Surnames  
1 IVES IVES PEARCE NASH
2 REDDING STEVENS NASH PEARCE
3 STEVENS NASH LACEY IVES
4 WEEDON WRIGHT WILKINS STEVENS
5 HAWES HOARE HARDING WRIGHT
6 HARRIS KING WRIGHT LACEY
7 ROGERS READING COX KING
8 HOARE CROCKETT BROWN HOARE
9 NEWMAN LACEY WARNER WILKINS
10 ALDRIDGE CLARKE CARTER SMITH

Ballinger

'A lot of the cottages in the village were the foster homes for Dr Barnardo's children. Widows were often better off than the wives of the farmworkers because they fostered several children at once and had more housekeeping money.'
'I remember the women sitting in a circle doing their straw plait. The stone floors of the cottage were so cold that a bucket full of hot ashes were passed round under the women's skirts to keep them warm. Once one of the toddlers burned himself badly when he fell on the bucket.'

'Little Billy was a bit simple. It was said his mother gave him an overdose of laudanum when she was doing the straw plait and he slept for two days.'
'For lunch on Saturday we used to have a huge muffin covered with chopped vegetables and tomatoes.'
'Bird pie and rabbit was often eaten for the meat dish. The birds were trapped with a net as they flew from the hedges and from the ivy growing on the houses.'
'When roads need mending, the Overseer of the Parish had to find which farmers owned nearby land with plenty of flints, known as 'Buckinghamshire Diamonds'. In this area of the Chilterns, the Overseers were the Parish Wardens. The farmers were told how many 'yards' of flints were needed and if necessary, they had to employ the labour to pick up the stones to meet demand. It was the Overseer's job to find someone with a horse and cart to collect the piles of stones. It was a fairly amicable 'gentleman's agreement' type of arrangement and a good Overseer spread the load fairly round the local farmers.
'Boys were paid sixpence for picking up a 'yard' of stones, which was measured with a yard-square wooden box without a bottom. When full, the measure was simply picked up, leaving a pile of flints on the field.'
'I can remember the bodgers' tents with the lathe for turning chair legs. My father walked to Hampden to work in the woods.'
'There were brick fields at Sly Corner; clay was dug out of local gardens for bricks.'
'The beginning of May was Wendover Fair. The end of May there was the tea meeting at the Baptist Chapel. Mid July there was the Great Missenden Benefit Club Entertainment and tea; and the Great Missenden Cottagers' and Labourers' Friendly Society. In August there was the School Annual Treat, followed by the Methodist Sunday School Treat. In November there was the Primitive Methodist Sunday School Anniversary.'
Ann N. Marchant, Ballinger

I clearly remember holidays with my family at a small farm in Ballinger during the first decade of the century.
Besides the farm, Mr Bachelor owned a brick kiln and our chief joy was sliding down the shute used for the bricks.
In those days we could safely bowl our hoops along the country lanes, and as a great treat Mr Bachelor would let one or other of us accompany him on his occasional errands in the pony trap to the little towns of Chesham or Tring.
Sanitation was primitive—an outside privy with cut-up newspaper as ammunition hanging on the door. My mother, feeling this was a bit rough on our tender rear ends, enquired of Mr Lewington who owned the village general store if he had a toilet roll. He regretted but politely asked if he could oblige with a newspaper...!
One dull Sunday afternoon, we children were playing a game of Halma in our sitting room, when a sudden commotion in the yard sent us out to see what it was all about. A large sow had got loose. The crisis over, we went back to our game only to find that it had been carefully put away and a Bible placed on top—a gentle rebuke from Mrs Bachelor who was a strict Baptist and obviously didn't hold with our heathen ways!
M. Webber, Little Chalfont

Notes

Standing on the hills above Great Missenden are the pleasantly rural villages of Ballinger and South Heath. The small village church of St Marys at Ballinger is very quaint and old and has been carefully looked after through the many years by devoted villagers.

The Ballinger War Memorial Hall gives quite a lot of entertainment, as this is the meeting place of many societies. This hall has given much pleasure to many of us who have lived in the community all our lives. As children we were very lucky as Ballinger Grange was a large Boarding School and the teachers would give up their Saturday afternoons to teach us to dance and take part in plays which were held in the Memorial Hall, as were the most wonderful Christmas parties.

We have had many good craftsmen in the locality. Some of the most fascinating were those that laid hedges and thatched haystacks. Fortunately the craft of hedge-laying seems to be returning, and together with the new wild life conservation these hedges are giving our wild birds more cover.

Ballinger also had a very good blacksmith, and in South Heath we had one of the early lace-makers. This craft again is reviving with various groups locally.
We had wonderful cherry orchards, especially in Ballinger, and the crops were excellent. As children we used to go and get baskets full for preserving and making the famous Black Cherry Pies. These were the boast of the local housewives. Now sadly just a few skeleton trees remain.

A ghostly story of South Heath is told that on a certain night a coach and four horses drives from behind Bury Farm in Potter Row down the driveway across the road and disappears into the mists of the field beyond.

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


Description of Great Missenden from J. J. Sheahan, 1861.

The parish of Great Missenden, which includes part of the liberty of Brand's-fee, and is divided into the Town, Prestwood, and Potter-row, divisions, contains 5,731 acres, and 2,250 inhabitants. Over 3,200 acres of the land is arable, and there are about 860 acres of waste land, lately bought into cultivation. The soil is gravelly clay, intermixed with flints and chalk. The rateable value of the parish is £6,130.

The village is delightfully situated in a valley, lying between two spurs of the Chiltern Hills, on the high road to London, through Uxbridge and Amersham, to Aylesbury. The principle street, formed by that road, is about quarter of a mile in length, runs nearly north and south, and contains several genteel, modern, private, residences and good shops. Another thoroughfare, called Church Street, runs in an easterly direction, on the road to Chesham, and contains some remarkably ancient houses of wood and plaster - the upper floors, which overhang the lower storys, being supported by strong beams of oak. The George and Red Inns are the principle inns. Petty Sessions are held every alternate Monday at the George Inn. In the yard of this "hostel" is an ancient building 26 yards long, the upper story projecting; and the timber used in its construction is of great strength. The original purpose of this building is not known; it is now used as a stable, etc. The hills on the eastern side of the village (part of the Chiltern range) are of great height and slope down with a gentle declivity. They are clothed with luxuriant verdure, and woods of beach, and occasionally dotted with genteel houses.

Great Missenden is distant 5 miles N.W. from Amersham; 4 miles W. from Chesham; 6 miles from Wycombe; and 31 miles from London.

The Vicarage House is a neat residence of white brick, erected in 1857, at a cost of about £1600. It is situated north of the village.

The Baptist Chapel, in the High Street, is a lofty handsome building of flint and brick, with a stuccoed front. In 1766, a Meeting House was erected in Missenden for a few Protestant Dissenters, which is 1806 was considerably enlarged. In 1838, the building being considered unsafe, was pulled down, and the present commodious and substantial on erected at a cost of about £1,200. The present Minister is the Rev. Charles Widlake Skemp.

The National Schools, held in private rooms, are attended by 60 children, of both sexes, and are mainly supported by the Lord of the Manor and Mrs Carrington. It is in contemplation to erect a new School-house.

Notes

I went to the village school which consisted of one room for the infants and one room for the older children, one teacher and one headmistress. When the  headmistress was sick (which was often) the infants teacher had to teach in the big room and one of the older girls had to teach the infants. The cane was very widely used and I must say the thought of it kept us in order. We left school at 14, though some of the boys left much earlier to work on the farms.

Sunday was the Sabbath day and was kept as such, with Sunday school mornings and afternoons and an evening service for the adults.

A large boiler hung over the open fire, filled with nets of vegetables and “swimmers" (dumplings in cloths) and always steak and sausage for Sunday breakfast. The drinking water had to be fetched from a communal tap in the village; for everything else water was used from the well in the garden. The closet or WC was at the bottom of the garden, no water toilets in those days. All the villagers kept chickens and many kept a pig in the garden. When it was killed it was hung up in the wood shed with a net curtain round it to keep the flies off, and it was eventually salted down in a barrel; not too much thought was given to hygiene in those days. Butter and milk was lowered in a bucket down into the well to keep it cool.

The ladies of the village met in the hall once a week for sewing parties and gossip and exchanging recipes. This was before the WI and was known as "Mothers Meeting". A travelling concert party visited the village once a year and some of the families in the village boarded them for a small fee.

Each season brought jobs for the children: picking raspberries, blackberries, mushrooms, elderberries for wine and dropped acorns for the pigs and sometimes potato picking for the farmer. Some Saturday mornings were spent grinding swedes for the farmers’ animals.

The winters seemed to be much harder. With no central heating and no gas or electricity (oil lamps and candlesticks), the water by my bed often froze over in the night. The village pond was frozen over for long periods and as children we had great fun; the older boys would tie a rope round their waist and all the smaller children would hang on and be pulled around the ice. Lanterns were hung on poles around the pond.

Our yearly Sunday school outing was a very exciting day. Picnics were packed and we were taken by charabanc to Coombe Hill or Whiteleaf Cross. The school always had an open air concert on May Day on the common, with the “Crowning of the Queen of the May”.

Guy Fawkes Night was celebrated with a huge bonfire. The children worked hard for weeks before collecting anything that would burn and a charabanc brought people from other villages to join the fun with signing and dancing around the fire, while hot soup was provided by the ladies.

Every morning before I went to school my hair was brushed with either paraffin or vinegar to keep the nits away. It was a great disgrace to be given a note from the “Head Nurse” to take home to your parents.

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

Notes

There has been a village of Great Missenden since Saxon times. The name is derived from the river Miss or Mease and from the word 'dene' — a narrow wooded valley. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book. Today the river is known as The Misbourne and whereas it was once an attractive stream rising near the Black
Horse at Mobwell and serving several watermills, it is now almost non-existent and is enclosed in a culvert beneath Buryfields Recreation Ground.

Situated as it is on the main road between Aylesbury and London, Great Missenden was once a popular stopping place for travellers and at one time there were twelve inns along the High Street.

The large number of inns provided a great deal of employment for the villagers, together with blacksmiths, wheelwrights etc. The many farms in the area also provided work and on the outskirts there was at one time a brickworks. The women of the village were involved in straw-plaiting for the hatmakers of Luton and St Albans, lacemaking and in the service of the gentry who occupied the many great country houses in the area.

The one thing which brought the greatest change to life in Great Missenden was the coming of the Metropolitan Railway in 1892. This meant that trade for the inns was drastically reduced, the need for so many horses and horse-drawn vehicles also fell and thus many of the villagers were forced to seek other employment which was not readily available at that time.

Once the journey to London via the train was made easier, several notable people began to look at Great Missenden as a place to live. Many politicians, actors, authors and businessmen needing to be within easy reach of the capital have found the Chiltern Hills surrounding Great Missenden an ideal place to make their homes.

Important buildings include Missenden Abbey, founded in 1133 by William de Missenden who had inherited the land from Walter Giffard, a knight of the Norman conquest.

The Abbey eventually owned much land in the neighbourhood and in 1367 King Henry HI granted a fair to be held on August 14th and 15th — the feast days of the Blessed Virgin to whom the Abbey is dedicated. This fair survived until the middle of the 19th century.

The Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul stands on the site of a Saxon church and although the exact age of the church is not known, the first Vicar was appointed in 1199. In the churchyard, the tomb of Thomas Backhouse commemorates a retired sailor who, in 1800 was buried upright under a pyramid-shaped monument on the hillside above Havenfields. Some years later his body was removed to the churchyard.

In today's Great Missenden the High Street is very different.
Gone are the inns, the small grocery shops, the haberdashers and many others to be replaced by numerous antique dealers, estate agents and a supermarket. The old ironmongery business remains together with the bakery and the butchers. Mr Caleb King, who started the ironmongers shop, could make anything in tin-ware starting from scratch. He also had the first motor car in Great Missenden — an Austin Seven — which could be hired to take fares almost anywhere.

At Havenfields there is a violin maker's establishment where highly skilled work is still carried out.

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

Notes

Hyde Heath, the name for which possibly comes from 'the heath belonging to one William de Hyde', is described in one guide book as, '. . . a common with small houses ... probably an early squatting settlement' and in another as 'a scattered district on high ground'. Neither of which are accurate descriptions of our present-day village, to which three parishes can lay claim, their boundaries converging on the Common.

In the latter half of the 19th century, the Ordnance Survey map shows little evidence for the village of Hyde Heath. There were a small number of houses clustered around Brays Green, a similar number around an inn on what is now the Common and a more significant number at what is now Hyde End. The map marks Hyde Heath 1.5 miles north west of the present village. At that time most of the people would have worked on the local farms and in the houses of the local gentry; the nearby Shardeloes Estate and Hyde Hall, where Disraeli stayed, (now Hyde House) being notable examples.

During this century a mixture of different types of houses have gradually been built to give the village its present form, spreading away from the Common to the south. These developments have given the village a new lease of life; children for the school, support for the many societies and customers for the village shops.

As there is very little employment in the village itself and being near the railway station at Amersham, many residents work in London. People also commute to the nearby towns of High Wycombe, Aylesbury and Amersham. Despite working outside the village, however, residents old and new have developed a pride in their village and the beautiful surrounding countryside.

The Common has only been the open mowed space it is now for about 25 years. Previously it was covered in scrub and gorse and criss-crossed with paths to the cottages and the old chapel. Now there is a cricket pitch, pavilion and a children's play area. It is the scene each year of the village fete; primarily a fundraising event in aid of the Village Hall. The amount of talent drawn out by this type of event is amazing and most of the village lends a helping hand.
The village can boast of no ghost, scandal or legend but it has one claim to fame. In the last war, one enterprising lady applied to the Government for extra sugar to enable her to preserve fruit with her own canning equipment. The idea grew until the house, now demolished, was converted into a small but highly successful canning factory. It received its crowning glory with a visit by Queen Elizabeth (now the Queen Mother) in 1940.

Hyde Heath is a coming together of old and new, a village off the beaten track, in very few guide books and on the edge of most maps. A village most people would not give a second glance to; but for those of us who live here in the charm of the Chilterns, it is a village where it is almost impossible not to join in the enthusiastic life of the community. Long may it survive.

This article was written by Enid Picton for the Buckinghamshire Federation of Women's Institutes for the publication "The Buckinghamshire Village Book" (1987) and reproduced here with their permission

Notes

My grandfather lived at Sedges Farm and my family lived near by. We enjoyed the company of three young cousins. This number was greatly increased during the school holidays when several 'town' cousins came to stay on the farm, and local children joined in too.

Extra men were employed at harvest-time, and work went on for several days. When the threshing machine was working in the rick-yard all the children were armed with sticks, with the intention of slaying the mice as they were disturbed. We were always rewarded with delicious farmhouse cake and lemonade and the harvesters had homemade wine—not old enough to be potent, although there were times at the end of the day when their feet used to 'wander' a little.
Not only did we enjoy glorious long summers in those days but we also had extremely hard winters. One- year we had prolonged snow and frost, and heavy snowdrifts completely covered parts of a nearby lane including the hedges, and a very large carthorse walked from his meadow across the snow into another farmer's meadow.
I suppose Great Missenden has altered least of all the villages in this district. It was not so very many years ago that the local baker baked his bread in an enormous oven heated by solid fuels, and how delicious it was too. It was delivered to customers by pony and trap several times a week. Often at tea-time the muffin-man would call, ringing his bell as he approached the house.
On occasions, I was taken by my grandfather to Missenden Abbey to walk round the beautiful gardens. It has a long and interesting history, as had Sedges Farm where I spent so many happy days during school holidays.
In fact there were rather strange inscriptions on the walls of the three attic rooms in the roof of the farm, believed to be inscribed by monks. Unfortunately the old stairway to the attics has been replaced and some of the wall removed and likewise the attics have been altered and the inscriptions covered or removed by the builders. The farmhouse still stands, commanding a lovely view across the hills, with Great Missenden church nestling in the hillside.
I also remember the many gipsy families who camped in the shelter of the thick high hedges in what is still called Gipsy Lane near the farm. The same families came and went year after year, the men sometimes stone-picking in the fields before the ploughing and sowing.

Ivy Smith, Great Kingshill

Before the coming of the railway in 1892, Great Missenden was quite a small rural community and the centre of a considerable agricultural district. Nevertheless, it boasted no less than twelve public houses in its one main street. This sometimes led to quite riotous behaviour round the village green in Church Street, on Saturdays and holidays. A travelling fair often occupied the green also, to add to the excitement.
The old High Street was cobbled and used by a considerable amount of horse traffic. This caused it to be encrusted by a deep layer of manure. In dry weather the shop windows had to be barricaded against the flying filth. The Oxford to London coach came through the village daily, with its four horses and a postillion blowing his horn.
The fire engine was kept behind one of the inns and was drawn by horses lent by the riding stables.
There was a Town Crier, called Tomlin, with his handbell who called the local news and dates of auctions, agricultural shows and the time and the weather.
A lamplighter went through the village each evening lighting the lamps for a few hours of darkness.
A muffin-man walked from Chesham with a tray of muffins, covered with a white cloth, balanced on his head.
A horse-brake used to meet the London train on Sundays and take passengers on a circular drive in the country, passing Chequers and on to Wendover where tea was provided at the Shoulder of Mutton, then back to Great Missenden and the train for an inclusive fare of half-a-crown.
The butcher, who was also the slaughterer, made large quantities of lard and dripping and customers brought their own bowls to be filled. The great treat on Wednesdays used to be hot dripping toast.
A well-known figure of those times was a drover called Jesse, who drove cattle from the market at Aylesbury to the slaughter-house. Jesse sustained himself by calling at the various hostelries on his route. When he arrived at the Black Horse on the outskirts of the village, he would leave the cattle outside while he enjoyed his final drink. It was a favourite trick of a number of children living nearby, chase the cattle into the handy village pond and watch with delight a somewhat bemused Jesse look-for his herd.
The bakery, recently closed, belonged to the Clark family for over two hundred years. They also owned mill, which was known as Deep Mill, and ground wheat for the flour. Housewives used to bring in Christmas turkeys and cakes, and large joints and pies to the bakehouse to be cooked in the bread oven.
The Squire's four sisters, the Misses Carrington, lived at Missenden Abbey, were very kind but autocratic ladies. When they visited in the village, the women were expected to appear at their doors in their aprons, and curtsey. On one occasion when two women in the street failed to do this they were asked ‘whether their knees were stiff’. Children were invited each spring to a Snowdrop Tea at the Squire's mansion, now a College of Adult Education. They were allowed to pick as many snowdrops as they liked in the Park and were then entertained to tea in house.
Lacemakers sat three or four together in the bay windows of houses in Church Street. They used ‘chaddy pots', similar to a warming pan, filled with coals and tucked under their skirts for warmth, when it was dark the group sat round one candle which had a special glass reflector. A salesman collected the completed lace periodically for very small sums.
Straw plaiting was also done by the cottagers at home, for the Luton hat trade. They used to sit in their doorways plaiting the wet straw, which resulted very sore hands.
The Buckingham Arms (now the National Westminster Bank) had some very interesting people always staying there. There is in existence still a visitors' book dating back to the early 1900's which is filled with comment and drawings and some poems. One party of people who stayed there regularly were some strolling players who performed plays and melodramas in an old building in the yard behind the Red Lion. One villager worked after school hours at this hotel as 'Boots' and stable boy from the age of eight.
The village school headmaster of those days insisted that as the district was an agricultural one all boys must be taught to cultivate a pole of land. They were allowed to sell their produce, which sometimes came to as much as 12s 6d which they collected at Christmas.

Members of Great Missenden


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


Education

Great Missenden Parish (Pop. 1,827)

One Infant School (commenced 1830), supported by subscription, containing from 70 to 80 children of both sexes.

Six Daily Schools, one a Lancasterian School, containing about 45 males, each of whom pays twopence per week, otherwise supported by subscription; two others contain 40 males, the other three 33 females, these are instructed at the expense of their parents.

Four Sunday Schools, supported by voluntary contributions, in two of which are 75 males and 200 females; these attend the Established Church; the others appertain to Baptists, and consist of 64 males and 65 females.

A lending Library is attached to the Lancasterian School.

ABSTRACT OF EDUCATION RETURNS, 1833.

Hawridge

Introduction

Church: St Mary

Hundred: Cottesloe

Poor Law District: Aylesbury

Size (acres): 697

Easting & Northing: 494205

Grid Ref SP940050 Click to see map

 

Names

Names & Places

NameTypeNote
Hawridge PARISH St Mary
General Baptist NON-CONFORMIST First Mentioned: 1811

 

Population

Population

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

Note  
1801 121
1811 144
1821 208
1831 217
1841 233
1851 270
1861 276
1871 254
1881 242
1891 214
1901 209
1911 239
1921 239
1931 222
1941 N/A
1951 N/A
1961 N/A
1971 N/A
1981 N/A
1991 N/A

There was no census in 1941.

Records

Records

Parish  Church  Register  Start
Date  
End
Date  
Online
Search  
E-Mail
Search  
Publication  
Hawridge   St Mary   Baptisms   1600   1907   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
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Yes,
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Hawridge   St Mary   Marriages   1600   1903   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
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Yes,
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Hawridge   St Mary   Burials   1604   1906   Yes,
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Yes,
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Yes,
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Surnames

Surnames

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

PositionBefore 1700  18th Century  19th Century  Overall Surnames  
1 GEARY HORWOOD BATCHELOR BATCHELOR
2 PUTNAM PUTNAM THORN HORWOOD
3 BATCHELDOR BATCHELOR WRIGHT PUTNAM
4 SEARE WRIGHT GARNER WRIGHT
5 GRAY CARPENTER HORWOOD THORN
6 BATCHELOR KING REDDING GEARY
7 WRIGHT GEARY BRYANT GARNER
8 BACHLER TURNER WHITE CARPENTER
9 TOKEFEILD JOYNER WEEDON WEEDON
10 PRETTY DELL DWIGHT BRYANT

 

 

Education

Hawridge Parish (Pop. 217)

Those in this parish who can afford to educate their children send them either to Tring, Berkhampstead or Chesham.

ABSTRACT OF EDUCATION RETURNS, 1833.

Additional information