West Wycombe

Mentioned in the Domesday Book, the Manor of Wicumbe (West Wycombe) was held by Wakelin, Bishop of Winchester and was and is for the supplies of the monks of the Church of Winchester. There were 27 villagers, 8 smallholders and 7 slaves! There were also 3 mills on the river Wye which passes through the village, a fishery with a thousand eels and a thousand pigs kept.

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Green fields, cart tracks and beech trees, that was Downley in the old days, long before new roads and housing estates took over. A cart track past Kiln Pond led from the village through the woods down a sunken lane to West Wycombe at the Pedestal. The local burial ground was on the hill at the church of St Lawrence and so funeral processions would make their way down this bumpy track, the coffins sometimes being carried, should they fall off the cart.



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The village of Booker is situated almost halfway between Lane End and West Wycombe. In the 13th century it was known as the tithing of Bokar and Booker Common is at least 900 years old. The Dashwood family of West Wycombe has held the estate for almost 300 years.

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Memories of West Wycombe

My father was a Windsor frame maker and we lived in Crown Court, West Wycombe. There were seven girls and one boy in my family and my mother kept a little shop just down the lane selling sweets, cigarettes and soft drinks, to help out. In summer we hired out sledges and also boiled water for picnic teas. Sledging
down West Wycombe Hill is a summer sport. The grass is grazed very short by rabbits and the sledges are the backs of Windsor chairs with slats fastened
across them and made slippery with linseed oil.

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Education Provision 1833

West Wycombe Parish (Pop. 1,901)

Three Daily Schools, containing 45 males and 17 females, who are instructed at the expense of their parents.

Four Sunday Schools, in one of which are 80 males and 120 females, who attend the Established Church; two others, consisting of 35 males and 55 females, appertain to Wesleyan Methodists; the other, of 10 males and 15 females, to Independent Dissenters. All supported by voluntary contributions.


Notes on West Wycombe

Description of West Wycombe, Sheahan, 1861; and other notes.

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