Great Kimble


Cymbeline's Mount, high in the hills in Chequer's land, was the stronghold of the British King Cunabelin or Cymbeline, from whom Great and Little Kimble derive their names. A gold coin depicting him was found here. Relics indicate that there was a Romano British village, a Roman villa and a Neolithic hill camp in Kimble hills.

The Kimbles consist of three churches, two schools, three pubs, a railway station, a garage, a cricket club and a much used village hall.
St Nicholas's church, Great Kimble, was famed for the stand John Hampden took against paying Ship Tax money in 1637. Legend has it that he galloped up the hill and into the church to make his protest to his assembled tenants and neighbours.

All Saints, Little Kimble, has stood for 700 years on Britain's oldest highway, the Icknield Way. An unspoilt medieval church, its greatest treasure is a series of 14th century wall paintings, recently restored and considered by an expert, Mr Clive Rouse, as 'artistically the best in Bucks'.
As early as 1636 there was Baptist witness in Kimble with people meeting in their homes. The present church was built in 1933 and is well loved and attended.

On Remembrance Sunday Scottish pipers, traditionally dressed, pipe the procession from St Nicholas to the War Memorial at Little Kimble for the service for the dead of two world wars, and then return to The Bernard Arms for refreshment.

The Crown mainly serves the villagers of Little Kimble. Annually a Harvest Festival has been held there. After the thanksgiving service, accompanied by Ellesborough Silver Band, produce donated is auctioned, the proceeds going to charity. Morris dancers also entertain there.

The Swan and Brewer is a free house. The open space in front is used for many things — for bonfire night, for the Beagles to meet, and also for the Vale of Aylesbury Hunt to foregather. Sometimes as many as 100 horses and ponies meet.
Kimble Cricket Club was formed in 1907 some three years after a Ladies C.C. was started. Most players live locally. It has literally been a family club to the Adams, the Spitalls and the Woolcott families. Frank Woolcott was outstanding with over 32,000 runs and 200 wickets to his credit.

The Kimble Point to Point Races are well known. The Queen is patron and the Queen Mother has attended. At the Easter meeting the Trumpeters of the King's Troop lead the field to the start. This event is held on Mr C. M. Robarts' land.
The Berkeley Hunt was changed to The Vale of Aylesbury Hunt several years ago. The livery colour is old tawny, that of the Earl of Berkeley. They meet at The Swan and Brewer as do the Old Berkeley Beagles.

The inhabitants of Kimble include farmers and farm workers, engine drivers, Lloyds underwriters, caretakers, gardeners, architects, estate agents, motor mechanics, shop keepers and many retired people, among them nurses, postmen and journalists who all participate in village life.

To conclude, Kimble dwellers range from Baroness Berkeley who sat in the House of Lords for 18 years yet joined in village activities, to Freddie Foster who scythed the grass verges for innumerable ages and was known and liked by all.
A friendly couple of villages!

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 Great Kimble from J. J. Sheahan, 1861.

The parish of Great Kimble contains 2,473 acres (including the hamlets of Kimble of Wick and Marsh), and 408 inhabitants. It is of oblong form; the soil, in its northern part, is a deep clay, and on the southern, or Chiltern side, is intermixed with flints and chalk.

The village is small, and lies about 3.5 miles W.S.W. from Wendover.

The manor house is a farm residence, erected on the site of an old moated mansion, which stood west of the church. It was erected about 60 years ago. The ancient moat may still be traced. Near the house is an old building, now used as a barn, which has a handsome roof, to which particles of colouring still adhere. It is probable that this was the chapel of the old house. In a field at the rear of the Manor House are some remains of ancient entrenchments. There is also a large fishpond in the vicinity.


 Great Kimble Parish (Pop. 436)

Two Day and Sunday National Schools; one is attended by 20 females daily, and 50 on Sundays ; the other (lately commenced), by 20 males daily, and 25 on Sundays; these Schools are supported by subscription, aided by weekly payments from the children.

There is also a School, in which about 20 children are taught lace-making.