Wendover Hills

THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL AND THE WENDOVER HILLS

For some time past there has been a considerable feeling of irritation in the Wendover district, where the Attorney-General (Sir John Lawson Walton, M.P.) has recently erected a large country residence. The house and estate are at Hill-end, Coombe, at the foot of the famous beacon where a monument was erected two years ago in memory of Bucks men fell in the Boer war. Before the house was built the public had for years had the undisputed right to wander where they pleased on these hills. since then, however, certain fences and stiles have been erected, in addition to public notice boards stating that “Persons are permitted to cross this way to the monument.” Grave objection has been taken to these notices and obstructions, and several of the boards have received coats of tar. The Wendover Parish Council met on Tuesday night to consider the matter, and there was a general feeling of indignation that public rights had been interfered with. Councillor Alfred Payne proposed a resolution to the effect that the clerk of the council should write to Sir J Lawson Walton, requesting him to remove the stiles, fences, and boards with seven days, and that in the event of failing to comply the footpaths committee of the council be empowered to take the counsel’s opinion, or any other action they might consider necessary.   He said for several years at their annual meeting their parish council had passed a resolution to the effect that they had for over 60 years had the uninterrupted right to wander on these hills, and they claimed that those rights had now become absolute and indefeasible. No obstruction was placed upon these hills until Sir J. Lawson Walton purchased a portion of them for a mere song, well knowing at the time the rights of the public to wander over them. The stiles were do dangerous and objectionable that ladies and children could scarcely get over them. He objected to the words which had been placed on the notice boards, for it was not for Sir J. Lawson Walton to give them permission to do what they had a perfect right to do. Wendover was now an attractive place for visitors, and it would be a serious matter for the district if their rights were taken away from them. If it came to a lawsuit with Sir J Lawson Walton he was sure they would have no difficulty in raising in raising the money they would require by public subscription. He knew he could collect £100 for the purpose in Aylesbury market. The resolution was agreed to, and a hope expressed that no further action would be necessary.