Notes on Radnage


Description of Radnage from J.J. Sheahan, 1861.

Radnage, Radenach, or Rodenache, is a parish on the borders of Oxfordshire, containing 1,352 acres, and 478 persons. Its rateable value is £1,247. The soil is a stiff clay and chalk and flint. The village stands on high ground, and is in three portions called Town End, Bennett End, and The Common. That portion of it in which the church stands is distant 5½ miles N.W. from High Wycombe, and 3 miles E.N.E from Stoken church (Oxon). Chair making and pillow-lace working are carried on here. Chalk is dug on the common.

Radnage Common, and Andridge Common, in this parish, were inclosed in 1860. The parish is remarkable for its longevity of its inhabitants. About twenty years ago, a Mrs Elizabeth Toms died here aged about 100 years; and there are persons here at present at advanced ages. We observed an old woman of about 90 engaged at lace making.

This place is not mentioned in the Domesday Book. In the reign of King Henry I. The principal manor was given to the Knights Templars, and it subsequently passed to Knights Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem. At the Dissolution the estates of the order were vested in the Crown. King Charles I mortgaged this manor to certain citizens in London. Charles II. afterwards gave the quit-rents to one of his mistresses, by whom they were sold to the family of Chase. It afterwards descended to the heirs Dr. Bettesworth, and is still called the King's Manor, the lands being all freehold.

Another manor, comprehending the eastern part of the parish, belonged to the Chaucers at an early dare, and passed from them in marriage to the De la Poles, Dukes of Suffolk. In 1480, John Duke of Suffolk, and Elizabeth his wife, the King's sister, obtained permission to assign this manor, with lands in Bedfordshire, to the Dean and Canons of Windsor. The Leigh family, of Stoneleigh Abbey, held it under this body during several generations. The principal holders of land in Radnage are Colonel Fane, and Messrs J. R. Shelden, Jabez Withers and John Stone.

On the common is Pond Farm, upwards of 200 acres, the property of Mr. Jabez Withers. The house is a good one; and in a secluded spot about an hundred yards north of it, in a clump of fir trees, lies interred in a brick vault, the remains of MR. Thomas Withers, yeoman, father of the present ownerof the estate. According to the inscription upon the tomb, Mr Withers died Jan 1st., 1843, aged 63, and was buried here “beneath the shade of his own trees, in his own ground,” in “compliance with the directions and injunctions contained in his will.”

Cabbage Hall is the name given to a hamlet in this parish of about a dozen houses.

The Living is a Rectory, valued in the King's Books at £6 13s 11½d. The tithes have been commuted for a rent charge of £307 7s 9¾d. Patron, the Lord Chancellor; Rector, Rev. George Phillimore.

The Church (St. Mary) stands in a retired situation amongst the irregular eminences which constitute the verge of the Chiltern Hills; and is almost completely hidden by trees. It is composed of a nave, chancel, south porch, and a square tower in the centre. The latter appendage has some appearance of Norman work in the lower stage, but the upper story, and most of the church are Early English. There is a plain triplet at the east end of the chancel, but most of the other windows are good Decorated work. The tower is supported by four very strong piers, from which spring pointed arches, opening into the nave and the chancel. There are no transepts or cross aisles, as is usual in churches with central towers. The tower contains four bells. In the south wall of the chancel is an Early English piscina. The ancient roof of the nave is handsome, with hammer-beams, bosses, &c.

The Rectory House is a good substantial building of read brick, situated on the west side of the church-yard. The Inclosure Commissioners have allotted an acre of ground upon which to erect a school.

The Primitive Methodists have a small Chapel here.

The “Poor's Land” consists of 22 acres of arable land in the parish of Radnage, and two acres of meadow in the parish of Kingsey – all left by some person or persons unknown. The rents are expended on the poor parishioners.


Radnage Parish (Pop. 399)

Two Sunday Schools, one consists of 40 children, who attend the Established Church; the other 50 appertaining to Wesleyan Methodists; both Schools supported by subscription.