Hughenden

Notes

Hughenden has become very well-known because Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield, lived at Hughenden Manor from 1847 until his death in 1881. Queen Victoria sent primroses, his favourite flower, to his funeral and these were placed on his grave in Hughenden churchyard, which is visited annually by the Primrose League.

The name Hughenden is derived from Hughendene or Hitchen-den signifying the dene or valley of the Hitchen. The Manor, not far from the Church, is now National Trust property and open to visitors most of the year. There are rooms exactly as they were in Disraeli's time and many mementoes of the great man.
St Michael and All Angels, 'The Church in the Park', must be situated in one of the prettiest sites in the country, with Hughenden Park on one side and farmland on the other. There has been a church there for over 800 years. Those with Second World War memories can recall the stained glass east window being shattered by a flying bomb and then delicately being put together again using most of the old glass. There is an unique memorial to Disraeli in the church from Queen Victoria reading 'This memorial is placed by his grateful Sovereign and Friend Victoria R.I. Kings love him that speaketh right. Proverbs XVI 13'.
The Church House in the south-west corner of the churchyard is a medieval building which housed a small community of monks. It was restored in 1930 by Coningsby Disraeli and contains a minstrels gallery.

Hughenden gradually developed from the church northwards with a farm, cottages and now estates on what used to be extensive orchards, mainly cherry. There are still some of the original old orchards left in gardens. A delightful stream meanders by the farm and under a pretty bridge, flowing and broadening into the Wye in Wycombe. Springs were very prevalent in the valley, causing some flooding, but these have now subsided, helped by a modern pumping station, from which half a million gallons of water are pumped daily from a 200 ft well.
Further along from the farm along the busy highway the mainly residential area is reached, with pleasant houses and gardens. A good proportion of young people with families live here and also retired folk. Daily many commute to their place of business in London and nearby towns.

Hughenderi valley is a beautiful place, and, as most people say — 'We wouldn't want to live anywhere else'.

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


Great Kingshill is situated high on the Chiltern Hills, approximately 3.5 miles from High Wycombe and 1.5 miles from Prestwood.

Way back in history when ponds were a means of water supply to the local populace it had two, one of which was hedged and gated, with stone steps leading to the water. This was for domestic use, the other being used to water the cattle and horses. One still remains somewhat diminished in size, off Pipers Lane. Remnants of the past are still in evidence near the cross-roads in the village, where a terraced pit was used for cockfighting. Today it collects water from the nearby roads and is aptly named Cockpit Hole Pond.

In the 19th century the village consisted of a few farmsteads and brick and flint cottages. These delightfully attractive cottages still stand beautifully maintained.

As time passed and the small community grew, so did industry. One of the busiest must have been the village blacksmith. In addition to shoeing horses he made iron hoops which were burnt onto the wooden wheels of waggons and carriages. Iron was used very much in his work generally. The maintenance of the local farm implements was also part of his work. At the opposite end of the village was the carriage builders and wheelwrights, essential to farmers, but equally important, had the task of making saddletrees for the army horses during the First World War. W. Anderson, General Engineer, was also involved in war work turning shell heads. After the war the business became a garage and is now in the hands of the son and grandson. Industrious ladies of that period would meet at Robin Cottage, a lovely old building still preserved, to practise the delicate art of lace-making.

Although there was a gradual growth in the village over the years, it was not until after the Second World War that development really began to take place. The whole scene began to change as cherry orchards disappeared one by one, and modern progress enabled people to purchase homes in what has now become an exceedingly desirable village in which to live.

A typically English scene is that of cricket being played on the village green. The Club was founded in 1891 or thereabouts, and is enjoyed by local and visiting spectators alike. Football is played with as much enthusiasm by the Senior and Junior Football Clubs during the winter months.

Opposite the village green is the general stores, established by Gerald Free in 1921. Before electricity was easily available, a hundred-candle-power pressure lamp was attached to the corner of the store for the benefit of the customers. Mr Free used a unique sign, that of an Alsatian's head, accompanied by the words 'Alert Service' on his delivery vans which could be seen frequently around the villages.

Surrounded by meadows and woodland, the village is well-balanced and complete.

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

1861 description of Hughenden from J. J. Sheahan.

The area of Hughenden, or Hitchenden parish, including part of Brands Fee Liberty, is 5,751 acres. The rateable value of the parish is about £5,580; and the population at present numbers 1,653 souls. The northern part of the parish is included in the Hundred of Aylesbury; but the Church, Manor House, and the southern portion of the parish, is in Desborough Hundred. The houses are scattered, and there is no village. The Church is distant about 2 miles N from High Wycombe. The soil is consisting of clay, flints, and chalk, with the geological features common to that formation. There is a great irregularity of surface throughout the whole parish; numerous deep valleys being formed between the steep sides of the chalk hills, on whose tops are extensive flats of clay.

Hughenden Manor, the seat of the Right Hon. B. Disraeli, M. P. is a handsome mansion of coloured brisk, situated on a general eminence, commanding from its south front a pleasing view of the town of Wycombe, and the park and woods of Lord Carrington.

 

Education

Hitchenden or Hughenden Parish, with part of Brands Fee Liberty (Pop. 1,457)

One Sunday School, held in the church, consisting of 70 males and 90 females; supported by private charity. A lending Library is attached.

There are also several small Schools, in which 16 boys and 94 girls are taught lace-making.  The greater part of these children attend the Sunday School.

ABSTRACT OF EDUCATION RETURNS, 1833.