Lane End

The village of Lane End (once called Ackhamsted) sits high in the Chilterns surrounded by acres of common land, hills and beech woods.
Two ponds, the Mill and the Foundry are both in the centre of the village and were used years ago in the Smith's chair factory and Hobbs' Iron factory. Much of the foundry work can still be seen around the village.

Before the Second World War Lane End was a very close-knit village, with many inter-marriages. Life was very hard for the very often large families living in the little terraced houses, many without mains water, electric light and only two rooms. Most homes had water tanks in their garden or could use one of the four wells around the village. Blackwell, which was filled in in the 1950s, has just been re-opened again.

The village then seemed to be self-sufficient. There were two bakers and the farms delivered the milk early in the morning straight from the can into the milk jug. The butchers slaughtered their own cattle, whilst Mr Goodchild the undertaker used to make the coffins in his little workshop near Botony Pond. There was even a muffin man with a tray of muffins on his head covered with a clean cloth!

The Clayton Arms Public House was built by the Claytons in the 17th century when they came to Lane End to escape the Plague in 1665.
Designated an area of outstanding beauty, Lane End attracts many walkers to its lovely Chiltern countryside.

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