Little Hampden


Nestling in the heart of the Chiltern Hills is the small community of Little Hampden. A hamlet of 24 dwellings, it is recorded in the Domesday Book.

A small farmhouse, smithy and cottage, are situated on what was a main road from London, and the forge is one of the oldest now working in the country. Re-built, following a fire, it was previously thatched, as is the 17th century cottage it adjoins, and was used as a staging post by the coaches on the 'London Run'.

Half a mile up the twisting lane, toward the main community, are two large houses built by the Atkinson brothers in the early 1920s. Courtfield House stands on the Cobblers Hill Road and Hampden Lodge, once known as Little Hampden House, was leased to the Women's Land Army during the Second World War, and when vacated by them, it was sold to the Earl of Buckinghamshire, who lived there until his death.

The diminutive church has had several additions over the centuries. Of Saxon origins, its walls have a unique collection of paintings, and clearly defined are St Christopher, and some of the seven deadly sins.

During the 1920s and 30s the village boasted a Village Hall, but this old ex-army hut was requisitioned for a bombed-out family from London in the early part of the Second World War. Since then the wooden structure has undergone a complete transformation.

The Rising Sun, probably erected about the same period as the farmhouse, recently underwent extensive alterations. The old brickwork was perfectly matched, though the interior bears little resemblance to that of even a short time past.

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 Little Hampden from Sheahan, 1861.

This is a small parish of only 508 acres, among, and almost surrounded by beech woods. About 70 acres are waste or common land. Rateable value, £288; population 68. The surface is much varied by hill and dale; the soil is chiefly clay upon chalk; and the situation is high and remarkably healthy. The place consists of three farms, a public house, and a few cottages, dispersed, with the church, about 3.5 miles S. from Wendover, 3 miles N.W. from Great Missenden, and 8 miles distant form Hartwell, which it is ecclesiastically connected.

Little Hampden has been, from the earliest times considered a member or parcel of Hartwell, although disjoined.


Little Hampden Parish (Pop. 105)

One small School, in which 12 children are taught lace-making