Heritage > Counties > England


The name derives from the numerous Beech trees which are to be found. The home county of 'Chequers' the country residence of the Prime Minister.

Buckinghamshire covers an area of 726 square miles and has a population of over 600,000.

The county town is Aylesbury, a fine market town in the south of the county. Those born in Aylesbury are known as 'Aylesbury Ducks' with reference to the breed of white waterfowl native of that town and area.

Other major towns in the county are Milton Keynes, one of the youngest of all the 'New Towns' striving to become a city, Buckingham, High Wycombe, Beaconsfield and Olney.

Olney is synonymous with a pancake race which each year is run between the ladies of the town.

Bletchley Park, now part of Milton Keynes, was the headquarters of British Military Intelligence during the Second World War and still contains some of the top secret equipment used to crack enemy codes.

The author of Paradise Lost John Milton was a resident of Chalfont St Giles in the east of the county.

The main products which come from the glorious county of Buckinghamshire are agricultural produce and furniture (especially beech).

Facts on the region

Origin of name: The farm of Bucca's people.

Name first recorded: 1016 as Buccinghamscir.

Motto: Vestigia nulla retrorsum ("No backward step").

County Town: AYLESBURY Has a lovely cobbled Market Square dominated by a Victorian clock tower. Home to the famed Aylesbury ducklings.

Main rivers: Ouse, Ray, Thames, Colne, Chess, Wyte, Lovat, Lyde.

Highest point: Coombe Hill, Wendover at 852 feet.

Buckinghamshire's local government: A two tier system with a Buckinghamshire County Council for part of the county and four districts of Aylesbury Vale, Chiltern, South Buckinghamshire and Wycombe. The County is topped and tailed by two single unitary authorities - Milton Keynes District in the north and Slough District in the South. Buckinghamshire's Eton, Datchet, Horton and Wraysbury are ruled by the Berkshire based unitary authority of Windsor & Maidenhead. Linslade is administered by two-tier Bedfordshire County and South Bedfordshire District Councils. Caversfield is detached Buckinghamshire in Oxfordshire governed by Oxfordshire County Council and cherwell District Council.

Local Towns and Villages

BEACONSFIELD Although much developed recently, has kept is red-brick Georgian high street buildings, but is better known for Bekonscot, the oldest model village in the world.

BUCKINGHAM Once created the county town by Alfred in 886, this is a delight to wander through with its steep narrow streets.

BURNHAM Its claim to fame is the forest of Burnham Beeches - a famous beauty spot.

CHALFONT ST GILES Pretty village with a John Milton museum.

ETON Has the famous ivy-covered buildings of Eton College - the second oldest public school in the country, founded in 1440.

GRENDON UNDERWOOD Village with Shakespeare associations.

HIGH WYCOMBE Has paper and postage stamp-making heritage.

JORDANS Long associated with early Quakers. Grave of William Penn of Pennsylvania fame.

MARLOW Charming Thames-side town boasts a suspension bridge built in 1831 by the same architect who linked Buda to Pest in Hungary!

PRINCES RISBOROUGH Olde-worlde town with gabled and herringbone houses.

SLOUGH High-rise offices dominate this industrial centre. Sir William Hershel gained his first view of Uranus from his garden on the town's outskirts.

Places to Visit

Stowe School, Buckinghamshire

Claydon House, Buckinghamshire

Chenies Manor House, Chenies, Rickmansworth, Herts

West Wycombe Park, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire

Waddesdon Manor,Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire

Stowe Landscape Gardens, Buckingham

Princes Risborough Manor House, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire


Shrove Tuesday: Pancake Day Race - Olney. One of Britain's oldest, dating back to 1445. Only laides residing permanently in the town and wearing aprons, skirts and scarves are eligible to enter.

May: Mayor's Weighing-in Ceremony - High Wycombe. Marks the appointment of the new mayor and mayoress.

Sunday nearest St Peter's Day: Hay Strewing Ceremony - St Peter's Church, Wingrave. Hay is strewn in the aisles.

November 11: Firing The Poppers - Fenny Stratford.

February: Festival of the Arts - Milton Keynes.

4th week in July: Festival of Flowers - Hartwell House, Aylesbury.

May/July: Wavendon Festival - Wavendon.

September: Woburn Festival.

End of September: High Wycombe Fair.

November: Chesham Arts Festival.

November: Buckingham Festival of Music, Arts & Drama.

August/September: Buckinghamshire County Show - Aylesbury (September)

Mid-June: Marlow Regatta.

3rd week inAugust: Lavingdon Show.

Famous names from the region

The countryside around Stoke Poges provided the inspiration for Thomas Gray's Elegy In A Country Churchyard while he was spending a summer at his mother's home there.

The father of the poet John Milton retired to live at Horton in 1632, and his son spent six years there after leaving Cambridge, during which time he produced a number of works. When the Great Plague of London struck in 1665, he went to reside at Chalfont St Giles to escape possible infection.

The 19th-century prime minister Benjamin Disraeli grew up at Bradenham Manor. Later in life, he and his wife purchased Hughenden Manor near High Wycombe, where he lived until his death.

Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell had their first night of passion at the Crown Hotel, Amersham, in the film Four Weddings And A Funeral.

The jazz bandleader, composer and saxophonist John Dankworth and his wife, singer Cleo Laine, live at Wavendon where they have established an arts centre in the Stables adjoining their home. A number of major musical events and concerts are held throughout the year.

Sir John and Lady Mills live at Denham.

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