Villages and towns
Villages and towns
Information on the major towns in the district including, Amersham Old Town, Chesham and Great Missenden.
Amersham Old Town
Amersham Old Town is a charming town that is full of character. There are houses that date back as far as 1450 (housing Amersham Museum) and the Market Hall, that contained the town's gaol, dates from 1682.
Historically, Amersham was once a centre for the Lollards, a religious movement following John Wycliffe. They first arrived during the 14th century and preached barefoot in the streets.
By the 16th century, the movement was taking over the town and many followers were burned at the stake. Their memory lives on in the Martyrs Memorial, off Station Road.
The rich blend of heritage buildings and modern day shops and facilities combine to make Old Amersham a delightful place to visit.
The town has the advantage of excellent communications, situated twenty minutes from the M25, yet surrounded by the beautiful Chilterns.
Old Amersham Visitor Guide [1Mb]
The modern part of Amersham, often referred to by locals as Top Amersham contains the main shopping centre, library and the Chiltern pools with its fun pool, flumes and the popular climbing centre, The Climb.
Chalfont St Giles
Featuring a pretty village centre with shops and cottages around the village green and pond.
The village was home to epic poet John Milton, whose cottage is open to the public.
Above the village stands The Vache, an Elizabethan mansion, once home to friends of Captain Cook who erected a monument to him in the grounds.
There are a number of inns in the village; The Pheasant dates from the 16th Century and was frequented by Oliver Cromwell and his troops during the Civil War.
Many people will recognise the village as Walmington-on-Sea in the Dad's Army film.
Chalfont St Giles [1Mb]
Chalfont St Peter
In addition to a thriving shopping centre, the village has an award winning leisure centre and Mill Meadow recreational facilities.
The village offers a number of popular coaching inns including the Greyhound Inn, the reputed venue for Judge Jeffrey's infamous courts after the Monmouth Rebellion of 1685.
Chalfont St Peter Visitor Guide [1Mb]
Chalfont Park Walk [355kb]
A picturesque village with a pretty green, surrounded by an old school, chapel and ancient parish church.
Chenies Manor House was once the home of the Duke of Bedford and visited by Kings and Queens.
Today the House and its exquisite gardens are open to visitors.
The village boasts an excellent pub as well as the Bedford Arms Hotel and its restaurant.
The largest town in the Chiltern District located amidst the steep green Chiltern Hills.
Chesham has much to offer the visitor with its many attractions including Lowndes Park, Church Street in the Old Town with its picturesque cottages, and also the twelfth century St Mary's Parish Church.
Other welcome aspects to Chesham include a theatre, a range of shops, restaurants and pubs as well as excellent leisure facilities including Chesham Leisure Centre and an Open Air Heated Swimming Pool at The Moor.
Chesham Visitor Guide [1Mb]
Chesham Bois is a small village in the Chilterns, of about one square mile. It is close to the towns of Amersham and Chesham.
It is a beautiful wooded village which was founded on a prehistoric trade route which came down from Ley Hill across the River Chess, through the village and onto Amersham and beyond to the south coast.
The village takes its name from a Norman family called ' du Bois'. William du Bois lived in the manor house and built a family chapel in 1213. This now forms the chancel of the present parish church of St. Leonard's. Unfortunately the manor house has long since disappeared.
The Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady's is more modern having been built in 1915 and extended in 1953.
Many parts of the village are protected as they are in a conservation area, including a lovely wooded common where the local cricket team play in the summer.
The common has many interesting buildings surrounding it, including 17th century farm buildings, the Old School House and the Old Rectory which resembles a small Tudor Mansion.
The centre of the village has a number of shops, a war memorial and a mix of old and new houses. Chesham Bois benefits from a fast rail connection to central London from nearby Amersham.
Great Missenden and Prestwood
Great Missenden is the second largest parish in the Chiltern district. It includes the pretty rural villages of Prestwood, Ballinger, Ballinger Common, South Heath, and parts of Hyde Heath, Hyde End and Little Kingshill.
Great Missenden, at the head of the Misbourne valley, is an attractive small town with a long curving High Street of half timbered and Georgian shops, a graciously proportioned Baptist Church and a number of traditional pubs. Church Street is full of interesting old houses and leads, via a bridge over the by-pass, to the mainly 14th century Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul. Missenden Abbey, founded in 1133 as an Augustinian monastery, is now a residential college offering adult education courses. The town's modern facilities include a public library, a private hospital, a supermarket and a British Rail station linking Aylesbury with London. Great Missenden is bypassed by the A413 and is situated 30 miles from London.
Great Missenden & Prestwood Visitor Guide [1Mb]
Jordans is a popular village with visitors to the area due to its strong links with the USA.
The 17th Century farmhouse, now a Guest House and Conference Centre, was once home to the Quakers.
Within the grounds of the farm is the Mayflower Barn, reputedly built with the timbers of the Mayflower boat which carried the Pilgrim Fathers to America in 1620.
The Quaker Meeting House, was built in 1688 to take advantage of James II's Declaration of Indulgence permitting Quakers to practice their religion openly.
Outside the Meeting House is the graveyard in which lies the remains of William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania in America
The station was opened in 1889 as Chalfont Road and Little Chalfont has grown up around it.
Now called Chalfont and Latimer, the station is on the Metropolitan Line from London to Amersham and Chesham and the Chiltern Line Aylesbury to London route.
Little Chalfont has a parade of attractive shops, pubs and restaurants providing an ideal resting place for visitors coming to the district via the A404 from the M25 and on the train from London.
Little Chalfont Visitor Guide [1Mb]
Extensively wooded and criss-crossed by lanes and footpaths. Penn is 'Green' in name and topography with numerous Greens in the Parish, including Tylers Green, Knotty Green and Forty Green.
Set high on the wooded hills, twelve counties can be seen on a clear day from the church tower.
Penn was made famous by it's tile making history.
The village is best known by its connection with the Liberty family.
Sir Arthur Liberty, as Lord of the Manor, did much to improve the village at the turn of the century including new cottages, providing fresh water, a village green, cricket pitch, football ground and village hall.
His descendants still live at The Lee and the entrance to their home is graced by a two ton figurehead of Admiral Lord Howe taken from the Navy's last wooden warship, HMS Impregnable.
In 1921 the ship was broken up and used for the mock Tudor extension to Liberty's store in London.