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Wendover

Wendover is a market town that sits at the foot of the Chiltern Hills in Buckinghamshire, England. It is also a civil parish within Aylesbury Vale district. The mainly arable parish is 5,832 acres (24 km²) in size and boasts many hamlets that nestle in amongst the lush forest on the surrounding hills.

History

The town name is of Brythonic origin and means "white waters", pertaining to the stream that rises in the adjacent hills and flows through the middle of the town, bringing chalk deposits on its way.

The parish church of St Mary sits outside the town to the east on the hillside: a feature that is very common among towns with strong Celtic origins. There is a distinctive red brick, spired clock tower at the crossroads in the centre of the town that was built in 1842. The tree lined Aylesbury Street includes the 16th-century timber framed Chiltern House and 18th-century Red House.

The town has had a Royal charter to hold a weekly market since 1464 meaning that officially it is a town rather than a village, although today many residents of Wendover like to refer to it as the latter. It is part of a civil parish, and the parish uses the term "Parish Council" rather than "Town Council", as it would be entitled to.

Part of the town was once the property of Anne Boleyn whose father held the manor of Aylesbury among his many estates. There is still a row of houses in the town today, known as Anne Boleyn's Cottages. The town is the birthplace of Gordon Onslow Ford, British surrealist artist, and it is believed to be the birthplace of the medieval chronicler Roger of Wendover. The town is also the birth-place of Cecilia Payne, who discovered that the Sun is mainly composed of hydrogen.

The town is at the terminus of the Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal, which joins Tring summit level of the Grand Union main line beside Marsworth top lock. Disused for over a century, the arm is in course of being restored by the Wendover Arm Trust Remote and rural for almost all its length, the canal attracts much local wildlife.

Facilities

Today the town is very popular with commuters working in London. The popularity is due partly to the town's easy access to London by road, partly to Wendover railway station, served by Chiltern Railways from London Marylebone via Amersham, and partly because it is so picturesque. Property values have risen dramatically in recent years since the completion of the Wendover Bypass removed through traffic on the A413 from the town's narrow streets.

There are four schools in the town; The John Hampden School, named after politician and English Civil War participant John Hampden, a community infant school with approximately 275 pupils aged 4-7, Wendover Church of England Junior School, a voluntary controlled junior school with approximately 360 pupils aged 7-11, The John Colet School a community secondary school with pupils aged 11-18 and Wendover House School a school for boys aged 11-16 who have special educational needs.

The many hamlets in Wendover parish include:

  • Cobblers Hill
  • Concord
  • Dean
  • The Hale
  • Hazeldean
  • Kings Ash
  • Little London
  • Scrubwood
  • Smalldean
  • Wendover Dean
  • Wendover Marsh

Wendover was well known for having a varied and diverse range of pubs, many of which have now closed due to the constraints and geographics of the day. The pubs that still exist today are The Red Lion, The George, The Swan, The King and Queen, The Pack Horse, The Marquis of Granby and The Shoulder of Mutton.

Wendover also plays host to the 'Coombe Hill Run' which usually occurs on the 1st Sunday of June every year. It Begins and ends in the village and encompasses 2 very steep climbs up the Hill too the monument along with a very steep decline. Legend states that a boy from Wendover can only become a man once he has completed the course for the first time.

Famous residents

The town was home to West End actress Margaret Rawlings, who lived at Rocketer Farm, and actor David Jason, who now lives two miles away in Butlers Cross. It is also a popular stopping off point for the Prime Minister due to its proximity to Chequers.

Twin town

Liffré, Brittany, France.

Gallery

References

External links

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