Here are some photographs of the ground which is a little gem with a Club Shop, Tea hut and a stand on each side of the ground, which is surrounded by greenery. (Photos and info. 2001)
The main stand.
The entrance end.
The far end
If you happen to visit from a distance as I do, it
may be an idea to find out about the local area and visit some attractions
whilst you are there. Below you will find information about the
local history and
visitors attractions in the area.
Map Reference: SP6933. Population: 9,309 (1991) Tourist Information: (01280) 823020
Buckingham today is a vibrant market town characterised by a fine array of Georgian buildings. It is located in the green heart of England and is easily accessible from many parts of the country via excellent road links.
Home to Britain’s first modern independent University, the town also enjoys close links to the internationally famous Silverstone Motor Racing Circuit and the magnificent Stowe Landscape Gardens. Beneath the gentle exterior of this unspoilt town lies a fascinating history which helps to explain why the name of Buckingham is famous the world over.
The gentle slopes of the fertile valley of the Ouse encouraged early settlers to this central core of England. An east-west drover's road runs along the Ouse Valley crossing the north south Roman route from Bicester to Towcester. Seven strategic routes converge on Buckingham, illustrating its importance as an ancient market centre and imposing on it a radial pattern of streets.
Buckingham’s naturally defensive position gave the Saxon tribes their most northerly stronghold against the invading Danes. As the burial place of St Rumbold’s bones, Buckingham became a place of pilgrimage in the medieval period, helping to swell its status as the County town. Inns and alehouses thus became a notable – and sometimes notorious feature of the town’s architecture. Some of the old inn yards have in fills of small houses; many contain arched entrances to the plot behind. Houses, especially those surrounding the market place, are built on long narrow burgage tenure plots. Quite a few still lead steeply down to the river.
A Century of Change
Three disasters hit Buckingham early in the 18th century. It lost its status as the county town, much of the earlier town was destroyed in the great fire of 1724-25 and the old church collapsed. The resources of its citizens must have stretched to full capacity. Yet some of the best loved and most remarkable features of the town had appeared by the end of the century.
The church was rebuilt on Castle Hill, from where its spire dominates all the approach roads to Buckingham.
The Old Gaol and the Old Town Hall occupied prominent positions at either end of the market square and the centre of the town was largely rebuilt using the then more fashionable brick from local brickworks. Local bricks were not a standard red. A distinctive harmony of colours and patterns can be found in many of the buildings of this period.
New roads, a new bridge (London Bridge) and the arrival of the canal at Wharf Yard followed in the early years of the 19th century.
The meandering Ouse offered a number of excellent sites for watermills, which would have been a common feature of the landscape. The adjacent fields were fertile.
As recently as 1998, you could see the ridge and furrow of the medieval field system and livestock grazed the pasture opposite Cornwall Meadow car park.
The valley facilitated the arrival of the canal in Buckingham, extending the town’s trading links. Always the main artery of the town, the river today attracts tourists and residents to the walk beside its banks. The most popular recreational feature in Buckingham, it has something for everyone and a walk along its length enables you to capture the essence of the town’s character from its early beginnings to its present day development.
The Market Place
Buckingham has always been a meeting place. The centre of the town is dominated by the market place. As a rural centre, it was primarily an agricultural market. Names such as ‘The Bull Ring’ and ‘Cattle Market’ commemorate its previous existence. Today it still bustles with shoppers and there is a twice-weekly market with a wide variety of stalls.
All roads lead to the market place and there is a pleasing sense of space and scale, providing a positive contrast to narrower streets and lanes.
There are individual buildings and a variety of rooflines that contribute to the harmony of the place, masking some the ill-fitting facades of recent years.
The Economy Today
Buckingham’s hinterland is rural. The town has an important role as a local centre for agriculture and agricultural related businesses.
Buckingham is the second largest retail town in the Vale of Aylesbury. Although the growth of nearby Milton Keynes and "out of town" stores has changed the pattern of retail shopping, the market increasingly attracts visitors from further afield, as well as fulfilling its traditional role serving some 20 local villages. The retail section in the town has expanded into antiques, fashion and specialist shops.
Buckingham offers many local attractions and, as an historic centre in the heart of middle England, it is excellently placed as a base for wider exploration.
In recent years, the University of Buckingham has played an important role in the local economy. It has restored much of the old Prebend End (once part of the diocese of Lincoln), creating a very attractive campus blending the old with the new and it brings an international mix of students to the town.
PLACES OF INTEREST
The Old Gaol Museum
Restored extensively by the Buckingham Heritage Trust, this landmark building in Buckingham town centre celebrated its 250th anniversary in 1998. It now houses a fascinating museum reflecting the building’s history through an audiovisual display, aspects of Buckingham’s past, and Buckinghamshire’s military history. Regular themed exhibitions are also held at the museum throughout the year. Includes a ‘Cell Shop’ providing souvenirs and mementoes of Buckingham and a Tourist Information Centre.
Tel: 01280 823020
The Chantry Chapel
A former School, the Chantry Chapel is Buckingham’s Oldest Building and dates back in parts to the 12th Century. Admission details from the Tourist Information Centre.
The Old Town Hall
The present town hall, which is topped with an impressive gilded Swan, was built in the 18th Century following the disastrous fire of Buckingham in 1724.
Both the Town Hall and the Old Gaol were built in a bid to win back the Assizes.
The Church of St Peter & St Paul
Occupying the site of a former Saxon Castle, the parish church was completed in1781 but was partly rebuilt by Sir George Gilbert Scott in the 19th Century. Inside are a number of carved Tudor bench ends and a Latin manuscript bible from 1471.
Web Site: users.powernet.co.uk/rex/bpc.html
Silverstone Motor Racing Circuit
Historic racing circuit and home to the British Grand Prix which takes place annually in early July. Silverstone’s packed programme includes many other motor related events form February until November, many of which offer free admission.
Tel: 01327 857271 Web Site: www.silvertone-circuit.co.uk
Stowe Landscape Gardens
One of the first and finest landscape gardens Europe, located only 2 miles from the centre of Buckingham and now managed by the National Trust. You can wander through Stowe’s green valleys and vistas which are set with lakes, monuments and temples or take the intellectual challenge set by its 18th Century creators to find the political and classical meaning behind each elegant temple and statue.
Tel: 01280 822850 Web Site: www.stowe.co.uk/historic/gardens
Addington Equestrian Centre
The Addington Centre has quickly established itself as one of the premier Equestrian Centres in Britain. Initially specialising in dressage, the centre is now hosting more and more top equestrian events covering everything from eventing to showjumping. For full programme details: Tel: 01296 713663
A fine historical 18th Century house whose regular visitors included Florence Nightingale. Its great rooms have some of the most exquisite Rococo decoration in England as well as flamboyant carvings in Chinese and Gothic styles.Tel: 01296 730349
Shopping outlet, built in a traditional New England style and home to over 50 designer and famous brand name shops. Tel: 01869 323200
Sulgrave Manor .
The Northamptonshire home of George Washington’s ancestors is a splendid example of a modest manor house at the time of Shakespeare. One of its many attractive features is the kitchen garden and rose garden with a 16th Century sundial. Tel: 01295 760205
Built by Sir Christopher Wren and still retaining most of its original features. It contains extensive examples of early 18th Century furniture, Chinese art from the Tang period and a collection of objects d’art, jade, pictures and clocks. Tel: 01296 712323
Stoke Bruerne Canal Museum
Housed in a restored cornmill in the enchanting village of Stoke Bruerne, the museum portrays 200 years of canal heritage. Tel: 01604 862229
The Mounds of Thornborough
Two impressive burial mounds lying east of Thornborough Bridge and dating from the second century AD. Other items of interest nearby include Thornborough Bridge, the only surviving medieval bridge in the country and Iron Age earthworks dating from 200-300 BC.
Warwick Castle. The finest medieval castle in Britain.
Stratford Upon Avon. The birthplace of Shakespeare and home of the British National Theatre.
Rothschild Mansion with exquisite collection of priceless works of art and furniture.
Home to the Dukes of Marlborough and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill.
Charming villages and countryside considered by many to be the essence of traditional England.
Within easy walking distance of the centre of Buckingham town centre, behind the football ground. Chandos Park’s unique attraction is the River Ouse, which runs through it. The park has an excellent play area and more generally provides the ideal setting for a family picnic. The Chandos Park Tennis Courts are open for public use all year round. Tel: 01280 817807
A fine recreational area with bridleways, playgrounds, picnic sites and special dog exercising areas. A keep fit trim trail is located in the park for the athlete.
The literal meaning of the place-name ‘Buckingham’ is ‘the place of Bucca’s people hemmed in by water’. It will never be known who Bucca was or how long he and his people lived here, however, it is known that their settlement was of great military importance in 914. It is in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle that the date of fortification is given and it is described how it was manned and financed in a document called the Burghal Hidage which would have been compiled or revised around this date.
Buckingham, along with other fortified towns in Southern England, would have been vital to the campaign against the Danes. The foundation of Buckinghamshire would probably have coincided with the fortification of Buckingham. The county boundary being dependent upon the parishes and villages immediately to the north whose taxation was allocated to Buckingham.
Buckingham was a royal borough by the time of the Norman Conquest, with 53 burgesses, a mint, a well-endowed church and two valuable mills. The assessment in the Domesday Book finds the parish of Buckingham to have 101 taxable individuals, suggesting a population in excess of five hundred, at that time.
King William II gave Buckingham to Walter Giffard soon after Domesday, Giffard’s principle estate was at Long Crendon and he was the biggest landowner in the county. He was made Earl of Buckingham, but in common with all other overlords was never resident at Buckingham.
The manor of Buckingham was then passed to Humphrey Stafford in the 15th century who was the first Duke of Buckingham. Buckingham reverted to the Crown in 1521 when the third Duke, Edward Stafford was executed for treason. Mary Tudor granted a charter of incorporation to Buckingham in 1554, it was one of the first towns to proclaim her Queen after the death of Edward VI. Although the town already enjoyed borough status this confirmed the its rights by royal charter.
In 1552 Robert Brocas of Horton purchased the town and his son Bernard Brocas sold off the Castle Farm and Castle Mill and the manorial rights were leased to the Corporation of
Buckingham in 1573. The Corporation received the tolls of a Tuesday market and two annual fairs; borough courts trying commercial actions up to the value of five pounds were to be held. The term of the lease was 2,000 years and 40s. per year was the rent, none of which was received by Brocas as he sold the right of collection to Thomas and Richard Neale, who in turn sold it to Sir Thomas Temple in 1604. This is how the town became influenced by the Temple-Grenville family of Stowe, which lasted over 250 years. Contemporary titles for the successive heads of these families include Lord Cobham, Earl Temple, the Marquis of Buckingham and the Duke of Buckingham.
The Farm and the Mills were sold to the tenant Francis Dayrell of Lamport along with four acres of meadow or pasture upstream from the mills. It is thought that the recently restored Corner House on West Street could be on the Castle Farm site.
The Prebend End of Buckingham was so called after the Prebendary of Sutton cum Buckingham who received the income from the land to the south of the town, including Gawcott, which was endowed to the church at Domesday. The Prebendal House was the finest in town, but was destroyed at around the time of the Civil War; it had been completely pulled down by 1654. The house that is there now is called the Manor House overlooking the old churchyard. It was a large farmhouse and was leased by the Grenvilles of Stowe by 1751.
During the Civil War Buckingham was not a stronghold for either side. Loyalties varied in the area, Sir Edmund Verney of Claydon died whilst carrying the royal standard at Edge Hill in 1642, leaving his son Sir Ralph Verney to flee to France. Sir Alexander Denton of Hillesden was also a royalist allowing his house to be fortified as an outpost, it was then destroyed by the Parliamentarians in 1643. Sir Richard Ingoldsby of Lenborough and Sir Richard Temple sided with Parliament. Buckingham was open to attacks from both sides with Parliament holding London and the King’s court established at Oxford. After the siege of Hillesden Oliver Cromwell stayed in the town in the March of 1643/4 and in June 1644 King Charles stayed briefly at Castle House.
Until the 18th century the houses of Buckingham were mostly built of timber with lath and plaster or brick panels. A few were tiled but most were thatched, which left them open to the threat of fire. Most houses were not insured, although some tradesmen had fire policies with firms such as the Sun Fire Office. As with many towns at the time fire broke out in 1724/5, starting behind the Unicorn Inn near the Market Square.
Spreading along Castle Street on both sides it engulfed most of the houses on the north side of Well Street. The fire ruined 138 houses causing over 500 people to become homeless. A block of brick-built houses was erected at the end of Cow Fair housing people who could not rebuild their homes. It took a long time for the town to rebuild after this and there was an opportunity to lay out new streets which was not taken.
The status of county town had been lost to Aylesbury and in 1748 there was an attempt to win this back by holding the summer assizes in Buckingham. Lord Cobham had a new gaol built on Market Hill with thick stone walls reinforcing the idea that Buckingham was up to hosting this important county function. However, a new County Hall had recently been completed in Aylesbury with superior facilities for the judges and prisoners. Nonetheless, the summer assizes were held in Buckingham until 1849, with the gaol being extended in 1839 to accommodate the Superintendent of Buckingham police force, which was set up three years prior to this. But Aylesbury promoted its own Act of Parliament repealing Buckingham’s Act of 1748 and won back the assizes forever.
Buckingham is shown as a crossroads in Ogilby’s maps showing principal coaching roads, with the roads from London to Banbury and Oxford to Cambridge being important routes. The maps were available in the coaching inns and were sold to merchants and carriers and to the upper classes. The inns were needed for the growing number of travellers as the roads improved under the turnpike legislation. The Cobham Arms in West Street, the White Hart, the Swan and Castle and the George Inn (now the White House) all provided accommodation and the first three have entrances for coaches recognisable today.
In 1799 the Grand Junction Canal was opened, one of the most profitable canals of Britain. In 1801 the Buckingham branch was opened but did not have a dramatic effect on the economy of the town. It provided cheaper coal and better quality stone was imported for road surfacing; also Welsh slate replaced local tiles for roofing material and larger slates meant shallower pitched rooves were constructed.
It was not until 1850 that the branch railway line from Bletchley to Banbury reached Buckingham. The building of the railway line remodelled Prebend End. The line cut across the conduit from St Rumbold’s Well in Mitre Street, and Lenborough Road now had an embankment at their back instead of the river Ouse, as the river course was pushed northeast. The goods station was situated northwards on the Tingewick Road with a handsome red-brick villa for the Assistant Station Master. The arrival of the railway stimulated the building of Chandos Road with its Victorian houses, and at its end the handsome brick building of Castle Foundry, which is now part of the University of Buckingham. The railway also brought the fashionable yellow bricks to Buckingham, distinguishing the later Victorian villas (including those in Brackley Road). The "Shoe Factory" behind the east side of the Market Square, now modern flats, is built of those yellow bricks and also a block at the north of Castle Street. All we are left with today, however, is a disused line which provides a pleasant country walk.
At around this time the church was transformed having collapsed twice, once in 1698 and then again in 1776 and been rebuilt in the site on top of the Castle Hill. It was Gawcott-born architect George Gilbert Scott who reported that the foundations were inadequate in 1860 and prescribed the huge buttresses, which now support the outer walls. Inside the galleries were ripped out, the pulpit was moved and a chancel was added in 1865, paid for by the Duke of Buckingham. It transformed the church into the high gothic church we know today, with the tower that was erected in the late 1770s remaining the same, it’s elegant steeple being the chief landmark of the town.
The chantry chapel doubled as Henry VIII suppressed a school from around the time of 1540 and even after these chapels. It is thought to have continued as a school and is now maintained by the National Trust. In 1907 a new school was built on Chandos Road following the Education Act of 1902, this is now a primary school, the Royal Latin having moved to Brookfield in 1963. In 1935 another Secondary School was built on London Road, it aimed to teach 11-14 year-olds and with the raising of the school leaving age and the move towards comprehensive education plans were made for the two schools to merge in the 1970s. However, with the Conservative government elected in 1979 under Margaret Thatcher these plans were set aside. Margaret Thatcher was also a supporter of the independent Buckingham University, which opened in 1976.
Development in the 20th Century came mainly in the form of housing. Two pre-war developments of council housing are Bourtonville, which links to Bourton Road and the London Road and Addington Road linking the Maids Moreton Road and Stratford Road. Another is the small Westfields estate, which stands on the Tingewick Road as it rises out of the town. After 1945 the need for more council housing became apparent and Western Avenue was built to link the Brackley Road and Maids Moreton Road. By the 1970’s the traffic in the town centre had become dangerous and popular protest brought about the building of the southern ring road, linking the Bicester, Gawcott, Aylesbury, Bourton and Stony Stratford Roads and completed in 1979. This indeed took the pressure off the centre and encouraged developments leading onto the ring road. The Page Hill estate begun in 1970 was the first, then the large Badgers and Linden Village (Stratford Fields) estates. This development continues with the new estates such as Castle Meadow and Mount Pleasant. However, even with all this development Buckingham manages to reflect its history and retaining the old-world charm that preserves its identity as separate from that of the larger neighbouring towns.
Hunt, Julian, Buckingham A Pictorial History, 1994
Brooke, Pat, The Development and Growth of Buckingham, 1999