Buckingham High Street in 2009
Buckingham shown within Buckinghamshire
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
Buckingham is a town in north Buckinghamshire, England, close to the borders of Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire. The town has a population of 12,043 (United Kingdom Census 2011). Buckingham is also a civil parish designated as a town council.
Buckingham was declared the county town of Buckinghamshire in the 10th century when it was made the capital of the newly formed shire of Buckingham until Aylesbury took over this role early in the 18th century.
Buckingham has a variety of restaurants and pubs, typical of a small market town. It has a number of local shops, both national and independent. Market days are Tuesday and Saturday which take over Market Hill and the High Street cattle pens. Buckingham is twinned with Mouvaux, France.
In the 7th century, Buckingham, literally "meadow of Bucca's people" is said to have been founded by Bucca, the leader of the first Anglo Saxon settlers. The first settlement was located around the top of a loop in the River Great Ouse, presently the Hunter Street campus of the University of Buckingham. Between the 7th century and the 11th century, the town of Buckingham regularly changed hands between the Saxons and the Danes, in particular, in 914 King Edward the Elder and a Saxon army encamped in Buckingham for four weeks forcing local Danish Viking leaders to surrender. Subsequently a fort was constructed at the location of the present Buckingham parish church.
Buckingham is the first settlement referred to in the Buckinghamshire section of the Domesday Book of 1086. Buckingham was referred to as Buckingham with Bourton, and the survey makes reference to 26 burgesses, 11 smallholders and 1 mill.
The town received its charter in 1554 when Queen Mary created the free borough of Buckingham with boundaries extending from Thornborowe Bridge (now Thornborough) to Dudley Bridge and from Chackmore Bridge to Padbury Mill Bridge. The designated borough included a bailiff, twelve principal burgesses and a steward.
The town suffered from a significant fire that raged through the town centre on 15 March 1725, with the result that many of the main streets of the town were destroyed including Castle Street, Castle Hill and the north side of Market Hill. The result was 138 dwellings (out of a total of 387 in the town at that time) being consumed in the fire. The current fine range of Georgian architecture in these streets today is as a direct result of that fire, but the immediate aftermath was difficult for the town. Collections were made in surrounding towns such as Aylesbury and Wendover to help those made homeless and by 1730, only a third of the homes had been rebuilt.
The town is said to be the final resting place of St Rumbold (also known as Saint Rumwold), a little known Saxon saint and the grandson of Penda King of Mercia; the parish church at Strixton (Northamptonshire) is dedicated to him and the small northern town of Romaldkirk is also thought to be named after him. He was apparently born at King's Sutton, Northants, where he died just three days later. During his short life, he repeatedly professed his Christian faith and asked for baptism. He is now most often referred to as St Rumbold, the latter being the most common, as it can be found being used on a local road name and recent booklets about the subject.
The town is centred on the historic market place and contains many 18th century buildings. There are three main roads crossing Buckingham, namely the A413, the A421 (the southern bypass) and the A422. Capability Brown's historic formal garden design at Stowe (on the A422 westbound) is an important attraction in the care of the National Trust.
There is a medieval well known as St Rumbold's Well on the south side of the dismantled railway which borders the town. The well, which is now dry for much of the year, was positioned to exploit the spring line below the crest of a north facing slope overlooking the town.
Suburbs of Buckingham include Mount Pleasant, Page Hill, Bourton, Badgers, Linden Village, and Castle Fields. Maids Moreton, a village on the north eastern borders of the town has become contiguous with the Buckingham urban area. Nearby towns include Aylesbury, Winslow, Bicester, Brackley, Milton Keynes and Towcester. Local villages in the immediate vicinity include Padbury and Gawcott to the south, Chackmore to the north and Shalstone to the north west. It is also very near Stowe, the location of Stowe House, Stowe Landscape Gardens and Stowe School.
Bourton was a hamlet in the parish of Buckingham. The hamlet name is Anglo Saxon in origin, and means 'fortified enclosure'. It is now an integral part of the town of Buckingham, with a road and old mill named Bourton still visible to visitors.
Bourton was once the location of a great house that belonged to the Minshull family. In the English Civil War the house was plundered by Parliamentarian forces and goods to the value of £2,000 (a massive fortune in the day) were stolen. The house has long since disappeared.
Buckinghamshire operates the Tripartite System of state secondary education. The local state secondary schools are the Royal Latin School (a grammar school) and the Buckingham School (a secondary modern). Stowe School and Akeley Wood School, just outside the town, are independent schools. There are three primary schools, two community and one academy, serving different areas of the town: Buckingham Primary School, Grenville Combined School and Bourton Meadow.
Industry and business
The town is home to a number of industrial estates and technology parks housing high tech companies in the pharmaceutical, electronic, foods and composite materials fields, including Racelogic, Superchips and Wipac.
Most retail is located in the town centre with a number of independent stores. National chains are represented by shops such as Boots, Tesco, Waitrose and W H Smith. A number of banks have a presence in the town centre.
Buckingham is linked to Aylesbury by the 60 and Milton Keynes by the 32. An inter-city coach service known as the X5 links the town to Oxford and Cambridge. Some surrounding villages are connected to Buckingham by a market day bus.
Buckingham was served by the Buckingham Arm of the Grand Junction Canal from 1801 to 1932, and the canal was finally abandoned in 1964. The canal ran from Cosgrove, Northamptonshire to the centre of Buckingham to a wharf.
Buckingham had a railway station on the Banbury to Verney Junction Branch Line and ran from 1850 to 1964. The closest stations are currently Wolverton and Milton Keynes Central to the east and Bicester North and Bicester Town to the south west. The new East West rail link will have a stop at nearby Winslow, scheduled for 2017.
Leisure and wellbeing
There are two local football teams, a rugby union club including teams for women and young women and a cricket club. These are Buckingham Athletic F.C. based at Stratford Fields, Buckingham Town F.C. based at Ford Meadow, Buckingham Rugby Club based at Floyd Field, Maids Moreton and Buckingham Town Cricket Club based at Bourton Road. Moretonville Junior Football Club also has boys and girls teams from u7s - u16s.
The town has several public sports facilities including an indoor swimming pool, an all weather sports pitch, squash courts, tennis courts and bowls pitch. There are several private golf clubs in the vicinity of the town.
The Chandos Cinema was in operation from 1934 and closed in 1987, but in 2005 an independent community cinema opened in the university called the Film Place. Live music events are regularly held in the Radcliffe Centre.
A library is located in the town centre, operated by Buckinghamshire County Council.
The town's tourist attractions include the Chantry Chapel, the Buckingham Old Gaol museum, the Sir George Gilbert Scott St Peter & St Paul Church and a number of picturesque Georgian streetscapes. Nearby to Buckingham include Stowe School, Stowe Landscape Gardens and Silverstone Circuit.
Buckingham has a number of hotels including the Villiers Hotel and White Hart in the town centre, and Best Western Buckingham Hotel and Travelodge on the outskirts.
Buckingham is home to three GP surgeries and a Community Hospital. A minor injuries unit at the hospital was closed in 2009 and the nearest major hospital with an Accident & Emergency department is in Milton Keynes.
Places of worship
- John Bercow was elected Member of Parliament for Buckingham in 1997, and since 2009, Speaker of the House of Commons
- Gillian Blake (actress)
- Sir George Gilbert Scott (architect)
- Robert Maxwell Member of Parliament for Buckingham 1964 - 1970
- Craig Pickering (Athlete) attended the Royal Latin School
- David Pickering (writer)
- Browne Willis Member of Parliament for Buckingham 1705 - 1708
- Sam Baldock (footballer) attended the Royal Latin School
- George Baldock (footballer) attended the Royal Latin School
- Bernie Marsden (musician) lives in Buckingham.
- Wyndham Hazelton (cricketer)
Closest cities, towns and villages
||Brackley, Banbury||Maids Moreton, Towcester, Northampton||Stony Stratford, Newport Pagnell|
|Tingewick, Deddington||Thornborough, Milton Keynes|
|Bicester, Oxford||Padbury, Winslow, Aylesbury||Bletchley, Leighton Buzzard|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Buckingham.|
- Neighbourhood Statistics 2011 Census, Accessed 2 February 2013
- 'The borough of Buckingham' – Victoria History of the Counties of England: A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 3 (1925), pp. 471-489. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
- "A new County Hall, a red brick building with stone dressings, said to have been designed by Sir John Vanbrugh, at the south-east end of the Market Square [Aylesbury], was built about 1727' 'The borough of Aylesbury: Introduction and borough' – Victoria History of the Counties of England:A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 3 (1925), pp. 1-11. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
- "Buckingham then: The beginning to the Norman Conquest". University of Buckingham. Retrieved 30 August 2010.
- Morris, John (editor). Domesday Book 13: Buckinghamshire (translation). Phillimore, 1978
- 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica Buckingham
- M Vernon & D Bonner Buckingham A History of a Country Market Town (1984). Grillford Ltd
- Shirley, Rodney. "St Rumbold of Buckingham". The University of Buckingham. Retrieved 21 September 2006.
- "Milton Keynes here we come as new Aylesbury rail link wins government funding". Bucks Herald. 1 December 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- "Chandos Cinema". Cinema Treasures. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
- "Film director to appear at local cinema". Buckingham Today. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
- "Professional orchestra in Buckingham concert". Buckingham & Winslow Advertiser. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Buckingham|
- The Buckingham table - Raising funds for local charity
- Buckingham Town Council
- Buckingham Tourist Information Centre
- Buckingham what's on guide
- The Buckingham Society
- Buckingham - Mouvaux Twinning Association