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Wotton Underwood is a village and civil parish in the Aylesbury Vale District of Buckinghamshire, about 7 miles (11 km) north of Thame in neighbouring Oxfordshire.

Wotton Underwood
All Saints, Wotton Underwood, Bucks - - 333342.jpg
All Saints' parish church
Wotton Underwood is located in Buckinghamshire
Wotton Underwood
Wotton Underwood
Location within Buckinghamshire
Area1.053 km2 (0.407 sq mi)
Population119 (2011 Census)[1]
• Density113/km2 (290/sq mi)
OS grid referenceSP6816
Civil parish
  • Wotton Underwood
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townAylesbury
Postcode districtHP18
PoliceThames Valley
AmbulanceSouth Central
EU ParliamentSouth East England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°50′16″N 1°00′09″W / 51.8378°N 1.0024°W / 51.8378; -1.0024Coordinates: 51°50′16″N 1°00′09″W / 51.8378°N 1.0024°W / 51.8378; -1.0024

The toponym is derived from the Old English for "farm near a wood". It is recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of AD 848 as Wudotun and in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Oltone. The affix "Underwood" was added later to distinguish the village from other places also called Wotton. The affix means "near the wood" and refers to the village's nearness to the ancient Bernwood Forest.[2]

The present manor house in the village, Wotton House, dates from the early eighteenth century but has been much altered since, notably by John Soane in the 1820s. The former stables, now called South Pavilion, was the former home of actor John Gielgud; it was bought by Tony and Cherie Blair for £4m, in 2008.[3]



The Brill Tramway, originally known as the Wotton Tramway and, from 1899, part of the Metropolitan Railway, which served the area, had a station named Wotton which closed in 1935 with the rest of the line.[4]

The Great Central Railway built a line from Grendon Underwood to Princes Risborough, and upon that opened a station at Wotton in 1906; this closed in 1953.[5]


The parish is on a mid-height escarpment of the outer Chiltern Hills and has an irregular shape generally bounded by headwaters. It includes a southern thin projection skirting Ashendon. Two streams rise just outside the area and flow into the south-centre from west and east and then flow north. Its relatively small area and low population itself was reduced by an enclosure act - see Wotton House. In 1821 its population reached 344 residents, which has not been exceeded since.[6] Otherwise bereft of woods and lakes, the west part has two lakes and the Warrens, an area of woodland laid out by Wooton House. The number of houses fell from 73 in 1951 to 42 ten years later.[7]

Notable residentsEdit


  1. ^ Neighbourhood Statistics 2011 Census, Accessed 3 February 2013
  2. ^ Seen as Wotton Under Bernewode, in 1377; Plea Rolls of the Court of Common Pleas; CP 40/466; Edward III; 1377; last entry on image:
  3. ^ Jones, Sam (5 May 2008). "Blairs pay £4m for Gielgud's former home". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-05-06.
  4. ^ Mitchell, Vic; Smith, Keith (November 2006). "Historical Background". Aylesbury to Rugby. Midland Main Lines. Midhurst: Middleton Press. ISBN 1-904474-91-8.
  5. ^ Mitchell, Vic; Smith, Keith (November 2006). "figs. 61,62". Aylesbury to Rugby.
  6. ^ "A Vision of Britain" Units and statistics collated by the Universidty of Portsmouth and others. Retrieved 2016-09-04
  7. ^ "A Vision of Britain" Units and statistics collated by the Universidty of Portsmouth and others. Retrieved 2016-09-04
  8. ^ Swaine, Jon (3 April 2010). "Tony Blair 'has blighted Buckinghamshire village'". Telegraph. London: Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 3 April 2010.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

  Media related to Wotton Underwood at Wikimedia Commons