Buckingham High Street in 2009
Buckingham shown within Buckinghamshire
Population 11,572  OS grid reference Parish Buckingham District Aylesbury Vale Shire county Buckinghamshire Region South East Country England Sovereign state United Kingdom Post town BUCKINGHAM Postcode district MK18 Dialling code 01280 Police Thames Valley Fire Buckinghamshire Ambulance South Central EU Parliament South East England UK Parliament Buckingham List of places: UK • England • Buckinghamshire
Buckingham is a town situated in north Buckinghamshire, England, close to the borders of Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire. The town has a population of 11,572 (United Kingdom Census 2001), (2007 est. 13,200). Buckingham is also a civil parish designated as a town council.
Historically, Buckingham was the county town of Buckinghamshire, having been declared the county town 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 small 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 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 community, primary schools serving different areas of the town: Buckingham Primary School, Bourton Meadow School and Grenville Combined School.
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 Natco, Racelogic, Superchips, Vitalograph and Wipac.
Buckingham stands at the crossroads of the A413 (north-south), A421 and A422 (east-west) roads. The town was by-passed in the early 1980s by creating a new section of the A421 to the south.
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.
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 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.
Places of interest
- Buckingham Chantry Chapel (owned by the National Trust)
- Buckingham Old Gaol — museum and Tourist Information Centre
- Stowe School
- There is a Confluence point on the edge of the town (here), at exactly
Places of worship
- St Bernardine's Catholic Church, Buckingham 
- Buckingham Evangelical Church 
- St Peter and St Paul, Buckingham, Buckingham (Church of England)
- Salvation Army, Buckingham 
- Well Street United Church, Buckingham (Methodist, Baptist and United Reformed Church) 
- John Bercow was elected Member of Parliament for Buckingham in 1997, and since 2009, Speaker of the House of Commons
- Gillian Blake (actress)
- 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)
- Buckingham (borough)
- Buckingham (UK Parliament constituency)
- Duke of Buckingham
- Buckingham Palace
- Buckingham gave its name to Buckingham Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
- ^ Neighbourhood Statistics 2001 Census
- ^ 'The borough of Buckingham' – Victoria History of the Counties of England: A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 3 (1925), pp. 471-489. Date accessed: 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. Date accessed: 14 December 2010.
- ^ a b c d "Buckingham then: The beginning to the Norman Conquest". University of Buckingham. http://www.buckingham.ac.uk/life/buck/bucktown/begin.html. Retrieved 2010-08-30.
- ^ 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. http://www.buckingham.ac.uk/life/buck/bucktown/rumbold.html. Retrieved 2006-09-21.
- 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
Ceremonial county of Buckinghamshire Unitary authorities Boroughs or districts Major settlements Rivers Topics River Great Ouse, England Counties Flows into Towns
(upstream to downstream)
(upstream to downstream by confluence)
(upstream to downstream)
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