Great Missenden

Great Missenden

Coordinates: 51°42′14″N 0°42′29″W / 51.704°N 0.708°W / 51.704; -0.708

Great Missenden
Great Missenden is located in Buckinghamshire
Great Missenden

 Great Missenden shown within Buckinghamshire
Population 9,946 (civil parish, 2001 Census)[1]
OS grid reference SP8901
    - London  38 miles (61 km) 
Parish Great Missenden
District Chiltern
Shire county Buckinghamshire
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Great Missenden
Postcode district HP16
Dialling code 01494
Police Thames Valley
Fire Buckinghamshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Chesham and Amersham
Website Great Missenden Parish Council
List of places: UK • England • Buckinghamshire

Great Missenden is a large village in the Misbourne Valley in the Chiltern Hills in Buckinghamshire, England, situated between the towns of Amersham and Wendover. It closely adjoins the villages of Little Missenden and Prestwood. The narrow High Street is bypassed by the main A413 London to Aylesbury Road. The source of the Misbourne is to be found just north of the village, although the upper reach of the river runs only in winter and the perennial head is in Little Missenden. The village is now best known as home to the late Roald Dahl, the internationally famous children's author.[2]

Great Missenden lay on a major route between the Midlands and London and several coaching inns, particularly the Red Lion (now an estate agency) and The George (which still exists) provided rest and refreshment for travellers and their horses. The first railway line in the area was, however, routed alongside the Grand Union Canal to the east. Once the coaches stopped running Great Missenden declined in importance and prosperity, becoming an agricultural village. Following the arrival of the Metropolitan Railway, (later the London Underground Metropolitan Line) in 1892, Great Missenden became a commuter village for London with writers, entertainers and even Prime Ministers among the passengers. Great Missenden railway station is now on the Chiltern Railways line and offers services running into London Marylebone.

The village is overlooked by the medieval parish church of St. Peter and St. Paul. Its position away from the village suggests an earlier settlement round the church with a move to its present location in the early Middle Ages. In the twelfth century Great Missenden was granted a charter allowing it to hold an annual Fair in August. Missenden Abbey, founded in 1133 as an Augustinian monastery, was ruined following the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and the remains were incorporated into a Georgian mansion which is now a conference centre.

Gipsy House in Great Missenden was the home of author Roald Dahl from 1954 until his death in 1990,[2] and many local scenes and characters are reflected in his work. Dahl is buried at St. Peter and St. Paul's Church and children still leave toys and flowers at his grave. In June 2005 the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre opened in Great Missenden to honour the work of Dahl.[3][4] Great Missenden was also temporarily home to Robert Louis Stevenson, the writer of famous works such as Treasure Island and the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. It is currently home to actor Geoffrey Palmer, and his wife Sally. Model turned cookery show presenter Sophie Dahl (granddaughter of Roald Dahl) and her husband jazz musician Jamie Cullum have also bought a property in the village.

The village is home to the Gateway School, Great Missenden Church of England Combined School and The Misbourne secondary school.

During 1980, Hammer Film Productions filmed a small series of horror films for television, many of them filmed in and around Great Missenden. Of note is the episode Rude Awakening starring Denholm Elliott who plays an Estate Agent trapped in a recurring nightmare. The location of the premises used as the Estage Agent's office is located on the corner of Station Approach and High St. in the centre of the village. Nowdays the property is a Gentlemen's Hairdresser.



Great Missenden compared
2001 UK Census Great Missenden ward Chiltern borough England
Population 2,192 89,228 49,138,831
Foreign born 9.4% 9.3% 9.2%
White 98.1% 95.5% 90.9%
Asian 0.5% 2.8% 4.6%
Black 0.5% 0.3% 2.3%
Christian 77.7% 74.7% 71.7%
Muslim 0.1% 1.9% 3.1%
Hindu 0.2% 0.5% 1.1%
No religion 14.2% 15% 14.6%
Unemployed 1.9% 1.7% 3.3%
Retired 19% 14.6% 13.5%

As of the 2001 UK census, the Great Missenden electoral ward had a population of 2,192. The ethnicity was 98.1% white, 0.7% mixed race, 0.5% Asian, 0.5% black and 0.2% other. The place of birth of residents was 90.6% United Kingdom, 1.5% Republic of Ireland, 2.8% other Western European countries, and 5.1% elsewhere. Religion was recorded as 77.7% Christian, 0% Buddhist, 0.2% Hindu, 0.1% Sikh, 0% Jewish, and 0.1% Muslim. 14.2% were recorded as having no religion, 0.3% had an alternative religion and 7.4% did not state their religion.[5]

The economic activity of residents aged 16–74 was 35.7% in full-time employment, 11.3% in part-time employment, 14.9% self-employed, 1.9% unemployed, 1.9% students with jobs, 3.8% students without jobs, 19% retired, 8% looking after home or family, 2% permanently sick or disabled and 1.6% economically inactive for other reasons. The industry of employment of residents was 13.3% retail, 11.6% manufacturing, 5.5% construction, 24.1% real estate, 9.7% health and social work, 8.8% education, 4.7% transport and communications, 3.6% public administration, 4.2% hotels and restaurants, 4.3% finance, 1.9% agriculture and 8.3% other. Compared with national figures, the ward had a relatively high proportion of workers in agriculture and real estate. There were a relatively low proportion in public administration, transport and communications. Of the ward's residents aged 16–74, 35.8% had a higher education qualification or the equivalent, compared with 19.9% nationwide.[5]


Places in Great Missenden parish include

  • Ballinger, located to the north east of Great Missenden, between Lee Common and Ballinger Common
  • Ballinger Bottom, located to the north east of Great Missenden, near South Heath
  • Ballinger Common, located to the north east of Great Missenden, near Ballinger
  • Bryant's Bottom, located to the west of Prestwood, near Speen
  • Frith-hill, located to the east of Great Missenden, on the road to Chesham
  • Heath End, located near the border with Hughenden parish, near Great Kingshill
  • Hotley Bottom, located to the north of Prestwood
  • Hyde End, located between South Heath and Hyde Heath
  • Hyde Heath, located near Little Missenden
  • Little Wood Corner, located to the south of South Heath
  • Mobwell, located in Great Missenden itself
  • Prestwood, a large village to the west of Great Missenden
  • South Heath, located to the north east of Great Missenden


External links

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