Buckinghamshire, or Bucks, an inland county, bounded on the NW and N by Northamptonshire, on the NE by Beds, on the E by Beds and Herts, on the SE by Middlesex, on the S and SW by Berks, and on the W by Oxfordshire. It has an irregular outline, but forms on the whole a slender oblong, lying N and S. Its only natural boundaries are the river Thames, dividing it from Berks, and a few miles of other streams, dividing it from parts of other counties. Its greatest length is 53 miles; its greatest breadth, 27 miles; its mean breadth, about 18 miles; its circumference, 138 miles; and. its area, 475,694 acres. Its surface in the north is gently undulated, in the centre comprises the rich vale of Aylesbury, watered by the Thame, and in the south includes part of the Chiltern Hills, about 16 miles broad, with summits from 683 feet to 904 feet high. The chief rivers are the Thames, the Thame, the Ouse, the Colne, the Ousel, and the Wick. Lias rocks occupy a small tract on the NW border, adjacent to Brackley; oolites, successively lower, middle, and upper, occupy most of the county from the northern boundary to lines a little south of Stoke-Hammond and Aylesbury; cretaceous rocks, successively lower greensand, upper greensand, and chalk, the last much the broadest, occupy most of the county thence to the southern boundary; and rocks of the lower eocene occupy a tract on the southern border around Farnham. Fuller's earth on the eastern border, and some tolerable marble near Newport-Pagnell, are the chief useful minerals.
The soils include sandy, marly, and clayey spots, but principally range from rich loam to poor chalk. Little land is waste, and much is disposed in dairy pasture. Farms average about 200 acres, and, few exceed 400. Approved rotations are followed on most of the arable lands; and wheat, barley, oats, sainfoin, and beans are grown even on parts of the Chilterns. Commons of some extent are at Wickham, Iver, and Stoke, and heaths at Fulmor and Great Harwood. Beech and oak are the principal timber; and the former, called in Saxon "buccen," is said by some antiquarians to have given the name to the county. Woods are plentiful on the Chilterns, in Whadden-chase, and around Brill. Much butter and some cream-cheese and condensed milk are made for the London market; the cattle are chiefly Hereford and Yorkshire shorthorns, and the sheep, variously Dorsets for lambs, Southdowns for mutton, and mixed Gloucester and Leicester for wool. Berkshire hogs are reared numerously on the dairy farms, many calves also are fattened there for veal, and over £20,000 worth of ducks is sent annually to London.
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Archives and Libraries
For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.
List of Registration Districts in Buckinghamshire from 1837 to 1974.
Directories & Gazetteers
The Historical Directories web site have a number of directories relating to Buckinghamshire online for the period 1833-1915, including:
Kelly's, Pigot, Slater, Harrod.
A listing of the Hundreds in Buckinghamshire, with the parishes contained in them.
Land and Property
The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Buckinghamshire is available to browse.
Old map of Buckinghamshire circa 1895 (Gazetteer of England and Wales)
Old map of Buckinghamshire circa 1848 (Samuel Lewis)
Parishes and places
The towns and parishes have now been moved to a separate page.
The population of Buckinghamshire in 1831 was 130,982; in 1841, 138,246; in 1851, 143,655; in 1861, 167,993; in 1871, 175,879; in 1881, 176,323; in 1891, 185,284; in 1901, 197,046; and in 1911, 219,551.
The Visitation of Buckinghamshire, 1634 is online.