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Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire

Historical Description

Beaconsfield, a small town and a parish in Bucks. The town stands on a high plateau, 3 miles NE of Wooburn-Green station on the G.W.R., and 5½ S by W of Amersham. It has a post, money order, and telegraph office, and is a seat of petty sessions. It is governed by a local board of nine members, formed in 1850 under the Public Health Act of 1848. It consists of four streets, commonly called ends, which meet in the centre in a spacious market-place. The church, which is in the Perpendicular style, is built of flint and squared stones; comprises nave, chancel, and side aisles, with a western tower; belonged to an Augustinian monastery founded at Burnham in 1165 by Richard, Earl of Cornwall; and contains the remains of Edmund Burke, whose seat, afterwards destroyed by fire, was in the parish; and a marble monument to the poet Waller, who owned the manor, is in the churchyard. The church was restored in 1869, and the south porch erected in 1886. There are also Congregational and Primitive Methodist chapels. A weekly market was formerly held here. This is now extinct, but fairs are held on 13 Feb. and 10 May. The parish includes also part of Coleshill hamlet. Acreage, 4504; population, 1773. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Oxford; net value, £300 with residence. Patron, Magdalen College, Oxford. Beaconsfield gave the title of Viscountess (1868) to Mary Anne, wife of the Right Hon. Benjamin Disraeli, and of Earl (1876) to that illustrious statesman himself, who was also Viscount Hughenden. By his death, 19 April, 1881, both titles became extinct. Hall Barn, the ancient seat of the Wallers, now belonging to the Lawson family, Witton Park, the seat of the Dupre family, and Butler's Court, of the Grenfell family, are in the neighbourhood.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5

Administration

The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyBuckinghamshire 
Ecclesiastical parishBeaconsfield All Saints 
HundredBurnham 
Poor Law unionAmersham 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.


Church Records

The parish register dates from the year 1631


Churches

Church of England

St. Mary and All Saints (parish church)

The parish church of St. Mary and All Saints is an edifice of flint with Bath stone dressings in the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel with aisles, clerestoried nave of five bays, aisles, north and south porches, vestry, and an embattled western tower with pinnacles and turret, containing a clock and 8 bells: the tower and two arches in the nave date from the 15th century: the north porch was erected in 1872 to James and Madelina Du Pre, of Wilton Park, by their son: on the south wall of the nave is a tablet to Edmund Burke, the distinguished statesman, who lived at Butler's Court, formerly Gregories, in this parish 1769-97, and died here, 9th July, 1797, to his wife and Richard, his son: on 9th July, 1898, another memorial, erected to him and including a portrait in relief, was unveiled by the Earl of Rosebery, and on his grave is a brass: there is also a slab, with incised effigies, to Thomas Waller, 1626, and Dorothy, his wife, and on the north wall a memorial to Robert Lee, 1572: the stone pulpit was presented in memory of John and Catherine Eliza Charsley by their children. In the chancel is a very fine altar-tomb of the late 15th century, and another one of the early 16th century bearing the arms of Bulstrode: in the north aisle is a fine iron chest of the 17th century. The panels of the pulpit were carved by Miss Matilda Charsley, one of their daughters. The font was presented by Edmund Waller. The stained east window and others are memorials: there are tablets on the north wall to Field Marshal Lord Grenfell, and the second Lady Grenfell, and two on the south wall to nephews of Viscount Burnham: the church was restored in 1869;. the south porch was erected in 1886, in memory of the Rev. Samuel James Bowles M.A. rector 1867-85: there are 450 sittings: in the churchyard is a marble sarcophagus, with four urns and a pyramid in the centre, to Edmund Waller, the poet, who lived at Hall Barn and died here 21st October, 1687.


Civil Registration

Beaconsfield was in Amersham Registration District from 1837 to 1974


Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Beaconsfield from the following:


Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Buckinghamshire is available to browse.


Maps

Online maps of Beaconsfield are available from a number of sites:


Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Buckinghamshire papers online:


Visitations Heraldic

A full transcript of the Visitation of Buckinghamshire, 1634 is online

DistrictSouth Bucks
CountyBuckinghamshire
RegionSouth East
CountryEngland
Postal districtHP9
Post TownBeaconsfield