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About West Wycombe

 

West Wycombe dates back to the bronze age, more information can be found on our West Wycombe History page.

 

In 1929 West Wycombe village was put up for sale by the Dashwood family to raise cash following that year's Wall Street Crash. It was bought in its entirety by the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (better known as the Royal Society of Arts, or simply the RSA) as part of the Society's "Campaign for the Preservation of Ancient Cottages".

In 1934, after extensive repairs, the Society handed the property over to the National Trust. The National Trust markets this property under the name 'West Wycombe Village and Hill'. The property features many buildings of architectural value which were built between the 16th and 18th centuries.

Between 1862 and 1958 the village was served by West Wycombe Railway Station, to the east of the village, on the Chiltern Main Line between London and Birmingham.

During this time, Sir John Dashwood (1896 - 1966), obviously needing to raise funds, let out some of the rooms in West Wycombe House as "Apartments". Not much is known about the enterprise except for this leaflet which has recently come to light.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s the caves underwent extensive repairs under the auspices of the Dashwood family and turned into a tourist attraction. The profit earned was used to renovate the dilapidated West Wycombe Park. The caves continue to thrive as a popular tourist attraction today and have received over 2 million visitors since their reopening in 1951.

In 1953 a programme of events was organised for the whole Parish to celebrate the Coronation. Under the Chairmanship of Sir Francis Dashwood, a committee, which included Lt. Col L.K.Watson MBE who was in charge of "festivities", organised a week long programme of activities.

[We are grateful to Cathy Rance for kindly donating the Coronation Programme.]

It should be noted in the programme that it was hoped sufficient funds would be raised to start to build the Village Hall.

The village, West Wycombe Park and St Lawrence Church have been used as a location for many films and television programmes, most notably, Downton Abbey, Taboo, Foyles War, Cranford, Endeavour, The Crown, Belgravia, A Clockwork Orange, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Duchess, X-Men and Fast and Furious: Hobbs & Shaw, A full list of productions can be found on the Imdb website.

The parish has a village school, a pre-school, a community library, a village hall, a small meeting room owned by the church, a Post Office and general store, a butchers, three public houses, three churches (3 religious denominations), allotments, a civil burial ground, a furniture restoration company, two garages, a petrol station, an architects office, an accountant's, a furniture/interior accessories/coffee shop and other office based companies.

West Wycombe is of course famous for the "Hell-Fire Caves" and the Mausoleum owned by Sir Edward Dashwood, who also runs corporate events in the West Wycombe Park and sells fishing and shooting rights. The farmland is now rented out to separate farmers. There are many active groups in the Parish which can be located in our 'Directories' section and in addition there is a committee of local people who organise outings and social events for the senior citizens. 

Every year thousands of people wander through West Wycombe Village. With three pubs, three churches, a Mauseleum, the Hell-Fire Caves and West Wycombe Park there's plenty to see.

Use our Google Map to navigate to and around the village or if walking's your thing you can print our Footpaths Map

Being located on the A40 between High Wycombe (M40 J4) and Stokenchurch (M40 J5) is very accessible. Up until the 1960's West Wycombe was served by its own railway station which was located on the A40 West Wycombe Road opposite "Copperfields". The nearest station now is some three miles east in High Wycombe and you can download a timetable at Chiltern Railways. There are several bus services which serve West Wycombe and their timetables are regularly updated by Buckinghamshire Council.

 

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Copyright © 2019-2020 Mike Henson and West Wycombe Parish Council

Carousel and Banner Photographs Courtesy Hugh Mothersole - National Trust Volunteer Photographer, London and South East