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Facts

BUCKINGHAMSHIRE

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FUN FACTS


Buckinghamshire is the 32nd largest county or metropolitan borough in England.
Buckinghamshire has the 30th highest population in England.
Buckinghamshire is in 23rd place for density of population.

  1. The Royal Connection
  2. We have two royal links to Buckinghamshire but there may be more. Brill Palace was a medieval royal residence that was used by Edward the Confessor and Henry II, who visited in 1160 and 1162. Henry III was there sometime in 1224 and then the palace passed to various noble owners. During the Civil War in 1642/3 a royal garrison held the palace. It is now in ruins.

    Meanwhile the unfortunate Prince Frederick, then Prince of Wales and son of George II, used Cliveden House as an escape from London after he fell out with his father. It was leased to him by the Countess of Orkney. He and his family lived there for many years as well as having homes in London and Kew. Frederick died in 1751 and the family gave up the lease of the house. It returned to the Countess of Orkney but in 1795 it burnt down. In 1824 it was sold to Sir George Warrender. He died in 1849 and the house was sold to the second Duke of Sutherland. Sadly shortly after he bought the house, it burned down again. The Duke had the place rebuilt and the present house was completed in 1851-2.

    By the way, Prince Frederick was a great cricket fan, essentially playing county cricket for Surrey although county cricket hadn't really begun. It was also at Cliveden, in honour of the 3rd birthday of Frederick's daughter Augusta, that the tune Rule Britannia, written by Thomas Arne, was first performed in public in the cliff-side amphitheatre.

    Not strictly royal, but the next down the list, Buckinghamshire is where you will find Chequers, the country home of whoever is the British Prime Minister. The 16th century manor house was gifted to the nation in 1921.

  3. Buckinghamshire Eats
  4. Stokenchurch is a small village in Buckinghamshire which has given its name to a special kind of pie. No one is quite sure how old the recipe is but, as it makes use of macaroni and we think that type of pasta was in use in the 15th century, that would be a good guess for its origins. It uses cooked eat as a main ingredient so it seems to be a way of making left over meat go further.

    The meat is cut into pieces or minced and mixed together with some cooked macaroni and some stock to make the mixture moist. This is then spread out over a layer of short crust pastry and on top of that you put a layer of sliced hard boiled egg. Add another layer of the meat and macaroni mixture and top with a second layer of pastry. Then bake it.

    Stokenchurch means church made from logs. It was also on the main coaching road between London and Oxford and so the pie may have been baked to serve to travellers when they passed through.

  5. Buckinghamshire VIPs
  6. Seven random people who were born in Buckinghamshire in the last 100 years:-
    Steve Redgrave (Multi Olympian), Terry Pratchett (Author), Leigh-Anne Pinnock (Singer with Little Mix), Prince Michael of Kent (Royal Family Member), Dominic Raab (Foreign Secretary as at 2020), Tim Rice (Lyricist worked with Andrew Lloyd Webber) and Nick Clegg (ex Politician)

  7. Now That's Weird
  8. In 1748 a network of man-made chalk caves and flint caverns were excavated near the village of West Wycombe in Buckinghamshire. The caves run into the hillside directly beneath St Lawrence's Church. The caves extend for a quarter of mile with individual chambers connected by long, narrow tunnels. One of these chambers, called the Banqueting Hall, is said to be the largest man-made chalk cavern in the world. The caves were used by a group of political and socially important people for meetings. No one really knows what went on at these meetings but they ended in 1766. The members were later known as the Hell Fire Club, hence these caves being known as the Hell Fire caves.. .A local legend claims that the caves are haunted by Sukie, a young maid who was accidentally killed by people playing a practical joke on her. During World War II, plans were made to use the caves as a large air-raid shelter if nearby towns were bombed. During the late 1940s and early 1950s the caves were renovated and turned into a local visitor attraction by the late Sir Francis Dashwood, who used the profit earned to refurbish the dilapidated West Wycombe Park.

  9. It Happened Here
  10. Bletchley Park is an English country house in Buckinghamshire. During World War II the estate housed the Government Code and Cypher School. The aim was to be able to intercept and decode messages being sent by the Germans. The most famous of many codes they broke was that of the enigma machine but the nature of the work done at Bletchley was secret until many years after the war ended. It was finally made public in the mid-1970s. Experts believe that the work done shortened the war by up to four years. The team also devised a machine called Colossus which was the world's first digital electronic computer. Bletchley Park is now open to the public and houses exhibits and rebuilt huts as they would have appeared during their wartime operations. The separate National Museum of Computing, which includes a rebuilt Colossus computer, is housed in Block H on the site.



  11. Richard Remembers
  12. County boundaries are not static. My father's mother and his sister, who not surprisingly were my grandmother and aunt, lived in Slough. Before I was six, and we sold our car, we would visit them quite often. Thinking about it I think I know why my father sold the car because on one such trip to Slough, in the rain, going uphill, I, who always sat in the front passenger seat, happened to mention my feet were getting very wet. Rainwater was coming in and spreading down around my feet. Anyhow Slough is now in Berkshire but the little village of Stoke Poges, which we had to drive through, is still in Buckinghamshire. I remember it because my parents told me that the village church there was famous as a man, called Thomas Gray, had, in about 1750, written a poem there which was called an elegy in a country churchyard. I have never read the poem (perhaps you might like to do so) but I did have to look up what an elegy was (and perhaps you can do that too).

  13. Owlbut's Birdwatch
  14. The Red Kite can often be seen in the Buckinghamshire countryside. It is a bird of prey, like me, and will usually feed on worms or carrion. Carrion is the dead, decaying flesh of another animal. However that animal must have been killed in some way other than by the bird eating it. If you see dead birds along the road, these are carrion and other birds may feed off them. Red Kites might also feed on small mammals if I, and my family, haven't got there first.

    The Red Kite has a reddish-brown body, angled wings and a forked tail. At one stage it was thought they would become extinct but there are now believed to be about 4,000 breeding pairs in the UK. They weigh between 800 to 1,300 kg, have a wingspan of around 185cm and can be up to 66cm long. Their feathers are multi-coloured with red, orange, white, grey, brown and black and they have yellow legs and a black and yellow hooked beak. I have seen them when driving along both the M4 and the M40. Look out for them but they also live in woodland and farmland and suburban areas.

We have asked the local Tourist Board(s) for a small contribution (50 pounds) to the cost of running this project and, in anticipation of their agreement, we are providing a link to their site(s) for the next five years. I can assure you we won't see anywhere near everything when we are there, so, if you fancy taking a trip into Buckinghamshire check it (them) out for some great information. Apart from anything else it will get you out in the fresh air, walking around and one day you might be over 70 and still enthusiastically mobile.

All figures the latest available as at July 2020