Ridge and furrow heartland around Buckingham reveals a rich local history.
Originally the town nestled in the natural loop of the Great River Ouse, but developed past this boundary and is now the thriving town you see today.
The County town of Buckinghamshire from the 10th century, Buckingham prospered as a medieval market town, with charters from Mary Tudor in 1554, and Charles II in 1684, establishing market days and two annual fairs, which still take place today.
In the early 18th century Buckingham was in decline and following a disastrous fire, much of its centre had to be rebuilt. In spite of the coming of the canal and the railway, Buckingham was little altered until well into the 20th century. Today, it retains much of its traditional market town charm.
Buckingham has many interesting and historical buildings and features, though only two of the main buildings are open to visitors to look at internally – The Old Gaol and The Chantry Chapel.
In the Domesday Survey Buckingham appears as county town at the head of the Buckinghamshire section. The Manor of Buckingham is recorded as being held by Walter Giffard, whose family continued to hold it until the reign of Henry VIII.
Around 1521, the term ‘manor’ in relation to Buckingham dropped out of use and instead the lordship of Buckingham was referred to as the ‘borough’. The borough was then incorporated by the charter of Mary I in 1554, under which the borough was to be governed by a bailiff and 12 principal burgesses.
Following The Municipal Corporations Act 1835, Buckingham became a municipal borough and the bailiff and burgesses were replaced by a Mayor, Aldermen and Councillors.
However in 1974, as part of local government reorganisations the borough was dismantled, as the two major authorities Buckinghamshire County Council and Aylesbury Vale District Council had become established. The town was carved up and a lot of the assets previously owned by the Borough Council were sold, which included the Town Hall that dominates the town on the junction of Bridge Street and West Street, known as Cannon Corner.
Then in 1974, Buckingham Town Council was formed due to the need to deliver services to residents at a local level.