Fun Fact Friday: Buckingham Castle

St. Peter and St. Paul’s Parish Church stands at the centre of the oldest part of Buckingham and has a long detailed history. But why is it positioned just off Castle Street?

The name Castle Street is a hint to the original use of the hill the Church stands on. In around 914, King Edward built a wooden medieval castle. King Edward was very successful in his conquests which meant the castle wasn’t used much. William the Conqueror then gave the castle to Walter Gifford in 1086 and it was rebuilt, but by 1305, it had been abandoned once again. and the Castle continued to be poorly maintained and by the end of the 16th century only ruins remained. John Speed’s 1610 map of Buckingham shows clear evidence of a church at the old churchyard site but nothing notable on Castle Hill. Even the ruins have now been dispersed. Look carefully at the oldest houses in the neighbouring streets and you might notice suspiciously large stones in their construction – likely to have been taken from the ruins and used to build the houses. Local records tell us that the site was being used as a bowling green for many years in the 18th century, and was a popular leisure spot

The old church was precarious and falling down, after an act of parliament in 1777, it was agreed that a new church should to be built within the town and parish of Buckingham. Castle Hill was chosen as a suitable site.

The Earl Temple of Stowe helped to fund the construction of the new church which costed thousands of pounds but in return for his financial efforts, he was given materials from the previous medieval church to help with the build of the new one. The new church was designed in a Georgian style and had many gothic elements to it but was still very simple by having just two elements, the tower and the nave.

In 1860, cracks started to form in the walls of the nave which caused huge concern over the stability of the Georgian church so, local architect Sir George Gilbert Scott was enlisted to assist in the examination of the structure and potential rebuild of the church. Fortunately, Sir Gilbert Scott was able to make relevant repairs to the church and also added some nicer features such as buttresses and a porch.

Fast forward to the 20th century and the church is much the same with only small changes and minor repairs since.

Littering Poster Competition

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Stop Littering’ Poster Competition

Buckingham Town Council asked students from Bourton Meadow Academy to design posters to encourage members of the public to stop littering and encourage recycling at home. A huge total of 85 fantastic entries were received and the eight winners (with difficulty) were chosen by the Town Clerk, Paul Hodson. All of the winners received a Green Buckingham branded water bottle kindly funded by Buckinghamshire Council’s Recycle for Buckinghamshire and their posters are displayed in noticeboards around the Town Centre and Parks.

A spokesperson from the Town Council said: “We received so many amazing entries that were both eye caching and informative.  Our town centre and parks noticeboards are going to look a lot brighter with the winning entries in place. We were very impressed with the children’s knowledge of environmental issues and passion to help keep Buckingham clean and tidy. In fact, the children’s hard work has inspired us to launch a new community initiative called the #QuickLitterPick for Bourton Park where visitors can access litter picking equipment (with a secret code for the padlock!) and conduct their own two-minute litter pick. We’re going to roll out this new and exciting project over the next few weeks, so keep your eyes peeled and prepare to become Buckingham’s #LitterHeros!!”

School Children brandishing water bottles

A huge thank you to all the teaching staff for their support. The work carried out with schools is very important in supporting our younger community to become engaged with global and local environmental issues.

 

Winning Entries

Evie

Jo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Millie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ben

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diya

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Elephant Story

The following information is based on a local newspaper article written by local historian Ed Grimsdale, the original article is no longer available online.

Buckingham has a rich history and while much of its past is familiar to residents, one story you might not know is that of an elephant and some big leather boots!

This story starts with Bostock and Wombwell’s Circus arriving in Buckingham in the early 1900s. They were a regular attraction to Buckingham bringing along performing animals. Jerome Tronson, an employee of the circus, would arrive in town weeks before the circus accompanied by his ticket man, Arthur to ensure that everything was ready for when it arrived.

Shortly after they came to Buckingham in 1915, they set up in Buckingham’s Whale Pub (now Binns Smokehouse) and Arthur set up signs outside the town hall, and was selling lots of tickets.

The Whale was a great location for the men to set up their pitches because they were opposite Marshall and Herring, some extraordinary saddlers! The reason the saddlers were so important to the circus was that they made leather boots for the elephant’s feet to ensure they didn’t get hurt or infected whilst hauling the circus equipment on long journeys between towns. Fast forward to today and this site is now Buckingham Tea Rooms.

Unfortunately, even after a good start securing residents to come to the circus, the men’s luck began to run out. Jerome sadly fell ill with tuberculosis (TB) resulting in him passing away in his sleep.  Arthur had noticed him having a very bad and persistent cough before he died, a sign of the disease.

With little time left before the circus was due to arrive, one of the four elephants that were coming needed new shoes. However, because Jerome was so unwell before he died, he forgot to order new ones. The elephant had to continue its journey without new shoes, and eventually had to be put down.

What happened after? Well, Jerome Tronson’s boss Mr Bostock had him buried on the eastern side of Brackley Road cemetery in Buckingham. You might have spotted the elaborate headstone which names Bostock and Wombwell circus. As for the elephant, Mr Grimsdale tell us that legend has it that the elephant’s ghost still wanders around Buckingham’s bull-ring.

New cemetery and allotments

Buckingham Town Council recently decided to immediately buy the land required for the Cemetery and allotments, to be constructed next to Tingewick Road. The site was included in the town’s Neighbourhood Development Plan, which was agreed with overwhelming support in 2015. The immediate purchase has been made possible by the savings made while services were reduced during 2020/21. A tender is being issued by the Council for design work for the new cemetery; it is hoped that detailed designs will be available for public consultation later this year. Outline planning permission for the site was granted in 2020. Necessary works will include installing the necessary drainage, roadway, parking and building to accommodate the necessary equipment.

Happy Earth Day 2021

Today (April 22nd) is Earth Day, an international event celebrated around the world to pledge support for environmental protection. The year 2021 marks the 51st anniversary of the annual celebrations. This year’s theme for Earth Day is ‘Restore our Earth’.

There are lots of ways to support or get involved. This could involve anything from litter picking to planting new trees. In support of Earth Day this year we have created some colouring sheets for young children to enjoy. Please show us their masterpieces for a chance to win a reusable water bottle. If your child wants to design their own, we would love to see it, please email it to: office@buckinghamtc.gov.uk

Earth Day Poster

The idea behind Earth Day first originated amoung the people fighting the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill. It was a shocking disaster and to help prevent future cases, Earth Day was created.

The first Earth Day, held in 1970 saw millions of people around the world wanting to make a stand for environmental change. Since then, Earth Day has gone from strength to strength. Visit the Earth Day website to learn about environmental issues and find out how you can help.

 

Buckingham Town Council Elections

The results of the elections for three out of four of Buckingham Town Council’s wards have been announced, as these wards did not receive more nominations than the number of seats.  The following Councillors will be able to take up office from 11th May:

Buckingham South ward

HARVEY, Jon Simon

HETHERINGTON, Sue

MAHI, Andy

O`DONOGHUE, Lisa Karen

OSIBOGUN, Ade

RALPH, Anthony

STUCHBURY, Robin

Fishers Field ward

COLLINS, Geraldine Elizabeth

Highlands & Watchcroft ward

GATELEY, Margaret

Buckingham North ward

There will be an election for the remaining ward, Buckingham North on 6th May, where seven councillors will be chosen from the following nine candidates:

AHMED, Robina

COLE, Mark Farquhar

MORDUE, Howard James

NEWELL, Ruth Dorothy

PRING, Steve

SCHAEFER, Anja

TRY, Martin Paul

WHYTE, Warren Michael

WILLETT, Ryan John William

 

For full details on the elections, visit the Buckinghamshire Council website.

 

A message of condolence from the Mayor of Buckingham on behalf of Buckingham

It is with great sadness that Buckingham Town Council learns of the death of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

On behalf of the people of Buckingham, the Town Council would like to express their deep condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and all the members of the Royal Family.

Prince Philip served our country throughout his life. During the Second World war he was a Royal Navy officer serving in the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. He was mentioned in dispatches for his bravery during the battle of Cape Matapan.

Many people do not realise that Prince Philip was a passionate environmentalist. In 1961 he became president of the British National Appeal, one of many national organisations that became the World Wildlife Fund, an organisation which appointed him President Emeritus.

A desire to support young people led to the formation of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme in the 1950s, a programme that thousands of young people still take part in every year, earning awards through volunteering and achieving personal challenges.

Some residents may remember that Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II visited Buckingham in 1966, travelling by train to Buckingham Station and meeting with the then Mayor of Buckingham, Alderman T. Lambourne. Images of the couple smiling in the train carriage were printed in the local paper and it is with these images in mind that we remember Prince Philip.

In order to mark the passing of Prince Philip, flags have been lowered to half-mast.

As we receive further information from Buckingham Palace regarding books of condolence and charitable donations we will pass this information on to residents.

HRH Prince Philip in uniform.

Buckingham remembers HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Buckingham marks the passing of HRH Prince Philip

It is with great sadness that Buckingham Town Council mourns the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

In order to mark the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh, flags will be flown at half mast across the town until the day after the funeral.

We know that some members of our community may want to leave a personal message or consider a gift of flowers or donations.

During the current public health situation, the Royal Family ask that flowers are not laid, instead they ask that you consider making a donation to a charity instead of leaving floral tributes in memory of The Duke.

If you would like to leave a personal message of condolence, this can be done through the Royal Family's online Book of Condolence

The funeral will be on Saturday 17th April, with live broadcasts on television and radio. There will be a minute's silence at 3pm. The Royal Family have asked that no one travels to watch the funeral in person due to Coronavirus restrictions.

Please be reassured that once Coronavirus restrictions are lifted and it is safe to do so there will be opportunities to come together to reflect.

 

Fun Fact Friday: Interesting Houses in Buckingham

Manor House

Manor House is one of the oldest houses in Buckingham. It was built back in the early Tudor times nearly 500 years ago. This house is unique for many reasons but the main reason is because of its twisted brick chimney, one that’s always appreciated by residents and tourists. See if you can spot it from the side of the house.

At the front of the house, there is a plaque dedicated to St Rumbold who is the baby saint of Buckingham. St Rumbold was born c.650 AD and only lived for three days however, during this short period, he performed many miracles for lots of people. His tomb and shrine are marked by a memorial plaque that can be found in the Churchyard opposite. St Rumbold’s well is sited near the new St Rumbold’s fields development, but is currently surrounded by hoarding to protect it during building work.

Coach House

This cottage is located at the end of Castle Street, just before the gates of St. Peter and St. Paul’s Parish Church. This house hasn’t always looked like this, it was extended in 1875 by Edward Swinfen Harris and as you can see from the picture, the overall design that he chose for the extension included sgraffito panels decorated with sunflowers; a very pretty and modern design!

What is Sgraffito? Sgraffito is the Italian word for decorating by scratching through surface layers to reveal a lower layer.

Prebend House

Prebend House made its first appearance in John Speed’s map of 1610 and it is also possible that some of the interiors date back from that time.

Like other houses on Hunter Street this house was probably occupied by a tanner. The Speed map shows tanning pits in the garden between the house and the river. What is a tanner? A tanner is someone who would convert animal skin into leather by using a chemical process to ensure it wouldn’t decay.

Prebend house is now part of The University of Buckingham who discovered that : ‘In the late 19th century and early 20th century Mr Rogers, a well-known figure in the town and several times Mayor occupied Prebend House. He was an agricultural merchant who brought many of the other buildings along Hunter Street and was known nationally as a breeder of champion shire horses.’

In 2010 the University commissioned builders to start restoring Prebend House. This happened in two parts, stabilising the building and making it safe and then restoring the interior with the aid of a £1 million donation from Lord Tanlaw.

Castle House

Castle House is one of the grandest and most interesting houses in Buckingham. It has 15th-century origins and was built by William and Mary Lambert during the reign of James 1st.

It was owned by Barton Senior in 1431, but the side facing the road is newer, dating back to 1708. Even though some renovations have been made over time, the west side remains the oldest surviving part of the building.

Mysterious Britain feature the listed building on their website, and it’s many royal visitors. ‘There would have been many notable visitors to Castle House, including King Charles I who held a Council of War here and Catharine of Aragon who was serving as Regent whilst her husband Henry VIII was campaigning in France in 1513.’

But Castle House hasn’t only been a house! Between 1963 and 1974 Castle House was used as the offices of Buckingham Borough Council, with its gardens being a popular lunch spot amongst residents. It then got passed to private owners after the Borough Council became part of Aylesbury Vale District Council, which is now entirely different since becoming the present unitary council, Buckinghamshire Council on 1st April 2020.

If you want to learn more about these places or see them in person yourself, try out Buxplore. All these locations can be found on the Heritage for Kids or History trails inside the app.

Fun Fact Friday: Coronation Celebrations

George V coronation took place at Westminster Abbey on 22 June 1911 and was celebrated by the Festival of Empire in London. George V was proclaimed King George V following his father, Prince Albert Edward’s death on 6 May 1910. Throughout London and the rest of England, people celebrated his coronation by throwing parties in their local area. In Buckingham, residents celebrated the coronation of George V on the grounds of St. Peter and St. Pauls Parish Church.

On the day of George V coronation, men, women and children gathered at the church to celebrate. In a picture from Buckinghamshire Archives, it shows the women dressed in their best frocks and the men in suits, sat on chairs around long tables that would’ve most likely been set up on the grassed area so everyone could enjoy a huge spread of food and drinks. Typical food that would’ve appeared were finger sandwiches, jelly, tinned fruit, rock cakes and tea of course! There would’ve also been bunting erected above their heads and union jack flags pinned everywhere. The Street Party Organisation say that; ‘before 1919 there had been a long-held history of residents dressing streets for national occasions, using flags, garlanded material, sometimes with an arch.’

Later in the day, based on other events, we can guess that the children enjoyed playing games such wooden tops, marbles, yo-yos and wooden hoops which were rolled with a stick called a dowel. There would’ve also been plenty of room at the church for them to play tag, leapfrog and hopscotch if they wanted. Another form of entertainment that was documented at the church was a fire hose battle. This is where a handful of men got a fire hose and sprayed water at each other.

There are lots of great images of what the coronation parties looked like, available on Buxplore within the History route when you go to the location of St. Peter and St. Paul’s Parish Church on the app.

The trees at the church are known as coronation trees. This is because they were planted when various coronations took place back in the early 1900s and still stand proud today. They have plaques attached to them commemorating previous coronations such as George V and Edward VII. However, the plaques that are attached aren’t as visible anymore as they have grown into the trees themselves, intertwined amongst their large roots!

Want to know more about the church? St Peter and St Paul’s church was built on Castle hill in 1781 after the old church steeple fell and destroyed the earlier building in 1776. The site was given by the Verney’s of Claydon House, who had a keen political interest in Buckingham, and also gave the Town Mayor his chain in 1884. Parts of this church were refurbished by famed architect Sir Gilbert Scott, he added the chancel, porch, buttresses, and all of the gothic features that can be found today.