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.