Chalfont St. Peter in old picture postcards volume 2

Chalfont St. Peter in old picture postcards volume 2

:   Audrey Wheelband
:   Buckinghamshire
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-4787-3
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Chalfont St. Peter in old picture postcards volume 2'

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Chalfont St. Peter is a viliage and parish in the county of Buckinghamshire, bounded on the east by Hertfordshire. The village lies in a valley on the main road from London to Aylesbury, crossed by the River Misboume (now culverted). Once an architeetural beauty, today the viliage is much changed. Old buildings have gone, a new shopping eentre built, and surviving cottage property is now serving as building society, estate and other offices and shops.

After the First World War, about thirty shops were built on one side of the road leading to Gold Hili. This area is now part of the village. The Greyhound Inn, a very old coaching inn dating from the 14th century, has been weIl preserved. Steeped in history and flanked on one side by the river, it stili offers good meals and accommodation. The George, also old, still retains its coach entrance. The White Hart has been tastefuIly enlarged. The old Barrack Yard, 'Wingfields', 'Beech Cottage' and "The Retreat' have all been destroyed.

The Parish Church of St. Peter in the High Street, a brick and stone building with a fine tower consisting of six beIls and a elock, was rebuilt in 1708. There has been a church

on this site since the 14th century. The present vicar (1989) is the Reverend David Murray, who is also the Rural Dean of Amersham, some five miles from the village. There is also in the parish St. Paul's at Hom HilI, the Baptist Church on Gold Hill, All Saints in Oval Way, and St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church at Austenwood.

In 1871 a hospital was built outside the viliage, containing six beds and one cot, and given by the Hibbert family of Chalfont Park. Mainly through the generosity of the public, the hospital now has over thirty beds, with Physiotherapy, X-Ray, Outpatients departments and many other facilities. It serves several parishes. lts title is now "The Chalfonts & Gerrards Cross Hospital' .

The parish is large, having several districts and hamlets:

Gold HilI and Austenwood both possessing commons, Layters Green with a pond, Hom Hili with St. Paul's Church, and a village hall, given by Henry Harben of Newland Park. Chalfont Common and Gravel Hili are also adjoining districts.

The National Society for Epileptics, founded by Mr. J. Passmore Edwards in 1894 and now much enlarged, is situated at Chalfont Common.

Jordans Meeting House, built in 1688 for the Society of Friends (Quakers), is where William Penn, the famous Quaker, is buried. Milton's Cottage, where John Milton wrote 'Paradise Lost', is two miles away at Chalfont St. Giles. There were several large estates here, including

Chalfont House with its extensive grounds. This became an hotel for a time after the First World War and is now owned by British Alcan Aluminium for their research department.

The Grange, very historical, once the home of the Quakers and, after the First World War serving as an hotel, is now the Holy Cross Convent, a boarding and day school for girls. Part of this estate f1anks the village street. Maltmans Green is where Captain Algernön Drummond of Drummond's Bank lived in the early part of the century. It was he who, while in India, composed the music of 'The Eton Boating Song'. He was loved by all who knew him. One of hissons won the Victoria Cross 1914-1918, another son founded our local troop of boy scouts.

The HilI Farm, a very old farmhouse and later used as a private dwelling, has been destroyed. On this site of 9lf.z acres, including a cherry orchard, 111 houses now stand. Chalfont St. Peter is served by Gerrards Cross railway station, 1V2 miles away. The first train ran in 1906, since when the population of the surrounding parishes has increased enormously.

In 1900, and for some years thereafter, there was no running water, electricity or gas in the district. Pumps and wells supplied the water. The living room fire provided heat, as weIl as cooking facilities and hot water from the hearth kettle. Those were days of very hard work for the many women who took in washing to augment the low

wages ofthe many farm labourers.

The Church of England Girls and Infants Schools and the Boys Schools were built in 1892 and 1912 respectively, replacing very old ones. These have been modemised and enlarged and others, including a Secondary Modem School, have been built. There is also a Roman Catholic School near the site of St. Joseph's Church.

We now have a Community Centre, a Leisure Centre with excellent swimming facilities, a Red Cross Day Centre, playing fields and a supermarket.

The Chiltem Open Air Museum, opened in 1981, is now very weIl attended and serves as a repository for the best examples of the old village's historie buildings and crafts from the Chiltems area.

The Tithe Bam, formerly belonging to Swan Farm which was one of the buildings destroyed to make way for the bypass - has been very weIl adapted and serves an excellent purpose for the youth of our parish.

Some years ago a county library was built. This stands in the High Street, on which was once a part of the Grange estate. With the pleasant and helpful staff there, this is an asset to the community. Behind the library is the ambulance station and welfare centre.

Much progress had been made through the years. At the same time, much rare beauty and character of our old buildings is irrevocably lost.

Chalfont St: Peter from the ou h. - -

1. Entering Chalfont St. Peter from Uxbridge and the south, heading north towards Aylesbury, this view ofthe High Street was taken in about 1905. Note the grass verge. Pictured, from the left, is Beech Cottage, the old Workhouse cottages and, in the distance, the Parish Church. At the right of the picture, the fourth cottage from the right, facing Beech Cottage, was the police house.

2. A view ofthe junction ofthe High Street and Gold Hili Lane (nowMarket Place) showing, on the left, part of 'The White Hart' (still standing), a cottage with protruding porch and the temporary premises of Barclays Bank. From 'The White Hart' to the corner of High Street, Barclays Bank now has its permanent premises. Opposite the Bank, a cycle shop and two very old cottages. The Post Office and grocers, left background, is now one shop. On the right is the building known as Barrack Yard. This old building of very distinctive architecture had been a coaching inn and Cromwellian barracks. A new shopping centre now occupies this site.

3. Here is the old coach entrance to the Barrack Yard, behind which stood two rows of cottages. The River Misboume, since culverted, flowed by the end of the property.

4. A portrait of Emma Knight, mother of the authoress, taken in Paddington, London, in about 1890. She lived in the village from 1898 until1960, where she died aged 91.

5. Continuing across the Gold Hill entrance to the village, looking north, this picture shows the very old cottages, reputed to be the oldest in the village and now, sadly, destroyed. This is the turn of the village street into Market Place. The Parish Church is in the centre of the village, the entrance being by the fir tree.

6. This picture dates from about 1900 and shows, from the extreme right, Herrlein's shop which sold toys, postcards and sweets. Next is H. Green, the saddler, who did such good business before the advent ofthe cal. Beyond the saddler is Briden's, the plumber. On the opposite side, the tree f1anks part of the churchyard and, beyond, part of 'The Greyhound Inn'.

7. The Parish Church of Saint Peter stands in the centre of the village, with the River Misboume flowing opposite. A road bridge was built, as pictured here, in about 1902. To the right of the churchyard was the front entrance to the vicarage. This has now gone and part of the site forms a car park. At the extreme right is part of 'The Greyhound Inn'. All the property to the left of picture, which includes Brown's grocers, has gone and been replaced by a shopping centre.

8. A view of the Parish Church showing its fine tower, taken from a field called 'Love's Delight', which is now allotments. A public footpath runs through this field to Chalfont St. Giles, our neighbouring village some two miles away.

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