Wycombe District

Wycombe /ˈwɪkəm/ is a local government district in Buckinghamshire in south-central England. Its council is based in the town of High Wycombe.

The district was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, by the merger of the Municipal Borough of High Wycombe with Marlow Urban District and Wycombe Rural District.

Wycombe District
Wycombe shown within Buckinghamshire
Wycombe shown within Buckinghamshire
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionSouth East England
Non-metropolitan countyBuckinghamshire
StatusNon-metropolitan district
Admin HQHigh Wycombe
Incorporated1 April 1974
 • TypeNon-metropolitan district council
 • BodyWycombe District Council
 • LeadershipLeader & Cabinet (Conservative)
 • MPsSteve Baker
John Bercow
Dominic Grieve
David Lidington
 • Total125.32 sq mi (324.57 km2)
Area rank129th (of 317)
 (mid-2018 est.)
 • Total174,641
 • Rank112th (of 317)
 • Density1,400/sq mi (540/km2)
 • Ethnicity
86.8% White
7.9% S.Asian
2.6% Black British
1.8% Mixed Race
Time zoneUTC0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
ONS code11UC (ONS)
E07000007 (GSS)
OS grid referenceSU867929

Constituent parts

The Wycombe District Council area comprises:

Civil parishes

There are 28 civil parishes including 2 where a Parish Meeting is held in lieu of a Parish Council.

Sports clubs

High Wycombe is home to Wycombe Wanderers F.C.; within the district's boundaries are the homes of Marlow F.C., Marlow United F.C., Risborough Rangers F.C. and Marlow Rugby Club.

Feudal Barony

The Barony of Wycombe is one of the few titles in history that's so closely associated with negotiations that influence the rights of individuals that even today that it's hard to dismiss. The men who held the title played such a meaningful supporting role in the signing of one of the most important documents on record – the Magna Carta – that anyone connected with it is touching living history. For not only has it shaped the British rule of law, but also the American Constitution.

The manor and Lordship of Wycombe was originally given to a member of the Basset family, Thomas Gilbert, in 1171. A fitting offering for the man who was, at that time, the Sheriff of Oxfordshire. But from this fairly standard start for a title, being only a lordship, within thirty odd years it was to be closely allied with the King. Passing through a small number of Bassets as they died, by 1215 Wycombe was resting with Alan Basset... as a Barony. When this upgrade occurred is not clear. But the fact that Alan Basset was one of but a handful of barons who accompanied King John to Runnymede on 15 June for the signing of Magna Carta means he'd become an individual of influence. Listed as a King's counsellor, through Alan Basset the Barony of Wycombe had begun its parallel wanderings with The Great Charter and the throne. When John died in 1216, the title's association with both remained strong. Henry III took the crown and Alan Basset was, again, a witness to a reworked version of Magna Carta on 11 November.

The Basset family remained closely allied with the King over the next few years, and upon Alan's demise in 1232 his son Gilbert became 2nd Baron of Wycombe. It's at this point, though, that things started to get a little rocky. It would seem that despite being in the good favour of Henry III, Gilbert joined a political group headed by Richard, Earl Marshall. He was summoned, with other barons, to meet Henry's foreign relations... but he refused to attend. As any child discovers, petulant behaviour tends to elicit a punishment. Henry took back one of Gilbert's manors. When he tried to reclaim it, the King announced him to be a traitor and threatened him with hanging unless he left the court. Further peevish behaviour then saw him outlawed by the King, and orders were sent out to destroy all towns, castles and parks that belonged to him, and his associates. However, as was often the case in this turbulent medieval era, the pendulum swung back the following year when the Earl Marshal died. Gilbert was asked to take his place, and his estates were returned. What prompted Henry's change of heart is unclear... but the politics of the time were far from straightforward.

Sadly for Gilbert, in 1241 he suffered a hunting accident and was paralysed. He never recovered and his son soon inherited the title. But he too was short-lived, and within the same year Gilbert's brother, Fulk – Dean of York – inherited the barony and he became the 4th Baron of Wycombe.

It appears that Fulk, too, was destined to clash with the King. Later that year he was elected Bishop of London, much to Henry's disgruntlement, who'd wanted the Bishop of Hereford to get the role. Within five years, however, he'd redeemed himself in the eyes of the King, only to displease Pope Innocent IV instead. The Pope had decided all beneficed clergy should give him up to half their income for three years, and he'd entrusted Fulk to see this was enacted. Henry forbade it, though, and Fulk sided with the King on this. It was a dispute that would rumble for a number of years and finally saw Fulk at first excommunicated... before then being absolved from excommunication the following year. You know how it is... Again, it's unclear why, but it is of great significance that Fulk was named when a grant was agreed by the Pope that a tenth of the Churches’ revenue be given to Henry. Interestingly, Fulk had originally opposed this grant, but his leanings then changed in return for the King confirming Magna Carta in April. But as the pendulum would ever continue to swing, so did Fulk's relationship with the crown. In 1255, having been made Head of the English Church (a role that had been vacant for some time) Fulk and Henry fell out again. This time the King threatened him with the Pope's displeasure, and Fulk made his famous retort, “The Pope and the King may indeed take away my bishopric, for they are stronger than I; let them take away my mitre, and my helmet will remain…”.

They must have reconciled their differences, though, for by 1258 when Henry was forced by the barons to grant their requests, Fulk was sword adviser to the King and stayed out of the action. In fact, Fulk's name appears consistently by the side of Henry until his death in 1259. At this point, because Fulk had no children, the Barony of Wycombe naturally passed to his younger brother, Philip. The new baron, who had actually opposed his brother's views with regard to the barons’ requests for some time, upon inheriting the title switched to supporting the King. The currency of the time was castles, and he got Oxford and Bristol in return. He then proceeded to build quite a collection, for he was appointed Sheriff to four counties and entrusted with two further castles – Corfe and Sherburne. The same year, 1261, he was then made Justiciary of England and left in charge of the kingdom whilst Henry travelled to France. Opposition swiftly grew, however, and he just as quickly lost his justiciarship. The consolation for his pain was... castles; Henry granted him Devizes Castle and the counties of Somerset and Dorset as a salve. As can be seen, the bond Philip had developed with the King by now was significant. Later that year, he played his part in supporting Henry in an attempted coup de main on Dover. And was also listed as a surety for the King in the Mise of Amiens in a bid to avert civil war.

Philip's loyalty to Henry remained unstinting during the Second Barons’ War. He headed up the storm and capture of Northampton; fought at Lewes; and was taken prisoner in Dover Castle. With a royalist victory at Evesham, he was freed. And then proceeded to act as a mediator on the surrender of Ely. He acted as an arbitrator when the ‘Dictum of Kenilworth’ was drawn up. And then once again found himself appointed as Sheriff of Somerset and Dorset, and Constable of Devizes. When Philip died in 1271, the legacy of the Barony of Wycombe shifted to his daughter, Aline who married Roger Bigod, 5th Earl of Norfolk.

The Barony of Wycombe's significance earned it a place in global history. Closely aligned with King John, King Henry, and the astonishing force that is still the Magna Carta, the Barony of Wycombe is inextricably connected to many significant historical developments, the rights of individuals and the American Constitution.

Council affiliation

Following the local elections in May 2015, the council comprises the following:[1]

Party Number of councillors
Conservative 49
Labour 6
East Wycombe Independent Party 3
Liberal Democrats 1
Independent 1


The district is bisected by the M40, with a major junction with the A404 at High Wycombe. The A404 connects Marlow and Wycombe within the district. The main railway line through the district, the Chiltern Main Line has major stations at High Wycombe and Princes Risborough. The Marlow Branch Line and Princes Risborough line also provide commuter services.


  1. ^ "Meetings, agendas, and minutes". councillors.wycombe.gov.uk. 14 September 2018.

External links

Coordinates: 51°38′19″N 0°48′28″W / 51.6385°N 0.8079°W

1914 Wycombe by-election

The Wycombe by-election was a Parliamentary by-election. It returned one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, elected by the first past the post voting system.

2015 Wycombe District Council election

The 2015 Wycombe District Council election took place on 7 May 2015 to elect members of Wycombe District Council in England. This was on the same day as other local elections.

The Conservatives retained control of the council with the Labour Party replacing the Liberal Democrats as the largest opposition party. It also saw the newly formed East Wycombe Independent Party take 3 seats.


Alscot is a hamlet in Buckinghamshire, England. It is in Princes Risborough parish, on the A4129 between Princes Risborough and Longwick.

Berghers Hill

Berghers Hill is a hamlet in Wooburn civil parish in Buckinghamshire, England.

Bolter End

Bolter End is a hamlet 5 mi (8.0 km) to the west of High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, England.

Bolter End lies on the B482 road that connects Stokenchurch and Marlow between Cadmore End and Lane End and where it is crossed by the Piddington to Fingest road. Bolter End is part of Lane End (Where the population was included) civil parish and is within Wycombe district. Bolter End Sand Pit is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Cores End

Cores End is a hamlet in the civil parish of Wooburn (where at the 2011 Census the population was included), in Buckinghamshire, England.


Ellesborough is a village and civil parish in Wycombe district in Buckinghamshire, England. The village is at the foot of the Chiltern Hills just to the south of the Vale of Aylesbury, two miles from Wendover and five miles from Aylesbury. It lies between Wendover and the village of Little Kimble.

The civil parish (population in 2001 was 811) includes the hamlets of Butlers Cross, Chalkshire, Terrick and Dunsmore.Close to Ellesborough is the Prime Minister's country residence Chequers.

Forty Green, Marlow

Forty Green is a small, mainly undeveloped, agricultural area on the west side of Marlow in Buckinghamshire, England. It comprises field parcel numbers 883, 892, 895, 896 and 838 on the civil parish Ordnance Survey map. Its boundaries are not marked with signposts but parcel 892 has an entrance from a residential street carrying the name, Forty Green Drive. At the 2011 Census the population of the area was included in the civil parish of Great Marlow.

As a result of efforts of residents living close to the fields, collaborating under the name Forty Green Preservation Society (formed in 1984 and still active) Forty Green, previously designated an Area of Attractive Landscape, has been reclassified as green belt with designated use as agricultural land. Some of the agricultural land has been bought with a view to selling it in small plots for residential development under the title King's Estate. In response to this Wycombe District Council has put up signs stating "WARNING - this land is not considered appropriate for residential development". Wycombe District Council has also made an Article Four Direction (which removes some permitted development rights) on the land North of Bovingdon Heights, Marlow. This means that fences, walls and other means of enclosures cannot be erected on the land nor can the land be used for any purpose other than agriculture.

List of places in Buckinghamshire

:See the list of places in England for places in other counties.

This is a list of places in the ceremonial county of Buckinghamshire, England. It does not include places which were formerly in Buckinghamshire. For places which were in Buckinghamshire until 1974, and were then transferred to Berkshire, and other places transferred from Buckinghamshire since 1844, see list of Buckinghamshire boundary changes.

Northend, Buckinghamshire

Northend is a village that straddles the border of the two English counties of Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. The eastern half is in the civil parish of Turville in Buckinghamshire, while the western half is across the border into Oxfordshire, in the Watlington parish.

Piddington and Wheeler End

Piddington and Wheeler End is a small civil parish within Wycombe District Council, Buckinghamshire, England. Within the parish are the main hamlets of Piddington and Wheeler End. The total voting population of the parish is 630.The parish council administers the common land in both villages including three popular allotment sites - and is responsible for the war memorial at Wheeler End. The parish council together with the village hall publish a quarterly newsletter which goes out to the entire parish.

Robert Braybrooke

Robert Braybrooke was a medieval Dean of Salisbury and Bishop of London.

Speen, Buckinghamshire

Speen is a village in the Chiltern Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, situated in the civil parish of Lacey Green, in Buckinghamshire, England.

As the crow flies, the centre of the village (as depicted by the village sign) is 3.2 miles south east of Princes Risborough, 4.7 miles north of High Wycombe and 31 miles north west of central London. The village is a short distance from Chequers, the country residence of the Prime Minister of the day.

The village has an annual fete which is held on the first weekend of July and a bi-annual arts festival which has been running for 18 years.


Widmoor is a hamlet in the parishes of Hedsor and Wooburn, in Buckinghamshire, England.


Wooburn is a village in Buckinghamshire, England. It is located off the A4094 road between Wooburn Green and Bourne End in the very south of the county near the River Thames, about two miles south west of Beaconsfield and four miles east of Marlow. Wooburn is one of the two principal settlements within Wooburn, a civil parish in Wycombe district.The village toponym is derived from the Old English for "walled stream". This refers to the River Wye, which has its source near West Wycombe and runs through the village to join the River Thames at Bourne End. The river runs along the boundary of Warren Nature Reserve, a Local Nature Reserve which adjoins Wooburn Park. In the Domesday Book of 1086 the village was recorded as Waborne though earlier, in 1075, it had been referred to as Waburna.

The Church of England parish church of Saint Paul is medieval but was extensively altered by the Gothic Revival architect William Butterfield in 1869. It has a flint nave and a tall tower. There are some half timbered houses facing the churchyard and nearby there is a flint school house.

The manor house of Wooburn was once a palace of the Bishops of Lincoln.

Wooburn Green

Wooburn Green is a village in the civil parish of Wooburn, Buckinghamshire, England.

Wooburn and Bourne End

Wooburn or Wooburn and Bourne End is a civil parish within Wycombe district, Buckinghamshire, England. It comprises the villages of Wooburn, Wooburn Green and Bourne End and the hamlets of Berghers Hill, Cores End, Hawks Hill, Widmoor and Wooburn Moor.

Wycombe District Council

Wycombe District Council is the non-metropolitan second tier authority for Wycombe in Buckinghamshire. It is responsible for housing, waste collection, council tax, local planning, licensing and cemeteries, while Buckinghamshire County Council is responsible for other business. From 1 April 2020, it is to be merged with Buckinghamshire County Council, Aylesbury Vale District Council, Chiltern District Council and South Bucks District Councill to create a new unitary authority.

Wycombe District Council elections

Wycombe District Council in Buckinghamshire, England is elected every four years. Since the last boundary changes in 2003, 60 councillors have been elected from 28 wards.

Wycombe District
(component areas
and hamlets)
Other civil parishes
(component villages
and hamlets)
Former districts
and boroughs
Unitary authorities
Boroughs or districts
Major settlements
East Sussex
Isle of Wight
West Sussex


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