(including Boveney, Britwell, Cippenham and East Burnham)


"This Parish, which is between seven and eight miles in length, and two miles in breadth, is bounded, on the North, by Wooburn and Beaconsfield; on the East, by Hedgerly, Farnham Royal and Upton; on the South, by Eton and Dorney; and on the West, by Taplow and Hitcham, having a portion of its south-western bprder circumscribed by the River Thames, between Clewer and Bray, in Berkshire. The Parish is divided into liberties, or districts, severally called, Brightwell, Cippenham, Boveney Wood, and East Burnham. Within these boundaries, is an insulated portion of the adjoining parish of Dorney." [The History and Antiquities of the County of Buckingham, by George Lipscomb, 1847]



The following reference sources have been used in the construction of this page, and may be referred to for further detail. Most if not all of these volumes are available in the Reference section of the County Library in Aylesbury.

"Buckinghamshire Returns of the Census of Religious Worship 1851", Legg E. ed., 1991, ISBN 0 901198 27 7.
"Magna Britannia: Buckinghamshire", Lysons S. and Lysons D., 1806.
"The History and Antiquities of the County of Buckingham", Lipscomb G., 1847
"The Place-Names of Buckinghamshire", Mawer A. and Stenton F.M., 1925.
"The Victoria History of the Counties of England: Buckinghamshire", Page W. ed., 1905-1928
"War Memorials and War Graves: Burnham and area, Volume 13", Peter Quick.



War Memorials

War memorials in Burnham have been transcribed by Peter Quick, and published in a booklet entitled "War Memorials and War Graves: Burnham and area, Volume 13", available from the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society.



In 1798 the Posse Comitatus listed the following numbers men between the ages of 16 and 60: Burnham Town 167, East Burnham and Britwell 113, Boveney 36 and Cippenham 40.

In the earliest government census of 1801, there were 1354 inhabitants in 327 families living in 258 houses recorded in Burnham, and 165 inhabitants in 33 families living in 28 houses recorded in Boveney

Census YearPopulation of
Burnham town
Population of
Population of
Burnham parish

* = No names were recorded in census documents from 1801 to 1831.
** = Census documents from 1911 to 2001 are only available in summary form. Names are witheld under the 100 year rule.

Microfilm copies of all census enumerators' notebooks for 1841 to 1891 are held at the Local Studies Libraries at Aylesbury and Milton Keynes, as well as centrally at the PRO. A table of 19th century census headcount by parish is printed in the VCH of Bucks, Vol.2, pp 96-101.

Availability of census transcripts and indexes.

  • 1851 - Full transcripts and indexes for Buckinghamshire are available on CD-ROM, hard copy and microfiche from the Buckinghamshire Family History Society.
  • 1861 - Available on CD-ROM with advanced search and mapping capabilities etc. from the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society.
  • 1881
    • Available on CD-ROM from the Church of the Latter Day Saints, as part of the National 1881 Census Index.
    • Available on CD-ROM for Buckinghamshire, with advanced search and mapping capabilities etc. from Drake Software.
  • 1891 - Available on CD-ROM with advanced search and mapping capabilities etc. from the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society.

Church History

Details of the stained glass in the church can be found on the following web sites (the site includes many photos):


Church Records

The original copies of the parish registers for St. Peter, Burnham have been deposited in the Buckinghamshire Record Office in Aylesbury, and they hold the following years:

EventDates covered
Christenings1561 - 1953
Marriages1561 - 1967
Burials1561 - 1933

Copies or indexes to the parish registers are available from societies as follows:

Society Library*
Dates covered
1561 - 1837
Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society

* = material held in a Society library is generally available for loan to all members either via post, or by collection at a meeting

An ecclesiastical census was carried out throughout England on 30 March 1851 to record the attendance at all places of worship. These returns are in the Buckinghamshire Record Office and have been published by the Buckinghamshire Record Society (vol 27). The returns for Burnham showed the following numbers:

Burnham, St Peter231 - Morning General Congregation
70 - Morning Sunday Scholars
301 - Morning Total

145 - Afternoon General Congregation

Burnham, Congregationalists
commonly called Independents
Zion Chapel Taplow Road
70 - Morning General Congregation
37 - Morning Sunday Scholars
107 - Morning Total

60 - Afternoon General Congregation

90 - Evening General Congregation

Burnham, Congregationalists
commonly called Independents
55 - Evening General Congregation
Burnham, Primitive Methodist
Chapel Littleworth
58 - Morning General Congregation

98 - Afternoon General Congregation

92 - Evening General Congregation

Burnham, Primitive Methodists
Widmere Common Chapel
37 - Morning General Congregation
45 - Morning Sunday Scholars

43 - Afternoon General Congregation
40 - Afternoon Sunday Scholars

50 - Evening General Congregation
23 - Evening Sunday Scholars

Burnham, Wesleyans Meeting
10 - Afternoon General Congregation

22 - Evening General Congregation

Boveney, Liberty of Boveney
37 - Afternoon General Congregation

Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Burnham which are provided by:




Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Burnham has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



Burnham was described in 1806 in "Magna Britannia" as follows:

BURNHAM, which gives name to a hundred and deanery, lies about three miles north-east of Maidenhead, and about a mile to the north of the road from London to Bath and Oxford. The parish is divided into five districts, called liberties, namely, those of Brightwell, Cippenham, Boveney, Wood, and East-Burnham.

Burnham had formerly a market on Thursdays, granted to the abbess of Burnham in 1271, together with a fair on the festival of St. Matthew: the market has been long disused; and there are now three fairs, Feb. 23, May 1, and Oct. 2. The great road to Bath and Oxford formerly passed through Burnham; upon the building of Maidenhead bridge it was diverted to its present course, in consequence of which it is probable that this place fell to decay, and lost its market, which was transferred to Maidenhead. Cookham, on the other side the river, near which the old road passed, had also a market, which declined probably about the same time.

Richard, King of the Romans, in the year 1265, founded an abbey of Benedictine Nuns at Burnham, which was endowed with the manors of Burnham, Cippenham, Stoke, Bulstrode, and some smaller estates. When dissolved in the reign of King Henry VIII. its revenues were valued at 51 l. 2s. 41/2d. clear annual income; the site was then granted to William Tyldesley, but soon reverted to the crown. In 1574, Abbess-Park at Burnham was granted to Paul Wentworth esq. of Burnham-Abbey, then lessee under the crown. In the reign of Charles I. Sir Henry Fane procured a lease of Burnham-Abbey, which was afterwards in the family of Darrell and Lovelace; Lord Lovelace sold it to the Villiers family, who renewed with the crown in 1691; the lease is now vested in the Earl of Jersey. The site of the abbey, of which there are very small remains, is above a mile from the village of Burnham, a little to the south of the Bath road. The arms of the abbey were Or, on a chief Arg. Three lozenges, Gules.

When the Domesday survey was taken, the manor of Bunrham belonged to Walter Fitz-Other, ancestor of the Windsor family. Being in the crown in the reign of Henry III. That monarch gave it, with all its rights and privileges, to the abbess and convent. At some period subsequent to the dissolution of monasteries, it seems to have been united to the manor of Huntercombe, in the parish, the present proprietor of which, Mr. Sayer, gives a deputation for the manor of Burnham, alias Huntercombe, which claims jurisdiction over the greater part of the parish including West-towne and Boveney. These are spoken of in some deeds of the reign of Henry VII. as separate manors then belonging to Sir Reginald Bray. Boveney was at a later period in the Paules of Bray-wick. Sir Ch. H. Palmer seems to claim some jurisdiction over Boveney, by giving a deputation for his adjoining manor of Dorney, by the name of Dorney cum Boveney.

The manor of Huntercombe, formerly the property and seat of an ancient family of that name, at a later period was successively in the families of Windsor, Hodenge, Darrell, and Evelyn. William Evelyn, in the early part of the last century, sold Huntercombe to Anthony Collins and Thomas Eyre esq. Mr. Eyre, by a subsequent purchase, became possed of the whole. In 1777, on the death of Thomas Eyre esq. the last heir male this estate, and the manor of Allards, alias East-Burnham, which had been the property and seat of the heirs for more than 400 years, devolved by his request to his nephew Henry Sayer esq. who is the present proprietor. Huntercombe-House was a few years ago in the occupation of Sir William Young bart. and since of the late Sir Booth Gore bart.: it is at present unoccupied.

The manor of Cippenham in this parish was part of the ancient demesnes of the crown, and is said to have been a palace of the Mercian Kings: it is certain there was a royal palace at Cippenham, so lately as the reign of Henry III. who occasionally resided there, as appears by the foundation charter of Burnham abbey, which is dated thence: it is probable that an ancient moated site near Cippenham was the spot where the palace stood. Edmund, Earl of Cornwall, who died in 1300, was seised of the manor of Cippenham, which in 1330 was granted to John of Eltham. About this period it seems that there were two manors in Cippenham, one of which was given to Burnham abbey, the other was granted in 1339 to Sir John Molins, and passed by female heirs to the families of Hungerford and Hastings: it is probable that they were united after the dissolution of the abbey. The manor of Cippenham, which had long been in the family of Goodwyn of Wooburn, was purchased by the Duchess of Marlborough about the year 1742, and having passed by her bequest to her granson John Spencer, was sold by his representative, the present Earl Spencer, to the late Mr. Dupré: it is now the property of his son, James Dupré esq. of Wilton-park.

[Correction/Addition at the end of Magna Britannia states "By a fine levied, 36 Hen.III. between Richard Earl of Cornwall, and Joan de Ferrars, the manor of Cippenham, with the advowson of the chapel there, was limited to the said Joan for life, with remainder to the Earl of Cornwall and his heirs."]

The late learned Jacob Bryant esq. had a seat at Cippenham.

In Boveney liberty is a chapel of ease, a very ancient structure. An act of parliament passed in 1737, for making it a distinct cure, but the want of a sufficient endowment prevented it from taking effect.

Brightwell-Court, in Burnham, belonged formerly to the family of Cage, from whom it passed by marriage to John Hastings esq. of Woodlands. This John Hastings, who died in 1656, was son and heir of Sir George Hastings, son of Henry, a younger son of George, the fourth Earl of Huntingdon; there is a wooden tablet to his memory in Burnham church, which has the arms of Hastings, with 100 quarterings, over which are placed the arms of Cage, on an escutcheon of pretence. Brightwell-Court was for some time the seat of the accomplished Charles Earl of Orrery, who purchased it of Mr. Reeve, an eminent lawyer of Windsor: it has since been successively the seat of Crayle Crayle esq. Lady Ravensworth, John Symmons esq. and Lord Grenville. It is now the property and residence of Hon. Mr. Irby, eldest son of Lord Boston.

In the parish church at Burnham is a handsome monument of the late Mr. Justice Willes, with a medallion, in which he is represented in his robes: there is a tablet also for his son, Edward Willes esq. and memorials of the families of Eyre, Evelyn, Hawtrey, and Sumner.

The advowson of the vicarage of Burnham was given to Eton College, by Mr. Hawtrey, a fellow of that society, in whose family it had been a considerable time. The vicarage is endowed with a part of the great tithes, the remainder are in lay hands: they were formerly appropriated to the abbess and convent of Burnham. Mr. Cole, the Cambridge antiquary, was vicar of this parish from 1774 till his death in 1780.

Robert Aldrich, bishop of Carlisle, was a native of Burnham



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SU930824 (Lat/Lon: 51.532857, -0.660629), Burnham which are provided by:


Names, Geographical

The name Burnham possibly derives from the old english burna + ham meaning a homestead or village on a stream. However, the lack of a significant stream at Burnham means, that it may alternatively derive from the old english persons name Brun(n)a i.e. meaning Bruna's homestead.

Boveney is believed to mean 'above-island' deriving from the old english bufan-ege. This is probable as there is a small island in the Thames below the village.

Britwell derives from the old english beorhtan wiellan meaning 'bright, clear well'

Cippenham derives from the old english Cippan-ham, meaning Cippa's homestead.