Chalfont St Giles

"This parish is bounded, on the North, by Amersham and Chenies; on the East and South, by Chalfont St. Peter; and on the West, by Amersham and Sear Green, a Hamlet in Farnham Royal. The soil is gravelly and unfruitful, with a subsoil of chalk at various depths. Plunknet remarked the spontaneous production of the spondylium montanum minus, angustifolium tenuiter laciniatum, in his time, as a scarce variety of that plant amongst the mountainous meadows near Chalfont St. Giles." [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 Contributions for Ireland 1642", Wilson J., 1983.
"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: Marlow and area, Volume 12", Peter Quick.



The following Monumental Inscriptions are available as publications or as part of a Society library:

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

War Memorials

War memorials in Chalfont St Giles have been transcribed by Peter Quick, and published in a booklet entitled "War Memorials and War Graves: Marlow and area, Volume 12", available from the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society.



In 1642 there were 12 people named in the tax returns for contributions for Ireland. Between them they were assessed at £29.7.8 of which sum Mr Russell jun contributed £2.10.0

In 1798 the Posse Comitatus listed 185 men between the ages of 16 and 60 in Chalfont St Giles.

In the earliest government census of 1801, there were 762 inhabitants in 152 families living in 143 houses recorded in Chalfont St Giles.

Census Year Population of Chalfont St Giles
1801* 762
1811* 924
1821* 1104
1831* 1297
1841 1228
1851 1169
1861 1217
1871 1243
1881 1264
1891 1286
1901 1362

* = 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 Giles, Chalfont St Giles have been deposited in the Buckinghamshire Record Office in Aylesbury, and they hold the following years:

Event Dates covered
Christenings 1584 - 1893
Marriages 1584 - 1916
Banns 1754 - 1951
Burials 1584 - 1940

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

Society Library*
Dates covered
1584 - 1812
Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society
1584 - 1837
Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society
1584 - 1812
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 Chalfont St Giles showed the following numbers:

Church Attendance
Chalfont St Giles, St Giles 100 - Morning General Congregation
80 - Morning Sunday Scholars
180 - Morning Total

250 - Afternoon General Congregation
80 - Afternoon Sunday Scholars
350 [sic] - Afternoon Total

Chalfont St Giles, Independent
Chalfont Chapel a Meeting
84 - Morning General Congregation
24 - Morning Sunday Scholars
108 - Morning Total

48 - Afternoon General Congregation
27 - Afternoon Sunday Scholars
75 - Afternoon Total

83 - Evening General Congregation
83 - Evening Total

Chalfont St Giles, Primitive
72 - Morning General Congregation
50 - Morning Sunday Scholars
122 - Morning Total

106 - Afternoon General Congregation
50 - Afternoon Sunday Scholars
156 - Afternoon Total

160 - Evening General Congregation
160 - Evening Total


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Chalfont St Giles which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



Chalfont St Giles was described in 1806 in "Magna Britannia" as follows:

CHALFONT-ST. GILES, in the hundred and deanery of Burnham, lies nearly four miles from Amersham, on the road to London, and seven miles from Uxbridge, in Middlesex. The principal manor in this parish is called the Vache, from a family of that name, who possessed it in the reign of Edward I.; it had been before in the Fitz-Alan's. A female heir brought it to the noble family of Grey, of Wilton: from them it passed by purchase to the Gardiners, and from the Gardiners to Thomas Fleetwood, treasurer of the mint, who died in 1570. Mr. Noble, in his memoirs of the Cromwell family, says, that this Mr. Fleetwood had 32 children by two wives; supposing the number to be accurate, the writer is mistaken in supposing that James Fleetwood, who died bishop of Worcester in 1683, was one of them; the bishop was grandson of Thomas Fleetwood, being a son of Sir George Fleetwood, who succeded his father at the Vache, which continued in the family for more than a century. Francis Hare, bishop of Chichester, having married the heiress of the Claytons, who were the next proprietors, became possessed of the Vache, where he died in the year 1740, and was buried in the church of Chalfont-St. Giles. The late Admiral Sir Hugh Palliser purchased the Vache of Bishop Hare's representatives, in or about the year 1771, and made it his seat. In 1773 he was created a baronet: on his death, which happened in 1796, the title descended to his great nephew, Hugh Palliser Walter, now Sir Hugh Palliser Palliser bart. The Vache is under the admiral's will, the property of his natural son George Palliser esq.

The baronial family of Wolverton had a manor in this parish, a purparty, or fourth part of which passed by a female heir to the Wakes, in the reign of Edward III.

During the great plague oin 1665, Milton retired to Chalfont, where he finished his admirable poem of Paradise Lost. The idea of his Paradise Regained, is said to have been suggested by a conversation which passed at this place, between the poet and his friend Elwood, a quaker. The house in which Milton resided is now occupied by a farmer: it was built by some of the Fleetwood family, as appears from their arms over the door.

In the parish church are some monuments of the Fleetwoods and Claytons, and that of the late Sir Hugh Palliser, who lies there buried: there is no memorial for bishop Hare. The bishop of Lincoln is patron of the rectory, the advowson of which belonged formerly to the priory of Bradwell. Sir Hugh Palliser founded a school at this place for the education of 20 boys and 20 girls, and endowed it with 30 l. per annum.



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SU989934 (Lat/Lon: 51.63073, -0.572503), Chalfont St Giles which are provided by:


Names, Geographical

Early records of Chalfont St Giles and Chalfont St Peter show the name recorded as Ceadeles funtan (949 AD), and this means 'Caedel's spring'. The two parishes take their names from the dedication of their parish churches.