Chalfont St Peter

"Chalfont St. Peter is about thirteen miles in compass, and is bounded on the North by Chalfont St. Giles, Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire, and Chenies; on the East, by Chenies and Iver; on the South, by Iver, Hedgerley, and Fulmer; and on part of the South and West, by Beaconsfield; containing about 4564 acres of land, of which, about 4100 acres are arable, 294 meadow and pasture, and 170 common and woodland: about 1147 acres are in lay hands. The soil consists of chalk and brick earth, interspersed with numerous flints. The Misse, or more usually called the Misburne Stream, runs through the parish and village from north to south, turning a mill; and then crosses the turnpike road from London, continuing to flow in a rapid stream along the valley towards the south-east, and enters the parish of Iver." [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: 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



In 1798 the Posse Comitatus listed 282 men between the ages of 16 and 60 in Chalfont St Peter.

In the earliest government census of 1801, there were 1174 inhabitants in 220 families living in 192 houses recorded in Chalfont St Peter.

Census Year Population of Chalfont St Peter
1801* 1174
1811* 1153
1821* 1351
1831* 1416
1841 1483
1851 1482
1861 1344
1871 1459
1881 1456
1891 1509
1901 1753

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

Event Dates covered
Christenings 1539 - 1944
Marriages 1538 - 1930
Burials 1538 - 1925

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

Society Library*
Dates covered
Births [Gold Hill Baptist chapel]
1779 - 1836
Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society
1538 - 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 Chalfont St Peter showed the following numbers:

Church Attendance
Chalfont St Peter, St Peter 200 - Morning General Congregation
80 - Morning Sunday Scholars
280 - Morning Total

200 - Afternoon General Congregation
80 - Afternoon Sunday Scholars

Chalfont St Peter, Gold Hill
Particular (i.e. Calvinistic)
69 - Morning General Congregation
53 - Morning Sunday Scholars
122 - Morning Total

74 - Afternoon General Congregation
43 - Afternoon Sunday Scholars
117 - Afternoon Total

133 - Evening General Congregation
133 - Evening Total


Description & Travel

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




Historical Geography

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



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

CHALFONT-ST. PETER, in the hundred and deanery of Burnham, lies about five miles from Amersham, on the road to London, and nearly six miles from Uxbridge in Middlesex. The manor, which belonged to Missenden abbey, was granted in 1536 to Robert Drury esq. whose descendants sold it in 1626 to the Bulstrodes: in 1646 it was conveyed to Thomas Gower esq. of whom, in 1650, it was purchased by Mr. Richard Whitchurch, ancestor of Mrs. Anne Whitchurch, the present proprietor.

An ancient manor in this parish takes its name from the family of Brudenell, (collateral ancestors of the Earl of Cardigan,) who formerly possessed it; from them it descended by female heirs to the Drurys and Osbornes. It afterwards came into the Duke of Portland's family, of whom it was purchased by Charles Churchill esq. the late proprietor; it is now the property of Thomas Hibbert esq. Mr. Hibbert's seat, which is called Chalfont-house, was a distinct property; and before it came into Mr. Churchill's hands, was in the families of Wilkins and Selman.

Newlands, in this parish, the seat of Sir Henry Thomas Gott, was purchased by its present possessor about the year 1770, of Mr. Croke of Beaconsfield: it had been formerly in the family of Saunders, and was sold by Sir John Saunders to Mr. Hopkins, of whom it was purchased by Mr. Croke.

In the church are memorials for the family of Whitchurch. The advowson and impropriation which belonged formerly to Missenden abbey, and afterwards to the Drurys, was given by Sir Thomas Allen to the president and scholars of St. John's college in Oxford, who present the vicar and grant him a lease of the great tithes.

The Earl of Portland built a school at Gerrard's Cross, in this parish, adjoining the road from London to High-Wycombe. It has no endowment, but has always been supported by the Portland family: the duke appoints the master, and allows him a salary for teaching a number of boys of this and some of the neighbouring parishes.

William Courtnay, who died in 1770, gave a loaf of bread weekly to each of eleven unmarried poor women of this parish, and one to the clerk.



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TQ000908 (Lat/Lon: 51.607166, -0.557357), Chalfont St Peter 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.