"A preserved Thames Valley village among elm trees, with some seventeenth-century cottages, mostly restored as residences. Dorney Court, near the church, is of old brick and timber framing. It was built in the early sixteenth century." [Murray's Buckinghamshire Architectural Guide]


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.
"Dictionary of English Place-Names", A.D. Mills, Oxford University Press, 1997, ISBN 0 19 28131 3
"Magna Britannia: Buckinghamshire", Lysons S. and Lysons D., 1806.
"Murray's Buckinghamshire Architectural Guide." editors John Betjeman & John Piper, London, 1948
"The Victoria History of the Counties of England: Buckinghamshire", Page W. ed., 1905-1928



In 1798 the Posse Comitatus listed 53 men between the ages of 16 and 60 in Dorney.

In the earliest government census of 1801, there were 190 inhabitants in 41 families living in 37 houses recorded in Dorney.

Census Year Population of Dorney
1801* 190
1811* 247
1821* 279
1831* 268
1841 324
1851 355
1861 367
1871 374
1881 319
1891 401
1901 358

* = 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 Records

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

Event Dates covered
Christenings 1538 - 1954
Marriages 1540 - 1984
Burials 1545 - 1977

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

Society Library*
Dates covered
1726 - 1850
Bucks Genealogical Society
1538 - 1837
Bucks Genealogical Society
1726 - 1900
Bucks 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 Dorney showed the following numbers:

Church Attendance
Dorney, St James 40 - Morning General Congregation
45 - Morning Sunday Scholars
85 - Morning Total

60 - Afternoon General Congregation
35 - Afternoon Sunday Scholars
95 - Afternoon Total

Dorney, Primitive
20 - Morning
20 - Total

32 - Evening
32 - Total


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Dorney which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



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

DORNEY, in the hundred and deanery of Burnham, lies two miles and a half nearly west of Eton. The manor was parcel of the possessions of Burnham abbey, and afterwards in the Garrard family. It is now the seat of Sir Charles Harcourt Palmer bart. His ancestor, Sir, James Palmer knt. gentleman of the Privy Chamber to King Charles I. married the daughter and heir of Sir William Garrard, who died in 1607. Sir Philip Palmer knt. son of Sir James, was cup-bearer to King Charles II. On the death of Sir Thomas Palmer bart. of Wingham, in Kent, which happened in 1725, without issue, Charles Palmer esq. of Dorney, succeeded to the title. In the church is the monument of Sir William Garrard above-mentioned.

Sir C.H. Palmer is impropriator of the great tithes, which formerly belonged to Burnham abbey, and patron of the donative.

The learned bishop Montague was born at Dorney, about the year 1577, his father being then minister of the parish.



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SU931791 (Lat/Lon: 51.503177, -0.660059), Dorney which are provided by:


Names, Geographical

The name Dorney means 'Island, or dry ground in marsh, frequented by bumble-bees'.