"FAWLEY anciently, FALELIE, FALLEY, FALLAY, or FALLE, is situated at the southern extremity of the Hundred; and is bounded, on the North, by Hambleden; on the East, by the Thames; and on the South and West, by part of Oxfordshire; the boundary line of the Counties passing through the lawn of Fawley Court, very irregularly. The Parish, about three miles long and two broad, extends to about ten in circumference, containing 2500 acres; of which, 250 are woodland, 100 meadow, and the residue arable and pasture."[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: High Wycombe and area, Volume 11", 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 62 men between the ages of 16 and 60 in Fawley.

In the earliest government census of 1801, there were 181 inhabitants in 35 families living in 35 houses recorded in Fawley.

Census YearPopulation of Fawley

* = 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 Parish Registers are still held in the parish. Photocopies of the parish registers for St Mary the Virgin, Fawley are held in the Buckinghamshire Record Office in Aylesbury, and they hold the following years:

EventDates covered
Christenings1679 - 1909
Marriages1684 - 1812
Banns1754 - 1812; 1820
Burials1678 - 1812

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

Society Library*
Dates covered
1601 - 1817
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 Fawley showed the following numbers:

Fawley, St Mary the Virgin89 - Morning General Congregation
18 - Morning Sunday Scholars
107 - Morning Total

55 - Afternoon General Congregation
16 - Afternoon Sunday Scholars
71 - Afternoon Total


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Fawley which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



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

FAWLEY, in the hundred of Desborough and deanery of Wycombe, lies on the borders of Oxfordshire, about three miles north of Henley, and about seven miles west of Great-Marlow. The manor was in the Sackvilles from the time of the Norman conquest till about the year 1400, after which it passed by female heirs, to the families of Roke and Alford. From the latter it passed, either by descent or purchase, to Sir James Whitlock, an eminent lawyer, one of the justices of the Common Pleas, and father of the celebrated Sir Bulstrode Whitlock, who filled some of the highest departments in the State, during the protectorate of Cromwell, and is held in much esteem for the accuracy and impartiality of his historical memoirs. Sir James Whitlock died at Fawley in 1632, and lies buried in the parish church, where there is a handsome monument to his memory. In 1642, Fawley Court, then the seat of Sir Bulstrode Whitlock, was occupied by a large party of the king's troops, under the command of Sir John Byron: the soldiers, in spite of their commander's orders to abstain from such outrages, destroyed the furniture, books, title-deeds, and many valuable MSS. Collected by Sir Bulstrode and his father, rendering the house unfit for future residence of its learned owner, who died at his seat in Wiltshire in the year 1675, and was buried at Fawley on the 6th of August: there is no memorial for him in the church. His son sold the manor of Fawley about the year 1680, to Col. William Freeman, who dying in 1708, bequeathed this estate to his nephew, John Cook, who assumed the name of Freeman, and was ancestor of the present proprietor, Strickland Freeman esq. who is also patron of the rectory. The manor-house, called Fawley-Court, which is situated at a distance from the village on the banks of the Thames, was built in 1684, after a design of Sir Christopher Wren. In the gallery are some portraits of the families of Whitlock and Freeman.

An estate in this parish, now the property of Thomas Stonor esq. of Stonor, in Oxfordshire, has been in his family more than three centuries.

The parish church was repaired and fitted up in 1748, at the expence of John Freeman esq. then lord of the manor. The pews, pulpit, altar, and font, were brought from the chapel at Canons, the magnificent seat of James, duke of Chandos, which had been pulled down and sold piece-meal the preceeding year.



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SU756869 (Lat/Lon: 51.575906, -0.910462), Fawley which are provided by:


Names, Geographical

The name Fawley derives from the words fealh, fealo, leah and means either 'fallow clearing', or 'fallow-coloured clearing'.