Great Horwood


(including Singleborough)


"Horwood, or Harwood Magna, is situated on the verge of Whaddon Chase, being a Parish of considerable extent, about five miles in circumference; bounded, on the North, by Thornborough; on the East, by Whaddon and Little Horwood; on the South, by Adstock and Addington; and on the West, by Thoronborough and Buckingham. The soil is a deep clay, intermixed with sand." [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: North Central Bucks, Volume 4", Peter Quick.



War Memorials

War memorials in Great Horwood have been transcribed by Peter Quick, and published in a booklet entitled "War Memorials and War Graves: North Central Bucks, Volume 4", available from the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society.



In 1642 there were 74 people named in the tax returns for contributions for Ireland. Between them they were assessed at £5.11.1 1/2 of which sum Mr Fryars contributed £0.10.0

In 1798 the Posse Comitatus listed the following numbers of men between the ages of 16 and 60: Great Horwood -103, Singleborough - 23.

In the earliest government census of 1801, the following was recorded:

  • Great Horwood - 450 inhabitants in 91 families living in 91 houses
  • Singleborough - 87 inhabitants in 24 families living in 18 houses
Census YearPopulation of Great Horwood

* = 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 James, Great Horwood have been deposited in the Buckinghamshire Record Office in Aylesbury, and they hold the following years:

EventDates covered
Christenings1600 - 1892
Marriages1600 - 1837
Banns1754 - 1920
Burials1600 - 1862

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

Society Library*
Dates covered
1591 - 1743
1754 - 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 Great Horwood showed the following numbers:

Great Horwood, St James120 - Morning General Congregation
114 - Morning Sunday Scholars
134 [sic] - Morning Total

230 - Afternoon General Congregation
119 - Afternoon Sunday Scholars
349 - Afternoon Total

Great Horwood,
Independent Chapel
140 - Morning General Congregation

200 - Evening General Congregation


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Great Horwood which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



Great Horwood was described in 1806 in "Magna Britannia" as follows:

GREAT-HARWOOD, in the hundred of Cotslow and deanery of Muresley, lies about two miles north of Winslow: it had formerly a market on Wednesdays, granted in 1447 to New-College, in Oxford, together with a fair for three days, at the festival of St. James.

The manor was given by Walter Giffard, Earl of Buckingham, to the priory of Newton-Longueville; on the suppression of which, in 1415, it was granted to John Duke of Bedford: reverting to the crown at his death, it was granted in 1441 to the wardens and scholars of New-College, in Oxford, who are patrons of the rectory. In the church are some memorials of the family of Barker.

Singleborough, a considerable hamlet about a mile from the village, has been inclosed by an act of parliament, passed in 1799, when an allotment of land was given to the rector, in lieu of the small tithes, and for the great tithes to which he was said to be entitled, as lessee under New-College. Several persons are mentioned in the act as claimants of the manor of Singleborough.



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SP772312 (Lat/Lon: 51.973917, -0.877543), Great Horwood which are provided by:


Names, Geographical

The name Horwood derives from the old english words horh, wudu, and means 'filthy' or 'muddy wood'. The name Great being used as a distinguishing affix.

The name Singleborough means 'gravel hill'.