Grendon Underwood

"This parish covers 2565 acres, of which 129 are arable, 2014 permanent grass and 21 woods and plantations. The soil is clay. The River Ray flows westward across the parish and also forms part of the western border. On the south the boundary follows the line of the Akeman Street, which crosses a tributary of the Ray at Gallows Bridge. This well-watered western district averages little over 200 ft. in height, but the ground rises towards the east to a height of 400 ft. above the ordnance datum." [© copyright of the editors of The Victoria Histories of the Counties of England]


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 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: Ashendon Hundred, Volume 5", Peter Quick and Bertrand Shrimpton.



War Memorials

War memorials in Grendon Underwood have been transcribed by Peter Quick and Bertrand Shrimpton, and published in a booklet entitled "War Memorials and War Graves: Ashendon Hundred, Volume 5", available from the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society.



In 1642 there were 43 people named in the tax returns for contributions for Ireland. Between them they were assessed at £4.3.6 of which sum Thos. Howe minister contributed £2.0.0

In 1798 the Posse Comitatus listed 69 men between the ages of 16 and 60 in Grendon Underwood.

In the earliest government census of 1801, there were 285 inhabitants in 60 families living in 47 houses recorded in Grendon Underwood.

Census Year Population of Grendon Underwood
1801* 285
1811* 271
1821* 312
1831* 379
1841 384
1851 427
1861 451
1871 448
1881 365
1891 373
1901 323

* = 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 Leonard, Grendon Underwood have been deposited in the Buckinghamshire Record Office in Aylesbury, and they hold the following years:

Event Dates covered
Christenings 1592 - 1869
Marriages 1560 - 1836
Banns 1803 - 1947
Burials 1591 - 1936

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

Society Library*
Dates covered
1560 - 1753
1803 - 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 Grendon Underwood showed the following numbers:

Church Attendance
Grendon Underwood,
St Leonard
No figures for the 30th March 1851

Average for previous 12 months:
60 - Morning General Congregation
40 - Morning Sunday Scholars
100 - Morning Total

70 - Afternoon General Congregation
40 - Afternoon Sunday Scholars
110 - Afternoon Total

Grendon Underwood,
Baptist Chapel
No figures for the 30th March 1851

Average for previous 12 months:
40 - Afternoon General Congregation
20 - Afternoon Sunday Scholars
60 - Afternoon Total


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Grendon Underwood which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



Grendon Underwood was described in 1806 in "Magna Britannia" as follows:

GRENDON-UNDERWOOD, in the hundred of Ashendon and deanery of Waddesdon, lies about eight miles from Aylesbury, near the road to Bicester. The manor was anciently in the baronial family of St. Amand, who had a seat here, and continued possessed of the estate for several generations. Almeric de St. Amand, of Grendon, was one of the god-fathers of King Edward I. About the year 1795, the manor of Grendon was sold by William Pigott esq. of Dodershall, in the neighbouring parish of Quainton, whose family had possessed it nearly three centuries, to the present proprietor, the Rev. G.H. Jervoise Purefoy, of Shalleston, in this county. In the parish church are monuments of several of the Pigott family; Richard Viscount Say and Sele, who died in 1781, and his lady, Christabella, who died in 1789, at the great age of 94. This lady, who was remarkable for preserving all the vivacity of youth, and joining in the amusements of the young till almost the latest period of her life, resided at Dodershall, which she possessed by jointure from her second husband, John Pigott esq. She was the last of the ancient family of the Tyrells of this county, being daughter of Sir Thomas Tyrell bart by whose death the title became extinct.

Mr. Pigott is patron of the rectory. The parish has been inclosed by an act of Parliament, which passed in the year 1769, when an allotment of land was assigned to the rector, in lieu of tithes, but not to affect his right to tithes of the Woodlands.

Anne, Lady Pigott, founded a charity-school at this place for six children.



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SP683206 (Lat/Lon: 51.879792, -1.009185), Grendon Underwood which are provided by:


Names, Geographical

The name Grendon means 'green hill', the addition of the word Underwood is believed to signify its vicinity to the forest of Bernwood.