"Hambleden, Hamleden, Hamelden, or Hambleton, is bounded, on the North, by Fingest and Marlow; on the East, by Medmenham; on the South, by the Thames; and on the West, by Fawley. The parish, is five miles in length and four in breadth; containing about 7000 acres, of which 5500 are arable and pasture, 1200 woodland, 150 common or waste. Mr. Langley says, that in 1796, there were thirty farms, 154 cottages, and about 970 inhabitants. The land-tax assessment was 511 l. 12s. 8d." [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 218 men between the ages of 16 and 60 in Hambleden.

In the earliest government census of 1801, there were 1074 inhabitants in 212 families living in 201 houses recorded in Hambleden.

Census YearPopulation of Hambleden

* = 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 Mary, Hambleden have been deposited in the Buckinghamshire Record Office in Aylesbury, and they hold the following years:

EventDates covered
Christenings1566 - 1969
Marriages1566 - 1905
Banns1754 - 1952
Banns (St John, Frieth)1877 - 1976
Burials1566 - 1981

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

Society Library*
Dates covered
1575 - 1837
Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society
1575 - 1837
Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society
1575 - 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 Hambleden showed the following numbers:

Hambleden, St Mary154 - Morning General Congregation
134 - Morning Sunday Scholars
288 - Morning Total

155 - Afternoon General Congregation
130 - Afternoon Sunday Scholars
285 - Afternoon Total

100 - Evening Sunday Scholars
100 - Evening Total

Hambleden, Frieth
St John the Evangelist
Chapel of Ease
80 - Afternoon General Congregation
80 - Afternoon Total

83 - Evening General Congregation
83 - Evening Total

Hambleden, Skirmett
Independent or
Congeregational Chapel
67 - Afternoon General Congregation
34 - Afternoon Sunday Scholars
101 - Afternoon Total
Hambleden, Pheasant's Hill
Zion Chapel, Independent
or Congregational
79 - Morning General Congregation
79 - Morning Total

84 - Evening General Congregation
84 - Evening Total


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Hambleden which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



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

HAMBLEDEN, in the hundred of Desborough and deanery of Wycombe, is situated in a pleasant valley, about a mile out of the road from Marlow to Henley, at the distance of about six miles from the former, and somewhat more than four from the latter. It had formerly a market on Mondays, granted in 1315 to the Baddlesmeres, with a fair on the festival of St. Bartholomew, and confirmed, in 1321, to Hugh Despencer the elder, who had a temporary possession of the manor, during an attainder, which was afterwards reversed. The manor of Hambleden was anciently in the Clares, Earls of Gloucester, from whom it passed, by female heir, to the families of Baddlesmere, Tibtot, and Scrope. After the death of Emmanuel Scrope, Earl of Sunderland, in 1631, it became the property of Thomas Earl Rivers, who married one of his natural daughters. Before the close of the 17th century it was purchased, but not immediately, as it appears, of the Rivers family, by Robert Clayton, lord mayor of London in 1680, in whose family it continued till within a few years. The late Sir Robert Clayton bart. gave it by will to his solicitor, R.I. Troward esq. who in 1803 sold the manor, and a considerable part of the estate, to Robert Scott esq. of Danesfield. The manor-house was for many generations a seat of the Scropes. It was rebuilt on a new site about the year 1604, by the last Lord Scrope, of Bolton, who was Lord President of the north, and in 1627, created Earl of Sunderland. It is said that King Charles I. came to this house on the 28th of April 1646, with Dr. Hudson and Mr. Ashburnham, on his road from oxford to St. Alban's: the house is at present unoccupied.

There is another manor in this parish, called Greenland or Ewden, which was successively in the ancient families of Chowne and Shipwash. From the latter it passed to a younger branch of the Doyleys of Oxfordshire. In 1651 it was sold by Sir John Doyley to Sir Bulstrode Whitlock. After some intermediate alienations, the estate became divided between two co-heiresses. The Rev. Mr. Hinde, who resides at Mill-end, being in possession of one of the moities in right of his wife, who was widow of the late Richard Lane esq. purchased the other moiety in 1801, of the Rev. Henry Stevens, of Bradfield, in Berks. Mr. Hinde retaining the manor, has since sold Greenland farm, and the site of Greenland-house to Mr. Steers.

Greenland-house was a seat of the Doyleys: in the month of May 1644, being then the property of Sir John Doyley, it was garrisoned for the king, with a view of commanding the passage of the river Thames from Henley and Reading to London. After sustaining a long and severe siege from the parliamentary forces under the command of Major-General Brown, the house having been almost reduced to a heap of ruins, by the batteries from the opposite side of the river, it was surrendered on honourable terms the llth July, by its governor, Col. Hawkins. The ground about the farm exhibits the appearance of extensive fortifications and buildings.

In this parish is Parmoor, the seat of John Doyley esq. a descendant of the Doyleys of Greenland-house. The estate belonged formerly to the Knights Hospitallers; it came to the Doyleys by marriage with the family of Saunders. Lady Periam, relict of Sir Robert Doyley, and afterwards wife of Sir William Periam, who died in 1621, bequeathed an estate in this parish to archbishop Laud, to be disposed of at his direction, for the benefit of some college in Oxford; the archbishop founded with it a fellowship and two scholarships at Baliol College.

In the parish church (a large and handsome Gothic structure) are some memorials of the family of Scrope; an ancient mural monument, without either name or date, which from the arms, and the name Elizabeth which occur in some verses, appears to have been intended for Thomas Lord Sandys, of the Vine, who married Elizabeth, daughter of George Lord Roos, who died in 1526; and a tablet for Dr. Francis Gregory, rector of Hambleden, who died in 1707; he had been usher of Westminster School, under Dr. Busby, and was author of several school treatises and controversial tracts. In a burial-place belonging to the Doyleys, is a handsome monument for Sir Cope Doyley, who died in 1633, and his wife Martha, "who lived together in inviolated bands of holy wedlock 22 years, and multiplied themselves into five sons and five daughters." The following lines inscribed on the monument were written, probably, by Francis Quarles, who was lady Doyley's brother.


"Ask not me who's buried here,
Go ask the Commons, ask the sheire;
Go ask the church, they'll tell thee who,
As well as blubbered eyes can doe:
Go ask the herauldes, ask the poore,
Thine eares shall hear enough to ask no more.
Then if thine eye bedewe this sacred urne,
Each drop a pearle will turne
T' adorne his tombe, of if thou canst not vent,
Thou bringst more marble to his monument.


Wouldst thou, reader, draw to life,
The perfect copy of a wife:
Read on, and then redeem from shame,
That lost, that honourable name.
This dust was once in spirit a Jael,
Rebecca in grace, in heart an Abigail;
In works a Dorcas, to the church a Hannah,
And to her spouse, Susanna.
Prudently simple, providently wary,
To the world a Martha and to heaven a Mary."

The valuable rectory of Hambleden is in the gift of St. Matthew Ridley, by the bequest of the late William Colborne esq. of Bath, his lady's uncle, by whom it was purchased a few years ago. James Howell, in a letter to his brother Thomas, (afterwards bishop of Bristol,) written in 1628, and published in his familiar letters, says, that it was then valued at 500. l per annum, and better than some bishoprics. He offers his brother the refusal of purchasing the next presentation, which had been given him by Lord Sunderland, in satisfaction for some arrearages. This nobleman, when he built the present manor-house, gave the old mansion to the rector and his successors. The present rectory-house was built on its site by Dr. Kenrick, in 1724; it stands in a beautiful situation, at some distance from the village and church. The parish register records many births and burials of the families of Doyley and Scrope; the burial of Lord Chief Baron Hen, of Ireland, who died in 1708; and several instances of longevity, among which are four persons to the age of a hundred years or upwards.



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SU784866 (Lat/Lon: 51.572827, -0.870132), Hambleden which are provided by:


Names, Geographical

The name Hambledon derives from the old english words hamel, dun and means 'crooked or irregularly-shaped hill'.