Little Marlow

"Little Marlow is bounded, on the North, by High Wycombe; on the East, by Woburn; on the South, by the Thames, by which it is separated from Berkshire; and on the West, by Great Marlow; being about three miles long, two and a half broad; and containing about 3182 acres; of which 2285 are arable and pasture, 674 woodland and underwood, 70 in gardens and orchards, 153 commons and waste: and comprising twenty farms. There were 663 acres of beech-wood in the parish." [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: Marlow and area, Volume 12", 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 155 men between the ages of 16 and 60 in Little Marlow.

In the earliest government census of 1801, there were 728 inhabitants in 135 families living in 124 houses recorded in Little Marlow.

Census Year Population of Little Marlow
1801* 728
1811* 730
1821* 775
1831* 783
1841 927
1851 894
1861 790
1871 964
1881 976
1891 922
1901 939

* = 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.


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 John the Baptist, Little Marlow have been deposited in the Buckinghamshire Record Office in Aylesbury, and they hold the following years:

Event Dates covered
Christenings 1562 - 1975
Marriages 1559 - 1987
Burials 1559 - 1951

Online transcripts of Parish Registers : the following transcripts are available online

Marriages 1559 – 1837

Society Transcripts of Parish Registers

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

Society Library*
Dates covered
Society Publications
Dates covered
1562 - 1812
Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society
1559 - 1837
Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society
1559 - 1837
Buckinghamshire Family History Society
1559 - 1812
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 Little Marlow showed the following numbers:

Church Attendance
Little Marlow,
St John the Baptist
100 - Morning General Congregation
100 - Morning Sunday Scholars
200 - Morning Total

200 - Afternoon General Congregation
100 - Afternoon Sunday Scholars
300 - Afternoon Total

Little Marlow,
Independent Dissenters
50 - Evening General Congregation


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Little Marlow which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



Little Marlow was described in 1806 in "Magna Britannia" as follows:

LITTLE-MARLOW, in the hundred of Desborough and deanery of Wycombe, lies two miles to the north-east of Great-Marlow. At this place was a small convent of Benedictine nuns, said to have been founded by Geffrey Lord Spencer, before the reign of King John, in honor of the Virgin Mary. Its revenues were valued in 1534, at 23 l. 3s. 7d. per annum: it was then given to Bisham Abbey. The general dissolution of monastries followed within a few years, when the site of the convent at Marlow was granted to Tytley and Restwold. Browne Willis describes the chapel and hall of this nunnery, as remaining in his time. The hall, which was 60 feet in length was pulled down in 1740. There are now no remains of the conventual buildings.

The manor of Little-Marlow, which had belonged to the nunnery, after passing, within a short period, through several hands, was purchased about the year 1560, by the family of Borlase, who had a seat here, and another at Bockmer, in the parish of Medmenham. The elder branch of this family became extinct, by the death of Sir John Borlase bart in 1688. His daughter married Arthur Warren esq. whose great-grandson, Admiral Sir John Borlase Warren bart. K.B. sold the manor of Little-Marlow in 1781, to the guardians of William Lee Antonie esq. M.P. the present proprietor, then a minor.

The manor of Danvers, in this parish, so called from an ancient family who possessed it in the thirteenth century, is now also the property of Mr. Lee Antonie. A manor in Little-Marlow, (perhaps the same) was formerly in the Mowbrays and Berkeleys: it was given, with other estates, by the Marquis of Berkeley, to Sir Reginald Bray.

Westthorp-house, the seat of Thomas Wilkinson esq. was built by James Chase esq. member for Marlow, in the reigns of King William and Queen Anne: it was rented of his widow by Dr. Maddox, bishop of Worcester, and was afterwards the seat of Sir Everard Faukener, Ambassador to the Porte, and one of the postmasters-General.

In the parish church is an altar-tomb, with brass plates, for Nicholas Ledwich, founder either of the church or chancel, as appears by his epitaph. He died in 1430. There are some memorials also for the families of Chase and Warren.

In ancient times the benefice of Little Marlow was in medieties, and the church was served alternately by two rectors. In 1342, the great tithes were appropriated to the priory: they are now the property of Mr. Lee Antonie, who is patron of the vicarage. The present vicar is the Rev. Thomas Martyn, regius professor of Botany in the university of Cambridge.



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SU873880 (Lat/Lon: 51.584106, -0.741394), Little Marlow which are provided by:


Names, Geographical

The name Marlow derives from the old english mere, laf and means 'land remaining after the draining of a pool'. The name Little is used as a distinguishing affix.