Upper Winchendon


"The area of this parish is 1202 acres, of which 288 are arable land where wheat, barley, turnips, beans and mangold are grown, and 835 permanent grass. The soil is of limestone and clay on a subsoil of Kimmeridge Clay and Portland Beds. The land stands generally 400 ft. above the ordnance datum, falling in some parts to 300 ft. The village, which is small, is built on high ground with the church in a beautiful situation commanding fine views..." [© 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 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.




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 59 men between the ages of 16 and 60 in Upper Winchendon.

In the earliest government census of 1801, there were 206 inhabitants in 40 families living in 36 houses recorded in Upper Winchendon.

Census YearPopulation of Upper Winchendon

* = 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 Records

The original copies of the parish registers for St Mary Magdalen, Upper Winchendon have been deposited in the Buckinghamshire Record Office in Aylesbury, and they hold the following years:

EventDates covered
Christenings1606 - 1812
Marriages1606 - 1970
Burials1606 - 1812

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

Society Library*
Dates covered
1600 - 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 Upper Winchendon showed the following numbers:

Upper Winchendon,
St Mary Magdalen
25 - Morning General Congregation
30 - Morning Sunday Scholars



Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Upper Winchendon which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



Upper Winchendon was described in 1806 in "Magna Britannia" as follows:

OVER, or UPPER-WINCHENDON, in the hundred of Ashendon and deanery of Waddesdon, lies about six miles west of Aylesbury. The manor was given by King Henry I. to the canons of St. Frideswide in Oxford. After the suppression of that convent it was given to Cardinal Wolsey. On the cardinal's fall the grant was resumed, and it continued in the crown till 1623, when it was granted to the family of Goodwin, and passed in marriage with Jane, daughter and heir of Arthur Goodwin esq. to Philip Lord Wharton: his son Thomas, who was in 1706 created Viscount Winchendon, Earl, and afterwards Marquis of Wharton, made Winchendon his chief residence, having enlarged the manor-house, and made it a magnificent mansion. The gardens were esteemed superior to any then in the county, and were particularly celebrated for a fine collection of orange trees. Philip Lord Wharton, who suceeded his father in his title and estates, was, in 1718, created Duke of Wharton. Granger relates an anecdote of the facetious Colley Cibber, that riding the duke in his coach at Winchendon, where the soil is a stiff clay, and the roads very deep and heavy, thus addressed himself to his noble companion: report says that your grace is running out of your estates, I am sure that 'tis impossible for you to run out of this. The Duke of Wharton having been attainted of treason for acting in favour of the pretender, and his estates confiscated, the manor of Over-Winchendon, was sold to Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, and the house and gardens, after a very short-lived fame, became dilapidated and neglected. The house was pulled down about the year 1760. Some of the offices have been fitted up for residence of a steward. The estate is now the property of his grace the Duke of Marlborough, who has the impropriation of the great tithes formerly belonging to the canons of St. Frideswide, and is patron the vicarage.

In the church is the tomb of Sir John Stodel, a vicar of Winchendon, with his effigies on a brass plate, remarkably well preserved.




You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SP746144 (Lat/Lon: 51.823252, -0.919015), Upper Winchendon which are provided by:


Names, Geographical

The name Winchendon possibly derives from the old english Winecan-dun and means 'Wineca's hill'. The name Upper being used as a distinguishing affix.