"Wendover is on the direct road from London, through Amersham to Aylesbury, situated at the foot of the range of the Chiltern Hills, at the intersection of an ancient road from Hertfordshire to Risborough; unquestionably, once a British trackway, and subsequently made the line of the Roman Icknield through this County into Berkshire. The situation is pleasant, and even picturesque; the TOWN being partly enclosed by lofty irregular eminences, whose surfaces, clothed with beech-wood and firs, or dotted with sheep, are in full view from the streets; whilst in an opposite direction, the eye ranges over the contiguous Vale of Aylesbury, rich with corn and pasturage, to the bold hills, which are its northern boundaries. WENDOVER is thirty-five miles from London, four and a half from Aylesbury, six from Tring, Co. Herts, and about the same distance from Risborough.
Leland describes Wendover, as "a pretty Through-Fayre Towne, havinge 2 streets well builded with Tymbre. There is a Causey made almost through to passe betwixt Alesbury and it els the way in wett tyme as in a stiffe Claye were tedious and ill to passe."
"The Townelett selfe, of Wendover, standeth partly upon the North-East Cliffes of Chilterne Hilles. The Residewe and North West Part standeth in the Rootes of the Hilles. Looke as the Countrye of the Vale of Alesbury, for the most part is cleane barren of Wood, and is champaine; soe is all the Chilterne well wooded, and full of enclosures."
The Parish, including the BOROUGH and FORRENS, (the latter, that portion, which, within the limits of the Township, was not entitled to burgage privileges) is bounded, on the North, by Stoke Mandeville, Weston-Turville, and Halton; on the East, by Buckland and Lee; on the South, by Great Missenden and Great Hampden; and on the West, by Little Missenden and Ellesborough. The TOWN, properly so called, is situated about the middle of the Parish; the Forrens, consisting of detached farm-houses and cottages, interspersed among some dwellings of superior description, being chiefly southward of the Town." [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.
"Dictionary of English Place-Names", A.D. Mills, Oxford University Press, 1997, ISBN 0 19 28131 3
"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: Aylesbury Hundred - Part 1, Volume 3", Peter Quick.
War memorials in Wendover have been transcribed by Peter Quick, and published in a booklet entitled "War Memorials and War Graves: Aylesbury Hundred - Part 1, Volume 3", available from the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society.
In 1642 there were 143 people named in the tax returns for contributions for Ireland. Between them they were assessed at £23.0.7 of which sum Mr Hackwell and his wife contributed £2.0.0
In 1798 the Posse Comitatus listed 288 men between the ages of 16 and 60 in Wendover.
In the earliest government census of 1801, there were 1397 inhabitants in 336 families living in 264 houses recorded in Wendover.
|Census Year||Population of Wendover|
* = 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.
- 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.
The original copies of the parish registers for St Mary the Virgin, Wendover have been deposited in the Buckinghamshire Record Office in Aylesbury, and they hold the following years:
|Christenings||1626 - 1962|
|Marriages||1670 - 1983|
|Burials||1671 - 1949|
Copies or indexes to the parish registers are available from societies as follows:
1627 - 1728
|Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society|
1576 - 1837
|Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society|
1576 - 1837
|Buckinghamshire Family History Society|
1669 - 1880
|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 Wendover showed the following numbers:
St Mary the Virgin
|218 - Morning General Congregation|
74 - Morning Sunday Scholars
292 - Morning Total
190 - Afternoon General Congregation
|300 - Morning General Congregation|
80 - Morning Sunday Scholars
380 - Morning Total
200 - Afternoon General Congregation
150 - Evening General Congregation
|120 - Morning General Congregation|
104 - Morning Sunday Scholars
224 - Morning Total
30 - Afternoon General Congregation
129 - Evening General Congregation
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You can see the administrative areas in which Wendover has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.
Wendover was described in 1806 in "Magna Britannia" as follows:
WENDOVER, in the hundred of Aylesbury, is a market town, 35 miles from London, on the road to Aylesbury and Buckingham. It gives name to the deanery in which it is situated. The earliest charter for a market to be found on record, is in 1403. A subsequent charter of the year 1464, confirms a market on Thursdays, and two fairs to the men of Wendover. The market which is now on Tuesdays, is very inconsiderable. John Molins had a grant of a fair on the festival of St. Barnabas in 1349. The present fairs are May 13 and October 2.
The town of Wendover sent members to parliament as early as the year 1300. This privilege, after a discontinuance of above 300 years, was restored in 1623, by the exertions of Mr. Hakeville, a barrister of Lincoln's Inn. The right of election is vested in all the house-keepers residing within the limits of the borough, and not receiving alms. The celebrated John Hampden, the patriot, represented the borough of Wendover in five parliaments.
The manor was given by King Henry II. to Faramus de Boulogne, and from him descended by a female heir to the family of Fiennes. It having been forfeited by an attainder, King Edward III. gave it to Sir John Molins, in 1341. Having reverted to the crown in the same reign, it was given to Alice Perrers, the king's favorite, on whose disgrace at the commencement of the ensuing reign, it was seized by King Richard II. who granted it in 1380 to his half brother, Thomas Holland, Earl of Kent, and in 1388, to Edward Duke of York, who dying without male issue, it reverted to the crown, and was from time to time granted for life to the queen or some of the branches of the royal family, till the year 1564, when it was granted in fee to Sir Francis Knollys, and Catherine his wife. About the year 1660, it was purchased by the Hampden family, in whom the fee is still vested, subject to an interest in it, purchased by Lord Carrington, during the life of the present Lord Hampden.
The manor of Martyns, in Wendover, which had belonged to the Dormers, was purchased of that family, in 1670, by Thomas Lewes esq. alderman of London, and passed with West-Wycombe to the Dashwoods. It is now the property of Matthew Raper esq. The manor of Wyvelsgate, in Wendover, has been many years in the family of Colet or Collett. Sir Henry Colet, lord mayor of London, and father of Dean Colet, the founder of St. Paul's school, was of this family, and born in the parish of Wendover. The family of Colet has lately become extinct in the male line; and on the death of the last Mr. Collett, the estate devolved to his nephew, Mr. Richard Stratfold, who has taken the name of Collett in addition to his own. The mercers company have the manor of Hale in this parish, being part of the estate left by Dr. John Colet, dean of St. Paul's, to that company for charitable uses.
The parish church, which stands a quarter of a mile from the town, contains no monuments worthy of notice. There are the remains of a chapel in the town, which was dedicated to St. John. It has been long disused. The vicarage is in the gift of the crown. In 1771, an act of parliament passed for making exchanges in this parish, and settling a corn-rent on the vicar in lieu of tithes. Another act for inclosure of the whole parish excepting Bottendown-hill, passed in 1794, when allotments of land were made to Lord Hampden, Matthew Raper, and others as impropriators, and to the vicar, for the glebe and vicarial tithes. The great tithes were formerly appropriated to the monastery of St. Mary Overie, in Southwark.
Roger de Wendover, the historian, who was historiographer to King Henry III. is said to have been a native of this place.
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SP869078 (Lat/Lon: 51.76215, -0.742246), Wendover which are provided by:
- Google Maps
- StreetMap (Current Ordnance Survey maps)
- Bing (was Multimap)
- Old Maps Online
- National Library of Scotland (Old Ordnance Survey maps)
- Vision of Britain (Click "Historical units & statistics" for administrative areas.)
- English Jurisdictions in 1851 (Unfortunately the LDS have removed the facility to enable us to specify a starting location, you will need to search yourself on their map.)
- Magic (Geographic information) (Click + on map if it doesn't show)
- GeoHack (Links to on-line maps and location specific services.)
Wendover is believed to have been named after a stream which was originally here. Wendover is the Celtic name of a river meaning 'white waters'.