BUCKINGHAMSHIRE (/ˈbʌkɪŋəmʃər/ or /-ʃɪər/ ), abbreviated
BUCKS, is a county in South East
England which borders Greater London
to the south east,
Berkshire to the south,
Oxfordshire to the west,
Northamptonshire to the north,
Bedfordshire to the north east and
Hertfordshire to the east.
Buckinghamshire is one of the home counties and towns such as High
Chesham and the Chalfonts in the east and
southeast of the county are parts of the London commuter belt, forming
some of the most densely-populated parts of the county. Development in
this region is restricted by the
Metropolitan Green Belt
Metropolitan Green Belt . Other large
settlements include the county town of
Aylesbury , Marlow in the south
near the Thames and
Princes Risborough in the west near Oxford. Some
areas without direct rail links to London, such as around the old
county town of
Buckingham and near Olney in the northeast, are much
less populous. The largest town is
Milton Keynes in the northeast,
which with the surrounding area is administered as a unitary authority
separately to the rest of Buckinghamshire. The remainder of the county
is administered by
Buckinghamshire County Council as a
non-metropolitan county , and four district councils. In national
Buckinghamshire is considered a reliable supporter of the
Conservative Party .
A large part of the
Chiltern Hills , an Area of Outstanding Natural
Beauty , runs through the south of the county and attracts many
walkers and cyclists from London. In this area older buildings are
often made from local flint and red brick. Many parts of the county
are quite affluent and like many areas around London this has led to
problems with housing costs: several reports have identified the
market town of
Beaconsfield as having among the highest property
prices outside London.
Chequers , a mansion estate owned by the
government, is the country retreat of the incumbent Prime Minister. To
the north of the county lies rolling countryside in the Vale of
Aylesbury and around the Great Ouse . The Thames forms part of the
county’s southwestern boundary. Notable service amenities in the
Pinewood Film Studios , Dorney rowing lake and part of
Silverstone race track on the
Northamptonshire border. Many national
companies have offices in Milton Keynes. Heavy industry and quarrying
is limited, with agriculture predominating after service industries.
* 1 History
* 2 Geography
* 2.1 Waterways
* 2.1.1 Rivers
* 2.1.2 Canals
* 2.2 Landscape
* 2.2.1 Mineral extraction
* 3 Demography
* 4 Politics
* 4.1 Ceremonial
* 4.2 Local government
Buckinghamshire County Council
Coat of arms
Coat of arms
* 4.3.2 Flag
* 5 Economy
* 6 Places of interest
* 7 Transport
* 7.1 Roads
* 7.2 Rail
* 8 Settlements
* 9 Education
* 10 Notable people
* 11 See also
* 12 Notes
* 13 References
* 14 External links
History of Buckinghamshire
History of Buckinghamshire Map of Bucks (1904)
Buckinghamshire is Anglo-Saxon in origin and means The
district (scire) of Bucca's home. Bucca's home refers to
the north of the county, and is named after an Anglo-Saxon landowner.
The county has been so named since about the 12th century; however,
the county has existed since it was a subdivision of the kingdom of
The history of the area predates the Anglo-Saxon period and the
county has a rich history starting from the Celtic and Roman periods,
though the Anglo-Saxons perhaps had the greatest impact on
Buckinghamshire: the geography of the rural county is largely as it
was in the Anglo-Saxon period. Later,
Buckinghamshire became an
important political arena, with King Henry VIII intervening in local
politics in the 16th century and just a century later the English
Civil War was reputedly started by
John Hampden in mid-Bucks.
Historically, the biggest change to the county came in the 19th
century, when a combination of cholera and famine hit the rural
county, forcing many to migrate to larger towns to find work. Not only
did this alter the local economic situation, it meant a lot of land
was going cheap at a time when the rich were more mobile and leafy
Bucks became a popular rural idyll: an image it still has today.
Buckinghamshire is a popular home for London commuters, leading to
greater local affluence; however, some pockets of relative deprivation
The expansion of London and coming of the railways promoted the
growth of towns in the south of the county such as Aylesbury, Amersham
and High Wycombe, leaving the town
Buckingham itself to the north in a
relative backwater. As a result, most county institutions are now
based in the south of the county or Milton Keynes, rather than in
The county can be split into two sections geographically. The south
leads from the
River Thames up the gentle slopes of the Chiltern Hills
to the more abrupt slopes on the northern side leading to the Vale of
Aylesbury , a large flat expanse of land, which includes the path of
River Great Ouse .
The county includes parts of two of the four longest rivers in
River Thames forms the southern boundary with
which has crept over the border at Eton and
Slough so that the river
is no longer the sole boundary between the two counties. The River
Great Ouse rises just outside the county in
Northamptonshire and flows
east through Buckingham,
Milton Keynes and Olney .
River Thames at Medmenham
The main branch of the
Grand Union Canal
Grand Union Canal passes through the county as
do its arms to
Wendover (disused) and Buckingham
(disused). The canal has been incorporated into the landscaping of
The southern part of the county is dominated by the Chiltern Hills.
The two highest points in
Haddington Hill in
Wendover Woods (a stone marks its summit) at 267 metres (876 ft) above
sea level, and Coombe Hill near
Wendover at 260 metres (850 ft).
Quarrying has taken place for chalk, clay for brickmaking and gravel
and sand in the river valleys. Flint, also extracted from quarries,
was often used to build older local buildings. Several former
quarries, now flooded, have become nature reserves.
POPULATION DENSITY (2011)
POPULATION PROJECTION 2026
High Wycombe , Marlow
Beaconsfield , Burnham
BOROUGH OF MILTON KEYNES
Milton Keynes ,
As can be seen from the table, the Vale of
Aylesbury and the Borough
Milton Keynes have been identified as growth areas, with a
projected population surge of almost 40,000 in
Aylesbury Vale between
2011 and 2026 and 75,000 in
Milton Keynes within the same 15 years.
The population of the
Borough of Milton Keynes
Borough of Milton Keynes is expected to reach
almost 350,000 by 2031, whilst the urban population of the county town
Aylesbury is expected to exceed 100,000.
Buckinghamshire is sub-divided into civil parishes.
Buckinghamshire is ethnically diverse, particularly in the
larger towns. At the end of the 19th century some Welsh drover
families settled in north Bucks and, in the last quarter of the 20th
century, a large number of Londoners in Milton Keynes. Between 6 and
7% of the population of
Aylesbury are of Asian or Asian British
Chesham has a similar-sized Asian community, and
High Wycombe is the most ethnically diverse town in the county, with
large Asian and Afro-Caribbean populations. During the Second World
War there were many Polish settlements in Bucks, Czechs in Aston
Abbotts and Wingrave, and Albanians in Frieth. Remnants of these
communities remain in the county.
List of Parliamentary constituencies in Buckinghamshire
Bucks County Council's
Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire ,
High Sheriff of
Buckinghamshire , and Ceremonial counties of
The ceremonial county of
Buckinghamshire consists of the area
Milton Keynes Borough Council as well as that
Buckinghamshire County Council. The ceremonial county
Lord Lieutenant and a
High Sheriff . Currently the Lord
Buckinghamshire is Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher and the
High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire is Amanda Nicholson. The office of
Custos rotulorum has been combined with that of
Lord Lieutenant since
At present, the county has two top-level administrations:
Buckinghamshire County Council, which administers about four-fifths of
the county (see map above) and the Borough of Milton Keynes, a unitary
authority , which administers the remaining fifth. There are four
district councils that are subsidiary to the county council: Aylesbury
South Bucks and Wycombe districts.
BUCKINGHAMSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL
The county council was founded in 1889 with its base in new municipal
buildings in Walton Street,
Aylesbury (which are still there). In
Buckinghamshire, local administration is run on a two-tier system
where public services are split between the county council and a
series of district councils.
In 1966 the council moved into new premises: a 15-storey tower block
in the centre of
Aylesbury (pictured) designed by county architect
Fred Pooley . Said to be one of the most unpopular and disliked
buildings in Buckinghamshire, it is now a Grade II listed building .
In 1997 the northernmost part of Buckinghamshire, then Milton Keynes
District, was separated to form a unitary authority, the Borough of
Milton Keynes; however for ceremonial and some other purposes Milton
Keynes is still considered in law to be part of Buckinghamshire.
Buckinghamshire County Council is a large employer in the county and
provides a variety of services, including education (schools, adult
education and youth services), social services, highways, libraries,
County Archives and Record Office, the County Museum and the Roald
Dahl Children\'s Gallery in Aylesbury, consumer services and some
aspects of waste disposal and planning.
Coat Of Arms
Neolithic Barrow, Whiteleaf Hill
The coat of arms of
Buckinghamshire County Council features a white
swan in chains. This dates back to the Anglo-Saxon period, when swans
were bred in
Buckinghamshire for the king's pleasure. That the swan is
in chains illustrates that the swan is bound to the monarch , an
ancient law that still applies to wild swans in the UK today. The arms
were first borne at the
Battle of Agincourt by the Duke of Buckingham
Above the swan is a gold band, in the centre of which is Whiteleaf
Cross , representing the many ancient landmarks of the county. The
shield is surmounted by a beech tree, representing the Chiltern Forest
that once covered almost half the county. Either side of the shield
are a buck , for Buckingham, and a swan, the county symbol.
The motto of the shield is Vestigia Nulla Retrorsum. This is Latin
and means 'no stepping back'.
The traditional flag of
Buckinghamshire comprises a chained swan on a
bicolour of red and black. The flag was registered with the Flag
Institute on 20 May 2011.
Milton Keynes Ercol furniture factory, Princes
Buckinghamshire has a modern service-based economy and is part of the
NUTS-2 region, which was
the seventh richest subregion in the
European Union in 2002. As well
as the highest GDP per capita outside Inner London, Buckinghamshire
has the highest quality of life, the highest life expectancy and the
best education results in the country. The southern part of the
county is a prosperous section of the
London commuter belt . The
county has fertile agricultural lands, with many landed estates ,
especially those of the Rothschild banking family of
England in the
19th century (see Rothschild properties in
England ). The county has
several annual agricultural shows, with the Bucks County Show
established in 1859. Manufacturing industries include furniture-making
(traditionally centred at
High Wycombe ), pharmaceuticals and
This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of
Buckinghamshire at current basic prices published by the Office for
National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds
sterling (except GVA index).
REGIONAL GROSS VALUE ADDED
GVA INDEX PER PERSON
PLACES OF INTEREST
Places of interest in Buckinghamshire Stowe
Landscape Garden The
Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, Great
Buckinghamshire is notable for its open countryside and natural
features, including the
Chiltern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural
Beauty , Stowe Landscaped Gardens near
Buckingham , and the River
Thames . The Ridgeway Path, a long-distance footpath, passes through
the county. The county also has many historic houses. Some of these
are opened to the public by the National Trust , such as Waddesdon
West Wycombe Park and
Cliveden . Other historic houses are
still in use as private homes, such as the Prime Minister 's country
Claydon House is a National Trust property, situated near the village
of Steeple Claydon. Home to the Verney family and was also home to
Florence Nightingale for some time.
Buckinghamshire is the location of
Bletchley Park , the site of World
War II British codebreaking and Colossus , the world's first
programmable electronic digital computer .
Buckinghamshire is the home of various notable people in connection
with whom tourist attractions have been established: for example the
Roald Dahl who included many local features and characters in
Sports facilities in
Buckinghamshire include half of the
Silverstone Circuit which straddles the Buckinghamshire
Adams Park in the south and stadium:mk in
the north, and the county is also home to the world-famous Pinewood
Dorney Lake , named "Eton Dorney" for the event, was used as
the rowing venue for the
2012 Summer Olympics
2012 Summer Olympics .
Transport in Buckinghamshire
The M40 in the Chilterns Local bus,
Buckinghamshire (including Milton Keynes) is served by four
motorways, although two are on its borders:
M40 motorway : cuts through the south of the county serving towns
High Wycombe and Beaconsfield
M1 motorway : serves
Milton Keynes in the north
M25 motorway : passes into Bucks but has only one junction
(J16-interchange for the M40)
M4 motorway : passes through the very south of the county with
only J7 in Bucks
Five important A roads also enter the county (from north to south):
* A5 : serves Milton Keynes
* A421 : serves
Milton Keynes and
Buckingham and links the M1 to the
* A41 : cuts through the centre of the county from Watford to
* A40 : parallels M40 through south Bucks and continues to Central
* A4 : serves
Taplow in the very south
The county is poorly served with internal routes, with the A413 and
A418 linking the south and north of the county.
Chiltern Railways service at
Great Missenden Express
As part of the
London commuter belt ,
Buckinghamshire is well
connected to the national rail network, with both local commuter and
inter-city services serving some destinations.
Chiltern Railways is a principal train operating company in
Buckinghamshire, providing the majority of local commuter services
from the centre and south of the county, with trains running into
London Marylebone .
First Great Western provides commuter services
Iver into Paddington .
London Midland provides
commuter services from
Milton Keynes Central into Euston whilst
Southern provides services (via the
West London Line ) from Milton
For intercity services,
Virgin Trains runs services from Milton
Keynes Central to Euston, North West
England , the West Midlands , the
Central Belt , and
North Wales . Meanwhile, First Great
Western operates non-stop inter-city services through the south of the
county between Paddington and South West
South Wales .
There are four main lines running through the county:
West Coast Main Line
West Coast Main Line in the north of the county serves
stations in Milton Keynes
* London to
Aylesbury Line serves
Aylesbury and other settlements
along the A413 towards London. Once part of the
Metropolitan line of
London Underground, which now runs to Amersham
Chiltern Main Line : serves the towns along the M40 motorway
High Wycombe and
Great Western Main Line
Great Western Main Line : runs through
Slough is now in
Berkshire , but the line enters Bucks twice, on either side of Slough,
Iver both having stations in Buckinghamshire.
There are the following additional lines:
Princes Risborough to
Aylesbury Line : a single track branch that
Chiltern Main Line to the London to
Marston Vale Line : between
Marlow Branch Line : between Marlow , Bourne End and
Metropolitan line : between
Chesham to London
* Chinnor and
Princes Risborough Railway , a preserved railway.
Iver will have
Crossrail services. From 2019, the East
West Rail Link is to reinstate the route via Winslow between Oxford
and Bletchley, enabling electrified services to
Milton Keynes Central.
The line between
Aylesbury and Claydon Junction is also to be
reinstated in the same programme, enabling services between Aylesbury
and Milton Keynes. . Finally, the
High Speed 2
High Speed 2 line may run non-stop
through the county at some future date.
Largest Towns in Ceremonial
Buckinghamshire (2011 census)
Borough of Milton Keynes
Unitary Authority since 1997. At the 2011 census, the population of
Milton Keynes Urban Area , which includes
Newport Pagnell and
Woburn Sands was 236,700
Includes suburbs of
Hazlemere . The
High Wycombe Urban
Area population is 133,204
County town of Buckinghamshire. Population of
Aylesbury Urban Area
Stoke Mandeville and
Bierton ) is 74,748
Part of Amersham/
Chesham urban area with a population of 46,122.
Part of Amersham/
Chesham urban area with a population of 46,122.
Chalfont St Peter . The area lacks town status but is the
5th largest conurbation in the county.
Historically the county town of Buckinghamshire
Borough of Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes Council, not
For the full list of towns, villages and hamlets in Buckinghamshire,
List of places in Buckinghamshire . Throughout history, there have
been a number of changes to the
Buckinghamshire boundary .
The Gateway Building,
Buckinghamshire New University , High
Wycombe . Further information: List of schools in Buckinghamshire
and List of schools in
Buckinghamshire is governed by two Local Education
Buckinghamshire County Council is one of the few
remaining LEAs still using the tripartite system , albeit with some
revisions such as the abolition of secondary technical schools . It
has a completely selective education system: pupils transfer either to
a grammar school or to a secondary modern school or free school
depending on how they perform in the
Eleven-Plus exam and on their
preferences. Pupils who do not take the test can only be allocated
places at secondary modern schools or free school. There are 9
independent schools and 34 maintained (state) secondary schools, not
including sixth form colleges , in the county council area. There is
Buckinghamshire University Technical College which offers
secondary education from age 14. The unitary authority of Milton
Keynes operates a comprehensive education system: there are 8
maintained (state) secondary schools in the borough council area.
Milton Keynes are also home to the University of
Buckinghamshire New University , the
Open University and
the University Campus
Milton Keynes .
John Milton's cottage, Chalfont
Buckingham church seen from across the Ouse
Buckinghamshire is the birthplace and/or final resting place of
several notable individuals. St
Osyth was born in Quarrendon and was
Aylesbury in the 7th century while at about the same time
Saint Rumwold was buried in
Buckingham . In the medieval period Roger
Wendover was, as the name suggests, from
Wendover and Anne Boleyn
also owned property in the same town. It is said that King Henry VIII
Aylesbury the county town in preference to
Boleyn\'s father owned property there and was a regular visitor
himself. Other medieval residents included
Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor , who
had a palace at Brill , and
John Wycliffe who lived in Ludgershall .
Buckinghamshire later became home to some notable literary
Edmund Waller was brought up in
Beaconsfield and served as
Member of Parliament for both
Amersham and Wycombe . Percy Bysshe
Shelley and his wife Mary lived for some time in Marlow , attracted to
the town by their friend
Thomas Love Peacock who also lived there.
John Milton lived in
Chalfont St Giles and his cottage can still be
visited there and
John Wilkes was MP for
Aylesbury . Later authors
Jerome K. Jerome who lived at Marlow,
T. S. Eliot who also
lived at Marlow,
Roald Dahl who lived at
Great Missenden , Enid
Blyton who lived in
Edgar Wallace who lived at
Bourne End and is buried in
Little Marlow . Modern-day writers from
Terry Pratchett who was born in Beaconsfield, Tim Rice
who is from
Andy Riley who is from Aylesbury.
During the Second World War a number of European politicians and
statesmen were exiled in England. Many of these settled in Bucks as it
is close to London. President
Edvard Beneš of
Czechoslovakia lived at
Aston Abbotts with his family while some of his officials were
stationed at nearby Addington and
Wingrave . Meanwhile, Władysław
Sikorski , military leader of Poland, lived at
Iver and King Zog of
Albania lived at
Frieth . Much earlier, King Louis XVIII of France
lived in exile at Hartwell House from 1809 to 1814.
Also on the local political stage
Buckinghamshire has been home to
Nancy Astor who lived in
Frederick, Prince of Wales
Frederick, Prince of Wales who
also lived in Cliveden, Baron Carrington who lives in
Benjamin Disraeli who lived at
Hughenden Manor and was made Earl of
John Hampden who was from
Great Hampden and is revered
Aylesbury to this day and Prime Minister Archibald Primrose, 5th
Earl of Rosebery who lived at
Mentmore . Also worthy of note are
William Penn who believed he was descended from the Penn family of
Penn and so is buried nearby and the current Prime Minister of the
United Kingdom , who has an official residence at
Chequers . John
Archdale , the colonial governor of
North Carolina and South Carolina
, was born in Buckinghamshire.
Other notable natives of
Errol Barnett , news reporter, was born in
Nick Beggs , musician, is from Winslow
Lynda Bellingham , actress, was from
Emily Bergl , actress, born in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire,
though her family moved to suburban Chicago a few years after her
Emmerson Boyce , Wigan Athletic footballer, was born in
Nick Bracegirdle aka Chicane, was born in
Chalfont St Giles
Den Brotheridge ,
British Army Officer who died taking Pegasus
Bridge in France was from
* Charles Butler , pastor, grammarian, and pioneering beekeeper was
born in the county.
* Giles Cooper , entertainment producer, best known for Royal
Variety Performance . Born in
Amersham , brought up in
High Wycombe .
James Corden , actor, grew up in
Lucinda Dryzek , actress, born in
High Wycombe in
Emma Ferreira English contemporary artist, sculptor, photographer,
entrepreneur and philanthropist
Martin Grech , musician, is from
Julian Haviland , former Political Editor of both
ITN and The
Times newspaper, was born and brought up in
Iver Heath in
* Howard Jones , musician, is from
Prince Michael of Kent
Prince Michael of Kent , member of the
British Royal Family
British Royal Family , born
Arthur Lasenby Liberty , merchant, was from
* Richard Lee , footballer, attended
Aylesbury Grammar School
* Jonathon Lewis ,
England test cricketer, was born in
Al Murray , television / radio presenter also known as The Pub
Landlord originates from
John Otway , musician, is from
Leigh-Anne Pinnock , singer and member of 2011 X-Factor winning
girl group Little Mix, born in High Wycombe
Matt Phillips , footballer playing for
Queens Park Rangers F.C. ,
was born in
Dominic Raab , politician and Conservative Member of Parliament
grew up in
Gerrards Cross and attended Dr Challoner\'s Grammar School
Steve Redgrave , five-time Olympic gold medallist rower is from
Tim Rice , lyricist and author, lives in
George Gilbert Scott , architect famous for his numerous Gothic
revival buildings, born in
Simon Standage , Baroque violinist, is from
Justin Sullivan , musician with
New Model Army
* Michael York , actor, born in
Celebrities living in Bucks include:
Cilla Black , television presenter, lived in Denham
Fern Britton , television presenter, lives in
Melanie Brown , musician, lived in
Roy Castle , dancer, singer, comedian, actor, television presenter
and musician lived in
John Craven , television presenter, lives in
Tess Daly has a house in
Iain Duncan Smith , politician, lives in
Ian Dury , musician, lived in
Noel Edmonds , television presenter, once lived in Weston Turville
* Andrew Fletcher , musician with
Depeche Mode , has a home in
Noel Gallagher , musician with Oasis , lives in
Barry Gibb , musician from
Bee Gees , lives in
John Gielgud , actor, was living in
Wotton Underwood when he
David Jason , actor, lives in
* Peter Jones , businessman, lives in
* Jason "Jay" Kay , musician and frontman of
Jamiroquai , lives in
Vernon Kay has a house in
John Laurie , actor, lived in
Chalfont St Peter
Hayley Mills and
Roy Boulting lived in
John Mills , actor, lived in Denham
Mike Oldfield , musician, once lived in
Nduka Onwuegbute , playwright, lives in
Ozzy Osbourne , musician, has a home in Jordans
Pauline Quirke , actress, lives in Penn
Joan G. Robinson , author and illustrator
Steve Rothery , musician with
Marillion , lives in Whitchurch
Rothschild family , bankers, had houses in Ascott , Aston Clinton
Eythrope , Halton ,
Tiny Rowland , businessman, lived in
Chris Standring , jazz guitarist and musician
Jackie Stewart , former racing driver, lives in
Andrew Strauss ,
England cricket captain, lives in Marlow
Dave Vitty ,
BBC Radio 1
BBC Radio 1 DJ, lives in
Mark Webber , former Formula 1 racing driver, lives in Aston
Terry Wogan , radio and television broadcaster, lived in
* Duke of
Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire
High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire
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Varsity Line together
Bow Brickhill ,
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Bletchley and Fenny
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* ^ includes energy and construction
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