Bourne End is a large residential village mostly in the parish of Wooburn and Bourne End, but also in the parish of Little Marlow, in Buckinghamshire, England. Many properties here face Berkshire on the opposite Thames bank, most are upstream of where the River Wye meets the river and it has its own station on a four-station branch line from Maidenhead railway station on the Great Western Main Line.
Bourne End's original location is somewhat different from today's established village centre, a half a mile downstream on the River Thames. The name refers to the end of the river (bourne being an Old English term for 'river'), and it would be the mouth of the River Wye that this is derived from. The then hamlet appears on Morden's 1722 map of Buckinghamshire as "Born end". It was noted in the nineteenth century however, that the name had been corrupted to "Bone End", apparently through local mispronunciation, and thence on official maps and documents; in 1858, the vicar of Wooburn successfully reversed this, and the corrected name remains in use today.
The entire length of the River Wye was the provider of water power for many mills in the valley for hundreds of years, and Bourne End was no exception. There were four on the final stretch of the river; Princes Mill, Jacksons (or Gunpowder) Mill, Hedsor Mill and Lower Mill. These mills were historically the predominant employers of the area, along with the local farms and two wharfs on the Thames.
In the early nineteenth century, the settlement known as Bourne End was a hamlet of Wooburn parish, along with others such as Spring Gardens, Eghams Green, Cores End, Heavens Lea and Upper Bourne End. This changed with the emergence of the Wycombe Railway Company in 1846. By 1854, Isambard Kingdom Brunel had designed and constructed a railway linking Maidenhead to High Wycombe. The station was originally known as Marlow Road station, until 1874, a year after the branch line to Marlow was built, and from then on Bourne End station. The railway created more travel opportunities for locals and greatly benefited the mills, and thus Bourne End expanded, on a greater scale than other similar settlements in the surrounding area. See Marlow Branch Line and Marlow Donkey for more information.
The hamlets soon merged into what is now known as Bourne End, as did Well End and Coldmoorholme in the neighbouring parish of Little Marlow. Both a church and school were built at the turn of the century for the residents' convenience. The Parade became established as the focal point of the village for shops and services.
In the 1920s Bourne End became home for two distinguished literary figures; Enid Blyton, a perennially popular children's writer, moved into Old Thatch on Coldmoorholm Lane, and Edgar Wallace, a prolific crime author and dramatist, bought Chalklands off Blind Lane. Another resident was Louis Blériot, the French aviator and aircraft builder, who lived at New York Lodge beside the Thames from 1916 to 1926, when it burnt down.
The Royalty Cinema opened in The Parade in 1934. The late 1940s saw extensive development in Bourne End, of the Chalklands estate and the Council Estate north of The Parade. The 1960s saw the building of Community Centre and Library in Wakeman Road after some years of local campaigning.
The Beeching Axe hit the northward railway line in 1969 that announced the line between Bourne End and High Wycombe would be shut: the northern track bed was lifted soon after closure in 1970 to be lated in part developed on as an office park yet most remains as a footpath between the village and Wooburn.
Birth, marriage and death certificates can now be ordered online from Buckinghamshire County Council. The full postal address is Buckinghamshire Register Office, County Hall, Walton Street, Aylesbury, HP20 1YU.
The Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies (County Hall, Walton Street, Aylesbury, HP20 1UU) holds
In Buckinghamshire, as with other counties in England and Wales, the location of offices where Births, Marriages and Deaths were registered has altered with other changes in local government. A list of the location of Registration Offices since civil registration began in 1837 has been prepared by GENUKI (Genealogy: United Kingdom and Ireland). The table also gives details of when each Registration Office was in existence. In the case of Buckinghamshire, the same registration offices were used for the censuses since 1851.
Nineteenth Century Local Administration
English Jurisdictions is a webpage provided by FamilySearch which analyses every ecclesiastical parish in England at the year 1851. It provides, with the aid of outline maps, the date at which parish records and bishops transcripts begin, non-conformist denominations with a chapel within the parish, the names of the jurisdictions in charge: county, civil registration district, probate court, diocese, rural deanery, poor law union, hundred, church province; and links to FamilySearch historical records, FamilySearch Catalog and the FamilySearch Wiki. Two limitations: only England, and at the year 1851.
During the 19th century two bodies, the Poor Law Union and the Sanitary District, had responsibility for governmental functions at a level immediately above that covered by the civil parish. In 1894 these were replace by Rural and Urban Districts. These were elected bodies, responsible for setting local property assessments and taxes as well as for carrying out their specified duties. Thses districts continued in operation until 1974. Urban districts for larger municipalities were called "Municipal Boroughs" and had additional powers and obligations.
Poor Law Unions, established nationally in 1834, combined parishes together for the purpose of providing relief for the needy who had no family support. This led to the building of '"union poorhouses" or "workhouses" funded by all the parishes in the union. The geographical boundaries established for the individual Poor Law Unions were employed again when Registration Districts were formed three years later. In 1875 Sanitary Districts were formed to provide services such as clean water supply, sewage systems, street cleaning, and the clearance of slum housing. These also tended to follow the same geographical boundaries, although there were local alterations caused by changes in population distribution.
Online Historical References