Gerrards Cross is a village and civil parish in the South Bucks district of Buckinghamshire, England. It is in the south of the county, separated from the London Borough of Hillingdon at Harefield by Denham. London is centred 19 miles east. Geographically large and suburban, Gerrards Cross is south of Chalfont St Peter and north of Fulmer and Hedgerley. It spans foothills of the Chiltern Hills and land on the right bank of the River Misbourne — it has a central public park, Gerrards Cross Common and Bulstrode Park Camp, a preserved area of land which was an Iron Age fortified encampment.
The village has a railway station on the Chiltern Line whose operator provides a fast service from the station to London and the M40 motorway is beside woodland on the southern boundary of the civil parish and the settlement has a commercial and leisure central area which is smaller than the nearby town of Beaconsfield.
The village name is new compared with the great bulk of English villages. Gerrards Cross did not exist in any formal sense until 1859 when it was formed by taking pieces out of the five parishes of Chalfont St Peter, Fulmer, Iver, Langley Marish and Upton to form a new ecclesiastical parish. It is named after the Gerrard family who in the early 17th century owned a manor here. At that time homes which were not farms were smallholdings clustered in a hamlet in the south of an elongated parish of Chalfont St Peter. Near its centre is site of an Iron Age minor hillfort, Bulstrode Park Camp, which is a scheduled ancient monument Originally named Jarrett's Cross before the times of the Gerrard family, after a highwayman , some areas retain the original name, such as Jarrett's Hill leading up to WEC International off the A40 west of the village.
In 2014, a major national surveying company named Gerrards Cross as the most sought-after and expensive commuter town or village in their London Hot 100 report, with an average sale price of £774,361.
The line on the map showing the separation of Gerrards Cross from Chalfont St. Peter is only arbitrary. Maps showing the transfer of lands have not been available to the writer.
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