Place:Bledlow, Buckinghamshire, England

Alt namesBledlaisource: Domesday Book (1985) p 42
Coordinates51.713°N 0.875°W
Located inBuckinghamshire, England
See alsoBledlow-cum-Saunderton, Buckinghamshire, Englandcivil parish of which Bledlow is a part
Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, Englandadministrative district formed 1974 including Bledlow-cum-Saunderton
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Bledlow is a village in the civil parish of Bledlow-cum-Saunderton in Buckinghamshire, England. It is situated about a mile and a half WSW of Princes Risborough, and on the border with Oxfordshire. The village's name is Anglo-Saxon and means Bledda's burial mound. In the 10th century the village was recorded as Bleddanhloew; in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Bledelai.

The village is situated on the ancient road Icknield Way and is the location where several springs form a small pool called the Lyde. The water from the springs is said to wear away the chalk on which the village stands, giving rise to the simple local medieval nursery rhyme:

The brook running from the pool into the nearby valley (called the Lyde Brook) provided water power for two mills for many years.[1] The village's watermill is a tourist attraction.

Above the village, carved into the chalk of Wain Hill is a large cross, similar to that found at Whiteleaf.[1] There is also a round barrow on the hill. It is thought that this is the barrow or burial mound referred to in the village name.

Within the parish boundary of Bledlow-cum-Saunderton lie several hamlets, as is common with most villages in this area. The principal hamlet is Bledlow Ridge. The others are Forty Green (not to be confused with Forty Green near Beaconsfield), Pitch Green, Rout's Green, Skittle Green and Holly Green.

The parish church is dedicated to the Holy Trinity. It stands in a splendid position overlooking the Vale of Aylesbury and is built on an unusual plan. There are two aisles and the nave arcades include capitals of about 1200. Other features of interest are the font, some fragments of mural paintings, and the south doorway and porch (13th-14th century).


Research Tips

Registration Offices

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

  • Church of England and Nonconformist churches including registers of baptism, marriage and burial.
  • Around 35,000 wills proved by the Archdeaconry of Buckingham.
  • County and District Councils (lists of councillors, minutes of meetings, etc).
  • Quarter and Petty Session courts.
  • Landed estates of families including the Aubrey-Fletchers, Hampdens, Carringtons and Fremantles.
  • Historic maps including OS, tithe and inclosure maps
  • A wide range of local history books, some for loan.
  • Pamphlets and articles of local history interest.
  • Local newspapers
  • Computers for access to family history resources like Ancestry and FreeBMD.
  • Published material is listed in the Library Catalogue.
  • Catalogues to some of our manuscript material is available through Access to Archives, part of The National Archives (TNA). Their database contains catalogues describing archives held locally in England and Wales and dating from the eighth century to the present day.

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

  • GENUKI for Buckinghamshire provides a lot of material on the county history from a variety of aspects. The maps of the hundreds are reproduced from 19th century publications and show the topology as well as the locations of the various parishes. There is also a schematic map covering the whole county. GENUKI does not contain much information about the 20th century and beyond.
  • Local History Online provides a list of local historical organizations. Each of these societies and organizations has its own website.
  • The FamilySearch Wiki on Buckinghamshire explains the jurisdictions relating to civil affairs, parishes and probate (wills and testaments) for each parish in the county and also outlines when these jurisdictions were in existence. The data does not cover the post-1974 period.