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Wendover Clock Tower.JPG
The Clock Tower, Wendover
Population 7,399 (2011 Census)
OS grid reference SP864085
  • Aylesbury Vale
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district HP22
Dialling code 01296
Police Thames Valley
Fire Buckinghamshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament
List of places
BuckinghamshireCoordinates: 51°46′05″N 0°44′47″W / 51.768034°N 0.746321°W / 51.768034; -0.746321

Wendover is a market town at the foot of the Chiltern Hills in Buckinghamshire, England. It is also a civil parish within Aylesbury Vale district. The mainly arable parish is 5,832 acres (2,360 ha) in size and contains many hamlets that nestle in amongst the lush forest on the surrounding hills.


The town name is of Brythonic origin and means "white waters", pertaining to the stream that rises in the adjacent hills and flows through the middle of the town, bringing chalk deposits on its way.

In 1086 the manor of Wendovre was in the hundred of Aylesbury, with William the Conqueror as its tenant in chief.

The parish church of St Mary is outside the town to the east on the hillside: a feature that is very common among towns with strong Celtic origins. There is a distinctive red brick, spired clock tower at the crossroads in the centre of the town that was built in 1842. The tree lined Aylesbury Street includes the 16th-century timber framed Chiltern House and 18th-century Red House.

The town was a Parliamentary Borough continuously from 1708 until the seat was abolished by the Reform Act 1832. It has had a royal charter to hold a weekly market since 1464 meaning that officially it is a town rather than a village, although today many residents of Wendover like to refer to it as the latter. It is part of a civil parish, and the parish uses the term "Parish Council" rather than "Town Council", as it would be entitled to.

Part of the town was once the property of Anne Boleyn whose father held the manor of Aylesbury among his many estates. There is still a row of houses in the town today, known as Anne Boleyn's Cottages. The town is the birthplace of Gordon Onslow Ford, British surrealist artist, and it is believed to be the birthplace of the medieval chronicler Roger of Wendover. The town is also the birthplace of Cecilia Payne, the astronomer who first showed that the Sun is mainly composed of hydrogen.

The town is at the terminus of the Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal, which joins Tring summit level of the Grand Union main line beside Marsworth top lock. Disused for over a century, the arm is in course of being restored by the Wendover Arm Trust. Remote and rural for almost all its length, the canal attracts much local wildlife.

The Aylesbury constituency of which Wendover forms a part has elected a Conservative MP (currently David Lidington) since 1924. Local elections, as in May 2011, often feature only Conservative, Liberal Democrat and independent candidates. The Wendover Parish Council, reelected in May 2015, has a small office in the town and operates a block grant from Aylesbury Vale District Council.


Wendover is located in the Chiltern Hills, Buckinghamshire, to the south-east of Aylesbury.


Today the town is very popular with commuters working in London. The popularity is due partly to the town's easy access to London by rail, partly to Wendover railway station, served by Chiltern Railways from London Marylebone via Amersham on the London to Aylesbury Line, and partly because it is so picturesque. Property values have risen dramatically in recent years since the completion of the Wendover Bypass, which removed a lot of traffic from the town's narrow streets. There is a weekly open market held every Thursday. Wendover has two bus routes passing through it; the 50 travels between Aylesbury and RAF Halton and the 55 travels between Aylesbury and Chesham. Both services are run by Arriva.

There are four schools in the town; The John Hampden School, named after politician and English Civil War participant John Hampden, a community infant school with approximately 275 pupils aged 4–7, Wendover Church of England Junior School, a voluntary controlled junior school with approximately 360 pupils aged 7–11, The John Colet School, named after the Renaissance humanist John Colet, is a community secondary school with approximately 1100 pupils aged 11–18, the Wendover Campus of Chiltern Way Academy, a special school for pupils aged 11–18.

Wendover was well known for having a varied and diverse range of pubs, many of which have now closed due to the constraints and geographics of the day. The pubs that still exist today are The Red Lion, The George & Dragon, The White Swan, The King and Queen, The Pack Horse, The Marquis of Granby, which was renamed in 2010 and is now called The Village Gate and The Shoulder of Mutton. The Red Lion pub was home to 'Britain's Oldest Barmaid', 100-year-old Dolly Saville, who worked at the pub for 76 years. It is claimed by media sources that she may even have been the oldest barmaid in the world, although this would be difficult to prove.

A branch of Costa opened on the Aylesbury Road in early 2013, on the site of the former Barclays Bank, much to the objection of some local residents.

Facilities in the village centre include a Post Office Ltd, several hairdressers, a community library (run by volunteers), Whitewater's deli & cafe, Lloyds Pharmacy, and a charity shop.

Wendover also plays host to the 'Coombe Hill Run' which usually occurs on the 1st Sunday of June every year. It begins and ends in the village and encompasses two very steep climbs up the Hill to the monument along with a very steep decline. Legend states that a boy from Wendover can only become a man once he has completed the course for the first time.


The many hamlets in Wendover civil parish include:

  • Cobblers Hill, located on a hill to the south of Wendover, along Cobblershill Lane.
  • Concord, located south-south east of Wendover, just north of Kings Ash.
  • Dean, located south of Wendover on Smalldean Lane between the hamlets of Smalldean and Little London.
  • Hazeldean
  • Kings Ash or Kingsash, located south-south east of Wendover on the Chesham Lane between the A413 road and the hamlet of Lee Gate.
  • Little London, located south of Wendover on Smalldean Lane between the hamlet of Dean and the village of Dunsmore.
  • Lower Bacombe, located south of Wendover on the lane between the main town and Upper Bacombe.
  • Scrubwood
  • Smalldean, located south of Wendover on Smalldean Lane, between the southernmost roundabout of the Wendover bypass and the hamlet of Dean.
  • The Hale, located east of Wendover along Hale Lane.
  • Upper Bacombe, located south-south west of Wendover on Bacombe Hill, close of the parish boundary.
  • Wendover Dean, located south of Wendover on the A413 road, between Cobblershill Lane and Bowood Lane.
  • Wendover Marsh
  • World's End, located north west of Wendover where the B4009 road meets the A413 road.


By virtue of its excellent location, sitting in a gap in the Chiltern Hills and a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Wendover has much to offer both local people and visitors wishing to explore the local countryside. The area is very popular with walkers, cyclists and horse riders. The frequent train service from London Marylebone makes it an ideal destination for a day trip to the country. The Ridgeway National Trail, an 85-mile route that extends from Avebury to Ivinghoe, passes along Wendover High Street. Apart from the Ridgeway Trail there are 33 miles of public rights of way and bridleways criss-crossing the parish. These paths will take you over the open chalk downland of Coombe Hill, Buckinghamshire, home to Britains longest surviving geocache, with its elegant monument to the Buckinghamshire men who died in the Boer War, or walk to the pretty hamlet of Dunsmore in the spring and enjoy the carpet of bluebells, or enjoy the shaded woods on Haddington Hill and Boddington Hill, belonging to Forest Enterprise (known locally as 'Wendover Woods'). Here the visitor can enjoy specially prepared cycle routes, all ability walks, barbecue sites as well as play areas for children. Close to Boddington hill there are the remains of an Iron Age hill fort.

A further attraction is the walk along the Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal, extending for approximately five miles from the centre of Wendover, to Tring. This section of the canal is currently the subject of a long term restoration project and has become home to many varieties of wildlife, including a colony of mandarin ducks.

Twin town

France Liffré, Brittany, France.


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