NB: 1940's Lower Rd ended at Loosley Hill and became Little Lane
Today Lower Rd extends to Foundry Lane
In 2013 several members of the History Group went for a walk round the villages with a view to helping them remember what and who was around when they were children. They walked and they talked of the days from 1940's onwards.
We then put their conversation with all the photographs we had of the time to compile several slide sequences pertaining to each street. Some modern pictures were used where we didn't have originals. If you look closely you will see some houses have been extended; others have been demolished and we haven't shown houses that hadn't been built back then. Other Roads - Meadow Rise, Silver Birch Drive, Eastlands and Roundlands, Hets Orchard, Greenlands, Woodfield, Violet Close and Woodbank didn't exist.
These are not professional slide shows, its not David Attenborough. The people speaking however, do have local accents and the narrated slide's proved to be of great interest to those who live in Lacey Green and Loosley Row when first produced. There is some humour and several anecdotes but the sequences are mainly for the historical content.
Lacey Green & Loosley Row Videos:
appear in the window below
Virtually 10 years later another
'History Walk Round Lacey Green'
Rosemary Mortham and Margaret Gray
with different memories and knowedge.
Numbers have been added to ease locating on the page
Click on anything underlined for more detailed information.
1. Lacey Green Farm
At the entrance to the village from Naphill, once stood Lacey Green Farm. This was a small farm of about 5 acres, constituting the land enclosed by the Main Road and Slad Lane. It consisted of 5 fields, a barn and 4 cottages. It adjoined the Grimsdyke Estate, and was run in conjunction with Speen Farm (The Horses Trust), by Thomas Dell (Senior) and his son. They also owned other places in the village e.g. Vine Cottage.
The son went bankrupt. It is believed that he lost a lot of money in a legal dispute over a hedge. He was already in debt, as he had taken out mortgages for much other land around, e.g. in Denner Hill.
It was sold in 1830, and there was a dispute over ownership. It seems that at this time the farm fell into disrepair. No sign of the bricks from which it would have been built has been found. They were probably recycled for other buildings, possibly the school.
2. Lacey Green School
Started in 1874. The land was purchased from Grimsdyke, and donated by Charles Brown of Stocken Farm, who was then Churchwarden. Originally it was just the flint and brick part at the front. There was a large room on the right, which was also used as the Hall, and a smaller one on the left, which was for many years used by Miss Janes, who retired about 1951. In front of that were two cloakrooms, one for boys and the other for girls. The Main Entrance was up a corridor in the centre which is now blocked off. The toilets were outside, approx. where the new music facility is.
This is the largest house in Lacey Green. Originally it was a hunting lodge and much smaller. It then became a second country home for wealthy people, with its own farm next door. The farm was later sold off. The last occupants were the Kings, the land was bought by the Wests of Stocken Farm. For many years it had the only well in the village. Other water came from ponds or tanks draining from the roof. Grim's Dyke or Ditch runs through the grounds, although whether it is a continuous earthwork is now disputed. It is thought to be an Iron Age earthwork, perhaps a boundary between the territory of two tribes. It runs for many miles across the Chilterns and the Berkshire Downs. We shall meet up with it again later.
4. Lacey House
This was once the Vicarage in the days when vicars came from wealthy families and had servants, so needed a large house. The last vicar to live there was Rev. Houghton, who had 4 children. It was sold around 1980, and a new Vicarage built on the vegetable garden with an entrance off Church Lane.
5. St. John's Church
Built in 1824, with a chancel added in 1850. Before that there was no church in the village, but there was a Methodist Chapel, which has since closed, and also an earlier Baptist Chapel in Loosley Row. Church people had to go to church in Risborough, a long walk, and too far for the elderly and infirm.
The lack of a church was one of the reasons submitted in support of the Enclosure of Lacey Green, as the local wealthy stated that the people in Lacey Green were heathen. They put up the money to build the church, and are commemorated by their coats of Arms in the Armorial window now sited on the North of the church, but originally at the West end. In exchange they gained the large amount of common land which had existed in the village, known as The Waste. Some villagers lost their houses, and all were unable to graze their animals on this newly enclosed land.
Round the corner now into Church Lane...
6. Crown Cottages
These stand on the site of The Crown public house. Before piped water came to the village, children from the school had to run across the road to get a glass of water from Mrs Brown, the landlady. Her daughter, Kathleen (later married to Harry Church), was the first person in the village to get a scholarship to Wycombe High School. She walked down the footpath from Church Lane to Saunderton Station and caught the train every day. She was only absent when she caught flu.
She later became a teacher, working for a long time at Downley School, which she reached by bicycle across Naphill Common. She was organist at the Methodist Chapel
7. Park Cottage
Standing opposite the back entrance to the graveyard, this tiny cottage was once the home of the church verger - Mr. Barefoot. Apart from the large extension on the rear, it is typical of how many village cottages must have been, constructed of flint and brick.
8. Black Firs
This modern house stands where there was once a very small cottage made of corrugated iron belonging to Nancy Hawes. She was a teacher at the school, and played the organ in church. She gave piano lessons, and kept a very fierce parrot. She and her mother were famed for making fine lace.
9. Wimble End
This was once 3 cottages. For a very short time it was occupied by the well known tennis player, Bunny Austin. The garden was once much bigger. 2 modern houses have been built in it.
10. Lane Farm
Once a real farm, now much extended. The farm workers lived at Wimble End (opposite).. Note the small hand- made bricks in the wall of Lane Cottage.
11. Well Cottage
This was also 3 cottages made of local brick, and belonged to Floyds Farm (behind the Black Horse Pub). They got into an appalling condition. Mr Brett and his mother lived here for a time. She worked at the Vicarage. He remembered rats running in the thatch at night. They were eventually sold just after World War 2, when the labour government fixed rents for rented properties. At the back was a pond, where sadly a little boy drowned. It is now covered by the tennis court of Lane Farm.
12. Hambye Close
Originally this was the site of an indoor tennis court built by the vicar - Revd. Robson for his wife. It was of a very high standard, with a sprung floor, and attracted well know tennis players from Wimbledon. During the Second World War it was used by Austin Hoy - a steel manufacturer, then by Gyproc (manager Mr Knott) and later as a store for Palmer and Harvey sweet makers. Finally it was sold, about 1992, for a housing development, and named Hambye Close after our twinned village of Hambye in Normandy, France.
13. Grace Cottage
Once this was two cottages for the servants at Gracefield next door. It was converted into a house for the son of Mr Jordan of Parker Knolls, who lived at Gracefield. The mother of Harold Williams lived here, but when she became pregnant with her illegitimate son, she was asked to leave. Harold became a well -known musician and played the church organ for many years. He was in the RAF during the war. He later developed epilepsy.
Built for Miss Grace. The Grace family was a wealthy local family, and gave money to build several local schools and chapels. There is a big memorial to them in Risborough church.
15. Hets Orchard
Across the Main Road from Gracefield. This housing estate stands on the site of a big house called Hets Loo, which is the name of the royal palace in Amsterdam. It was once surrounded by apple orchards, of which there were many in Lacey Green. The original house was occupied by members of the De Beer family, diamond merchants.
16. Kiln Lane
The lane gets its name from the brick kilns, which were built down it. Clay to make the bricks was dug out, and there are still two ponds which were formed by digging out the clay. Small kilns were constructed close to the clay workings. Bricks were fired here in the late 18th century. Those on the outside were heated less, and their colour is paler. Those in the centre can appear almost black. Occasional bricks were decorated with a shiny glaze. Whitewashings pond is now privately owned and is between Dew Pond Cottage and Holly Tree cottage. You can still see the gate in the hedge. This is where the animals drank. Deep Pit is next door to Pondside, and was where humans got their water. People added lime to make it safe to drink.
17. Malmsmead and Walnut Cottage
Two of the oldest buildings in the village. They date back to the end of the 18th. Century, and were once a farm. The wooden house next door was the barn. It was rented in the 1930s by two men, Smithson and Sykes, who were notorious burglars. They left from Saunderton Station daily, dressed as business men, and returned with their loot. This was stored in a locked room. The cleaner was surprised by this and alerted police, who eventually caught them near the scene of a robbery with tickets to Saunderton Station in their pockets.
18. Grimsdyke (or Ditch)
Another part of this can be seen to the right of the small crossroads where a modern house called Datcha stands, between the Bridleway and the field.
At the bottom of Kiln Lane was a farm called Sunny Bank. This was bought by the author Rumer Godden (who wrote The Black Narcissus). She enlarged it and painted it White, calling it White House Farm. It has since been returned to flint and brick, and enlarged even further.
'History Walk Round Lacey Green'
Led by Rosemary Mortham and
20. Hets Orchard
Across the Main Road from Gracefield. This housing estate stands on the site of a big house called Hets Loo, which is the name of the royal palace in Amsterdam. It was once surrounded by apple orchards, of which there were many in Lacey Green. The original house was occupied by members of the De Beer fanily, diamond merchants. The original entrance was from the Idle Corner Turn, where now stands a modern house designed by the architect Randall Evans.
21. Idle Corner
This where the men waited to be offered work. One wonders if they spent quite a lot of their idle time in the Black Horse Pub opposite. Sometimes Called Black Horse Yard, this was part of the old "Up Green". The whole area of Up Green was freehold, and from the late 1700s, it was no longer part of the Manor of Princes Risborough.
Barn Cottage was once a barn for Floyd's Farm. It was here that Mr. Fred Floyd kept his car, a model T Ford - the second car in the village. The first was owned by Mr Hawes of Woodbine Farm. Mr Floyd used his to provide a taxi service to and from Saunderton Station. Before that, it had been used by Miss Elin of Gracefield to house her pony and trap. It is now a house, and another modern house stands between it and the road - Idle Corner Cottage.
22. Vine Cottage
One of the older properties in the village, built in the 1700s. We believe that it was once a pub, as it has a cellar beneath. Pre enclosures, it is listed as a shop selling groceries and beer.
Vine cottage was purchased by Thomas Dell in 1775. He built two cottages onto the Eastern side of it. Cottage 1 was Cosy Cott Cottage 2, name unknown. These were made into one round 1946.
23. The Old Village Hall
This was originally a Nissan Hut acquired from RAF Halton after the war. It was modified many times before finally being replaced in 2000 by the New Millennium Hall, with half the money from the Heritage Lottery Fund and half raised by the villagers.
24. Portobello Cottages
A row of tiny Pre Enclosure (1824) cottages - one up and one down originally. They were built on Portobello Meadow, and got their name from a war fought in 1739. The Main Road was built later, and so they do not stand parallel to it. Here lived Mary Adams, a local character, chimney sweep and layer out of the dead.
In 1929 they were sold by the Marchioness of Ely to Howard Carter of Grimsdyke. Looking through the deeds, at least one of them was occupied by 7 members of the same family.
25. The Old Thatch
The only thatched cottage left in Lacey Green, but we know that many properties were once thatched. This was replaced by tiles when the brick kilns were in operation.
26. Crooked Chimneys
This was once a small shop, selling haberdashery. Next to it is a thatched cottage, the only one in Lacey Green, but we know that others were originally thatched, and then changed to tiles, which were made locally. This was once a grocery shop owned by Toey Lacey. It then became a haberdashers circa 1950. It has been much added to.
27. Plum Tree Cottages
Once the home of Tony Adams and is wife, and before that the Hickman family. Another very old property which is not in line with the road. There was once a door in the wall next to the road.
Going back down Main Road we come to...
28. Wayside Cottage
This was once a cottage, and is an example of how small dwellings have been demolished and replaced by large modern buildings. It was once a shop and home of the Biggs family. Another shop a bit further up the road sold fish (Ardengrove). The most well known shop in this small area was Hickman's Stores, run for many years by Bert Dell, and his Uncle Mr Hickman before him.
29. Westlands Road Originally "The Bitfield".
The land on the left was once part of Floyd's Farm. At the bottom are the allotments.
30. Currells Row
Built post Enclosures. Purchased by Free Currell (a family based at Coombs) in 1914.
31. Kia Cottage
Pre Enclosures belonged to Joshua Dell, who bequeathed it to his great nephew James, who left it to Thomas Dell, who died in 1891.
Originally Rose Cottage and Ye Old Cottage. On the left of the track to Floyd's Farm.
33. Floyd's Farm
Described at its sale as a little old cottage with barn attached. The size of the house and its position suggest that it too is pre enclosures. A 17th century clock and chair were found in it when sold.
34. The Black Horse
Date uncertain. Originally was an Ale House, and consisted of one room with benches around the walls.
LEFT OUT ON THE LAST WALK ARE...
35. Stocken Farm
This is the largest farm in Lacey Green, and was built in 1760. Mr Charles Brown, who lived here, gave the land where the school was built. He allowed the boys to play cricket on his field. In the First World War, the farm was used by the Horse Artillery, and in the Second World War, the field behind the school was used as an airstrip.
36. Old Allotments
Opposite the farm entrance is a row of modern houses. This was a field when the boys at the school used to grow vegetables on it as part of the 1st World War effort to grow food. It was once part of the common land or "The Waste", which extended over a large part of Lacey Green.
37. Main Road
The main road through Lacey Green once ran round Slad Lane and Church Lane, and ended at the Roundabouts, behind the Village Hall, where Roundlands now stands. There was no road through to Risborough from here. The modern road "The Concrete Road" was built for the RAF in the Second World War.
39. The Reading Room
Now the site of a bungalow called Coolangata. Prior to that were constructed the entrance gates to the airstrip, where Bomber Harris kept his private plane. This replaced the Reading Room, next to the school, which was for men to go and read. They may have been learning or improving their skills. Obviously this was not deemed necessary for women. Towards the end they could go to read the daily newspapers.
This is where our walk ends.
Thank you for joining us.
If you want to know more, please refer to our website - laceygreen.com, then click on History, and then History Index, where you will find all the work of the History Group to date.