Local History Group

Cholesbury-cum-St Leonard’s Local History Group is an amateur society founded in the early Sixties to stimulate interest in the Hilltop Villages. A regular feature has been the talks by guest speakers, be they acknowledged experts or enthusiastic amateurs, and the emphasis is naturally on subjects local to the Chilterns.


No one who delves into history comes away without regretting a lack of documentation on some aspect or other. The Group has built up a fairly substantial archive of local documents, maps and photographs but this can never be complete and additions from any source are welcome, however trivial they may seem. Help us to record today what may not exist tomorrow, whether it be a building or a bus service!

You can read the programme for this year’s (2019/20) talks here.

Contacting the Local History Group

The Local History Group welcomes enquiries from those interested in the history of the area; the people who once lived here, the buildings, the places and events. We are interested in hearing about any information relating to your family members you are researching and can help with any photographs you might need interpreting. Although we are not a Genealogy Society we will endevour to answer your questions, though we recommend you contact the Buckinghamshire Family History Society who are best placed to deal with family history.

If you would like to contact the Local History Group our email address is localhistorygroup@cholesbury.com

Programme of events

Local History Group 2020 – 2021 programme

Fri 9 Oct 2020BEER, SAUSAGES AND MARMALADELiz Wooley is an Oxford historian and tour guide. She will talk about food, brewing, tourism and politics and the powerful families who held sway in 19th century Oxford.
Fri 6 NovSOLDIERS, SAINTS AND SINNERS. Oxfordshire characters from the British Civil War 1642-51Stephen Barker designs exhibitions for museums, and lectures on military history.
Fri 4 DecLIBERTY: The Bucks man, the London shop, the global styleWill Phillips worked for nine years at the Museum of English Rural Life before becoming a curator at the Bucks County Musuem in 2008
Fri 8 Jan 2021RESEARCHING THE VACHE AND NEWLANDS PARKSarah Tricks is a member of Bucks Gardens Trust who led research of the property
Fri 5 FebSOCIAL HOUSING IN AMERSHAM RURAL DISTRICTEmily Toettcher has been curator of Amersham Museum for eight years. She will cover from 1919 until the post-WW2 era including social housing in our villages.
Fri 5 MarBRITISH SECOND WORLD WAR ARTISTSAnn Danks is an art historian and archivist at the Stanley Spencer Gallery. Ann's talk this time will include Henry Moore, Paul Nash and Stanley Spencer.
Fri 16 AprA FRESH LOOK AT WYCOMBEJulian Hunt established the Centre for Bucks Studies. He is a much in demand speaker, prolific author and renowned expert on the history of Buckinghamshire.

All meetings for 2020/21 are via Zoom video conference at 7:30 for 7:45 pm

Members will be sent full access instructions before each meeting.

(Except perhaps the AGM at Cholesbury Village Hall at 7:30 pm sharp)

Adult Membership: £10 per year
School students: Free
Visitors always welcome: £4 per meeting

Please contact Chris Brown 01494 758890 for further information, and Richard Leat (leatrj@yahoo.co.uk) for Zoom invites




The Local History Group has published several articles here as well as in their Newsletter.


A history of Cholesbury & St Leonards parish – From Danish tax collectors to Chiltern District Council

Iron Age hill fort – An Iron Age Hill fort in our midst

Cholesbury and the Poor Laws – Bankruptcy strikes in the Chilterns

The Putnams of Hawridge and Cholesbury – Our connection to the New Colonies

Pubs in the Hilltop Villages – The hilltop villages were  thirsty places in years gone by

Hedgerows  – What story can these hedgerows tell about the history of our locality?

Beating the Bounds – When walking round in circles makes good sense.

Grim’s Ditch – Neither grim nor really a ditch

Cholesbury village hall – “Men’s Club”, as was

The Millennium Map project

Field names survey

The Baldwins of Connecticut – How a family fled persecution to find a New Haven across the Pond

The Reverend William Day – an extraordinary case!

Mr Gilbert, I presume

The Battle of Trafalgar – a local hero

What’s On


28 Jun6 pm via ZoomParish council
Meeting on Zoom
26 Jul6 pm via ZoomParish council
Meeting on Zoom
8 Aug2 pm St LPHCommunity social afternoon
BBQ, beer & Pimms, ice cream, cream teas, music, etc.
4 Sep2:30 pm Hawridge school
Horticultural Society
Annual horticultural show and craft fair

St LPH = St Leonards Parish Hall
CVH = Cholesbury Village Hall

To submit events for inclusion here please use the contact form.