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 (2016/17) 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 2016 – 2017 programme

Fri 7 Oct 2016BUCKINGHAMSHIRE BREWERIESJulian Hunt established the Centre for Bucks Studies and was in charge of the County Museum. An author and expert on all things historic in Bucks.
Fri 4 NovOXON & BUCKS LIGHT INFANTRY ON THE SOMME 1916Barker is a Heritage Advisor currently working for Oxfordshire Museum designing exhibitions including several on the First World War.
Fri 2 DecBUCKINGHAMSHIRE ASTRONOMERSDr Mike Leggett is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and his lectures range from astronomical history to the future of space exploration.
Fri 6 Jan 2017THE IMPACT OF THE GRAND JUNCTION CANAL IN WEST HERTSDamian Hiscock has been boating on canals since the 1980s, developing an interest in their history leading to the research he will present in his talk.
Fri 3 FebGARDEN CITIES AND OTHER UTOPIASKate Harwood taught garden history at London and Cambridge University and is research co-ordinator of the Capability Brown Tercentenary Festival.
Fri 3 MarSTANLEY SPENCER AND COOKHAMAnn Danks archivist of the Stanley Spencer Gallery and an authority on the life and works of one of the 20th century’s most important British painters.
Fri 7 AprWEATHER LORE - FACT OR FICTIONIan Currie is a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society who lectures and writes books about the weather, and regularly appears on television.
Fri 12 May at CVH 7:30 pmAGM plus THE STORY OF ASHRIDGE HOUSEWendy Austin, LHG member, and local historian has published extensively on the history of Tring and its surrounding area.

All meetings are at St Leonards Parish hall at 8:00 pm for 8:15pm
(except AGM at Cholesbury Village Hall at 7:30 pm sharp)

Adult Membership: £10 per year
Junior Membership (below school minimum leaving age): Free
Visitors always welcome: £4 per meeting

Coffee, tea and biscuits are served after the talks
Please contact Chris Brown 01494 758890 for further information


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


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

9 Aug12:30 pm The Black HorseGood Neighbours Group
Pub Lunch Club
21 Aug8 pm St LPHWomen's Institute
Social event - BBQ
23 Aug3 pm St Leonards Church RoomChurch
Tea Party
28 Aug1:30 to 4:30 pm Cholesbury CommonChurch fete
Hawridge and Cholesbury summer fete
02 Sep2:30 pm Hawridge schoolHorticultural Society
Annual horticultural, cookery, handicraft and flower Show - 8:30 am for exhibitors
09 Sep7 pm Cricket pavillionCricket club
‘Celebrate the Seventies’ Evening & Hog Roast
10 Sep6 pm St Leonard'sChurch
Harvest Festival
13 Sep12:30 pm The Black HorseGood Neighbours Group
Pub Lunch Club
18 Sep8 pm St LPHWomen's Institute
Pizza - history and demonstration
23 Sep2 pm Cricket pavillionCricket club
Colts Awards and Family Fun Day
24 Sep5:30 pm CVHChurch
Harvest Supper
27 Sep3 pm St Leonards Church RoomChurch
Tea Party
6 Oct8 pm St LPHLocal History group
"Call the Midwife"
16 Oct8 pm St LPHWomen's Institute
Annual meeting
3 Nov8 pm St LPHLocal History group
Anglo Saxon Treasure – Unravelling the Lenborough Hoards.
17 Nov7:30 to 9:30 pm CVHHorticultural Society
Supper and quiz plus AGM
20 Nov8 pm St LPHWomen's Institute
Wildlife photography
18 Dec8 pm St LPHWomen's Institute
Christmas songs and carols

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

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