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As the Cuttle was also the county boundary with Buckinghamshire, Chinnor's relations with the Buckinghamshire markettown of Princes Risborough to the east have been as close as with the Oxfordshire town of Thame to the north-west, and possibly closer.The greater part of Chinnor lies in the Lower Chalk belt at a height of between about 300 feet to 400 feet and is good arable land.
The modern Venus Wood, for instance, was Vernice in 1840 and Fernor Wood in 1408, while Benell's was recorded in 1521. 7) The hill part of the parish has few wells, but there are plenty of springs at the foot of the hills and in the plain there is the Cuttle Brook and its small feeder, flowing across the centre of the parish, besides another stream, which flows northwards near the Sydenham boundary and then along the Emmington boundary.The oldest road is the pre-Roman trackway, the Icknield Way (or Upper Icknield Way), which runs at the foot of the Chilterns. 8) Throughout the Middle Ages 'Acklin Street' was a much-used, though dangerous road, where robbery, rape, and murder were not uncommon. 9) It was used by sheep drovers up to the 19th century and by local farmers and woodmen.The parish was traversed from medieval times by three other roads, two running parallel to the Icknield Way, and a third running from north to south.The more southerly of the two east-west roads is the modern secondary road which connects Chinnor with its hamlet Oakley and the six other villages lying at the foot of the Chilterns on the way to Watlington.The other one, the so-called Lower Icknield Way, used to run from near Watlington to Princes Risborough and crossed the north end of Chinnor High Street.It declined in importance during the 19th century and today, though it is still the only way to Princes Risborough, its western end terminates at Chinnor mill just west of the village. 10) The third chief road was the High Wycombe to Thame road, which approached the village by Reading Way and continued straight on to the Emmington boundary.
Part of this road as well as a minor road from Chinnor to Thame, Burgidge Way, which ran east of Emmington and through Towersey, was closed at the inclosure of 1854, when the present Thame road was constructed. 11) Two minor roads of local importance were continuations of the village High Street, which traversed the common field and went up into the hills. 14) There was a halt a ¼-mile south of Chinnor village and another at Wainhill.
One of these was closed in 1854; the other, Kidmore Way, was continued as a bridleway. In 1957 British Railways closed the line to passengers. 15) Davis's map of Chinnor shows the village in 1797 built round the four sides of a rectangle about a mile in circuit.
Pages 55-80A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 8, Lewknor and Pyrton Hundreds.
Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1964.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. The modern civil parish of Chinnor was formed in 1932 when the ancient parishes of Chinnor and Emmington were united. 1) The ancient parish of Chinnor covered 2,712 acres and like other Chiltern parishes was narrow and elongated in shape. 2) It lay mostly in the plain at the foot of the hills, but its southern end extended on to the ridge. 3) Besides the main village of Chinnor, there were hamlets in the plain at Oakley, Henton, and Wainhill by the early Middle Ages, and others on the ridge at 'Up Hill', Red Lane, and Spriggs Alley by the 18th century at least.
Wainhill has become Hempton Wainhill; 'Up Hill' and Red Lane, which may never have had more than few houses each, no longer exist. 4) Almost the last of Red Lane's dwellings, the 'Pheasant', was closed in 1955. 5) The only natural boundaries were the small brook which used to form part of the parish's northern boundary with Emmington and the Cuttle Brook, a feeder of the River Thame, which has always formed part of the eastern boundary.