St Peter's parish church
Burnham shown within Buckinghamshire
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Burnham is a village and civil parish that lies north of the River Thames in the South Bucks District of Buckinghamshire, on the boundary with Berkshire, between the towns of Maidenhead and Slough. It is served by Burnham railway station in the west of Slough on the main line between London Paddington and Reading. The M4 motorway passes through the south of the parish.
The toponym is derived from the Old English for "homestead on a stream". It was first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Burneham, when the manor belonged to a Walter Fitz-Other.
Burnham was once a very important village. The road from London to Bath (now the A4) passed through the extensive parish of Burnham and as a result, in 1271, it received a Royal charter to hold a market and an annual fair. However, when the bridge crossing the Thames in Maidenhead opened the road was diverted away from Burnham, which fell into relative decay. The market was then transferred to Maidenhead.
Today the village is contiguous with Slough due to urban spread, though it retains some of its own character. Although the civil parish has a population of 11,630, residents generally consider Burnham to be a village.
In 1265 a Benedictine abbey was founded near the village by Richard, King of the Romans. This was, however, disbanded by King Henry VIII in the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Since 1916, a contemplative order of Church of England Augustinian nuns has been based in the restored remains of the original abbey.
The Church of England parish church of Saint Peter dates in part from the 12th century but has been substantially expanded, refurbished and altered, with major restorations in 1863–64 and 1891 and the construction of the Cornerstone Centre in 1986.
The parish of Burnham once included the hamlets of Boveney, Cippenham, Britwell and East Burnham. Boveney became a separate civil parish in 1866 though is now back in with Burnham parish again. Cippenham was transferred to Slough in 1930, and therefore became part of Berkshire in 1974. Britwell was transferred to the borough of Slough and to Berkshire in 1974.
Burnham Grammar School and The E-ACT Burnham Park Academy provide secondary education to the children of Burnham and the surrounding area. Many students, however, commute to the nearby secondary schools in Slough. Priory School is the largest primary school in the area and provides primary education for many of the local children, although the smaller "Our Lady of Peace" Roman Catholic primary school is next to Priory School.
Owing to its proximity to Pinewood Film & TV Studios, Burnham and its surrounding areas (in particular Burnham Beeches) feature in numerous films, notably a number of the Carry On films from the 1960s and 70s. Forest scenes for the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves were filmed within the Burnham Beeches woodland area.
Burnham has a public house, the Old Five Bells.
- Mike Ashley – billionaire businessman
- Jimmy Carr – comedian attended Burnham Grammar School
- Susan Cooper – author
- Armando Iannucci – writer
- Ulrika Jonsson – TV presenter
- Tracey Ullman – comedienne
- Charles Whitcombe – golfer
- Page, W.H., ed. (1905). "House of Austin Nuns: 14 the Abbey of Burnham". A History of the County of Buckingham. Victoria County History 1. Archibald Constable & Co. pp. 382–384.
- Page, W.H., ed. (1925). "Burnham with Lower Boveney". A History of the County of Buckingham. Victoria County History 3. pp. 165–184.
- Pevsner, Nikolaus (1960). Buckinghamshire. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 77–79. ISBN 0-14-071019-1.
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