California shown within Buckinghamshire
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|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
Until the arrival of the Great Western Railway in Aylesbury in 1839, California was the name of a farm and related buildings that stood in the area. However with the arrival of the railway, cottages were constructed in the location of the farm to house railway workers and the area became known as the Hamlet of California.
By the early 1920s Aylesbury had grown such that it was necessary to start building houses on the site of Southcourt (the other side of California from Aylesbury), and so California and the associated farmlands that surrounded it became part of Aylesbury town. Eventually the farmlands themselves were built on, though the railway cottages that formed the hamlet remain.
The site was home to the "California Industrial Estate" until 2005 when it was demolished to make way for a new housing estate, renamed the "Grand Central" due to its proximity to the centre of Aylesbury. As of November 2006 the building work has nearly finished and it is likely that the hamlet will be forgotten about as it has been completely swamped by Aylesbury's development.
The hamlet is probably named after the U.S. state of California, though its history goes back long before the state was known to British people. The name of the original farm was therefore most likely changed to California at some point before 1839. It is widely believed that the hamlet was named after visiting American servicemen during the Second World War; however, 19th-century maps prove this to be incorrect.