Gerrards Cross

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Gerrards Cross
This is Gerrards Cross town centre (to my mind) - geograph.org.uk - 29075.jpg
Gerrards Cross village centre .
Gerrards Cross is located in Buckinghamshire
Gerrards Cross
Gerrards Cross
 Gerrards Cross shown within Buckinghamshire
Population 8,017 [1]
OS grid reference SU999880
District South Bucks
Shire county Buckinghamshire
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Gerrards Cross
Postcode district SL9
Dialling code 01753
Police Thames Valley
Fire Buckinghamshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Beaconsfield
List of places
UK
England
Buckinghamshire

Coordinates: 51°35′18″N 0°33′11″W / 51.5882°N 0.553°W / 51.5882; -0.553

Gerrards Cross is a village in Buckinghamshire, England. It is in the south of the county, near the border with Greater London, south of Chalfont St Peter. Gerrards Cross is also a civil parish within South Bucks district, which was known as the Beaconsfield district from 1974 to 1980. This had been formed on 1 April 1974 by the merger of part of Eton Rural District (including Gerrards Cross) with Beaconsfield Urban District.

History[edit]

The village name is fairly new, when compared with other villages that surround it. Gerrards Cross did not exist in any formal sense until 1859 when it was formed by taking pieces out of the five parishes of Chalfont St Peter, Fulmer, Iver, Langley Marish and Upton to form a new ecclesiastical parish. It is named after the Gerrard family who in the early 17th century owned a manor here. At that time it was a hamlet in the parish of Chalfont St Peter. It is the site of an Iron Age hillfort. Originally named Jarrett's Cross before the times of the Gerrard family, after a highwayman[citation needed], some areas retain the original name, such as Jarrett's Hill leading up to WEC International off the A40 west of the village.

Facilities[edit]

St James's Church, Gerrards Cross, built in 1861.

The large and distinctive parish church is dedicated to St. James. It was built in 1861 as a memorial to Colonel George Alexander Reid[citation needed] who was MP for Windsor and designed by Sir William Tite in yellow brick with a Byzantine style dome, Chinese looking turrets and an Italianate Campanile. In 1969 the singer Lulu married Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees in the church. The actress Margaret Rutherford is buried with her husband Stringer Davis in the St James Church graveyard. Gerrards Cross has its own library, a two screen cinema and various restaurants.

Independent schools include Maltman's Green School (all girls), St Mary's, Gayhurst and Thorpe House. Students of secondary school age attend either one of the local grammar schools, such as Dr Challoner's Grammar School (Boys), Dr Challoner's High School (Girls), The Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe (Boys), John Hampden Grammar School (Boys), and Beaconsfield High School (Girls) Chesham Grammar School (Co-ed), or the local Upper School, Chalfonts Community College, which is the catchment school.

Just outside Gerrards Cross, on the A40 to Beaconsfield, is Wapseys Wood landfill site, one of the largest landfill sites in the UK, operated by Veolia Landfill Ltd. It accepts up to 900,000 tonnes of non hazardous waste each year from south Buckinghamshire, London and other areas. The landfill gas produced from the waste yields over 10 megawatts of electricity which is fed into the power grid.[citation needed]

Reputation[edit]

The exclusive Gerrards Cross is one of England’s most desirable places to live and is often referred to as ‘mini Hollywood’ due to its celebrity residents with such celebrities as Cilla Black, Danny Jones and Christo Vladimirov. Gerrards Cross has a reputation for being very upmarket and exclusive, with house prices being considerably higher than average. Located in the commuter belt of London, the village is the most expensive postcode to purchase a property in the country outside London.[2] In February 2010, Declan Curry of the BBC described Gerrards Cross as "Britain's richest town".[3]

Transport[edit]

Gerrards Cross station,in 1994. The view NW from the footbridge, towards Princes Risborough

The village has a railway station on the Chiltern Line which opened on 2 April 1906. This provides services to London and Birmingham with a commuting time of about 25 minutes to London Marylebone. A tunnel being constructed to allow Tesco to build a supermarket collapsed on 30 June 2005 at 19:30. Nobody was injured but the line was closed for over six weeks, eventually reopening on 20 August 2005. Compensation by Tesco to Chiltern is believed to have cost at least £8.5m and the retailer pledged to fund a media campaign to win back passengers lost by the closure of its route. Construction of the tunnel began again in January 2009.[4]

The 11.36am from London Paddington to Gerrards Cross, a parliamentary train, has been recognised as a 'zombie' service to prevent the railway line being closed. National rail is attempting to phase this service out.[5]

The village is 14 miles (23 km) from London's Heathrow Airport.

Recent history[edit]

Many of the houses built during development in the 1950s had defective tiles, leading to the House of Lords judgment: Young & Marten Ltd v McManus Childs Ltd [1969] 1 AC 454 to the effect that a person who contracts to do work and supply materials warrants that the materials will be fit for purpose, even if the purchaser specifies the materials to be used.

Popular culture[edit]

Stanley Kubrick filmed some of the exteriors in his feature 1962 film Lolita, notably "Charlotte Haze's house", in Gerrards Cross.

"The Italian Lesson" sketch in the first episode of the first series of the BBC Television comedy show Monty Python's Flying Circus (first broadcast in 1969) includes the line "'Sono Inglese di Gerrard's Cross', I am an Englishman from Gerrard's Cross."

Jethro Tull's song "Journeyman" on their 1978 album Heavy Horses includes the line "Too late to stop for tea at Gerrards Cross".

Indie band The Hit Parade released their 3rd single "The Sun Shines In Gerrards Cross" in 1986.[6]

St Hubert's House, a Grade II listed house to the south-east of Gerrards Cross has been used as a filming location for TV series including Inspector Morse and The Professionals, and was the location of Colonel Hyde's house in the The League of Gentlemen.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

A History of Chalfont St Peter and Gerrards Cross C G Edmonds 1964 and The History of Bulstrode by A M Baker 2003 published as one book by Colin Smythe Ltd. 2003

  1. ^ Neighbourhood Statistics 2011 Census, Accessed 2 February 2013
  2. ^ BBC News
  3. ^ Working Lunch, BBC TV, 10 February 2010
  4. ^ "Tesco restarts work at tunnel collapse site". New Civil Engineer. 14 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-06. 
  5. ^ "The hunt for Britain's Ghost Trains". The Independent. 19 December 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-19. 
  6. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1P8Y1rtcY-Q