Historically, Buckingham was the county town of Buckinghamshire, it was declared county town in the year 888 by Alfred the Great. (Aylesbury took over this role in the 16th century).
Buckingham has a variety of restaurants and pubs, typical of a small market town. It has a small number of local shops, both national and independent. Market days are Tuesday and Saturday, with a Farmers' Market held on the first Tuesday of each month. Buckingham is twinned with Mouvaux, France.
Ranked 54th in the 2008 version of the Sunday Times Rich List with estimated wealth of £1.4 billion, Ashley was seen as an intensely private person, who never attended industry functions or gives interviews. Philip Beresforde, who compiles the annual Sunday Times list, said neither he nor his staff have ever managed to contact Ashley, and describes him as "easily Britain's answer to the late Howard Hughes." However, since Sports Direct International Plc went public, and his purchase of Newcastle United where he has taken to sitting in the stands with fans, Ashley has taken on a more public and accessible persona.