The Vache

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The Vache is an estate near Chalfont St. Giles in Buckinghamshire.

The Vache was the family seat of the Fleetwood family. In 1660 George Fleetwood was found guilty of the regicide of King Charles I in January 1649, and although his life was spared, his estate of The Vache was confiscated and given to the then Duke of York, the future King James II.[1]

The Vache is the site of monument to Captain James Cook erected by Admiral Hugh Palliser, a one time owner of the estate.[2] The monument consists of a globe on a plinth. Encribed on the plinth

Cook frequently visited the estate and named a South Sea island Vache Island.[3]

1946 Squatters Camp[4]

Post-war homelessness and overcrowding after the War sparked a nationwide movement of squatting. One of the first of these occurred at The Vache in September 1946. The leader was an ex-Commando, John Mann, of Chalfont St. Giles, who had been sharing a small cottage with his wife, his five-year-old son, and ten strangers. At the local pub one night, Mann heard a Polish captain say that a deserted army camp at nearby Vache Park was being readied for Polish soldiers of General Anders' army in exile. Mann decided to get there first.

At dawn, he and a handful of homeless veterans bloodlessly routed three Polish guards and seized Vache Park. Next day, 120 families had moved into the spacious army huts. After a flurry of resistance, local authorities capitulated.


  1. ^ Dictionary of National Biography (1885–1900) "Fleetwood, George pp. 265,266
  2. ^ a b Memorial M1775, public memorials to seafarers and victims of maritime disaster, National Maritime Museum
  3. ^ BMC County Road Map and Gazetteer No.16 Berkshire Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire p. 94
  4. ^ [1], Chalfont St Giles

Coordinates: 51°38′24″N 0°33′42″W / 51.6401°N 0.5618°W / 51.6401; -0.5618