St Botolph's Church, Bradenham
Bradenham shown within Buckinghamshire
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||High Wycombe|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
The village name is Anglo-Saxon and means 'broad enclosure', referring to the fact that the village sits in a broad valley among the surrounding Chiltern Hills. In the Domesday Book of 1086, the village was recorded as Bradeham.
The Parish Church of St Botolph was restored in 1863 by G.E.Street and the south door dates from the early Norman period. The rectory on the main road is from the 18th century. The houses around the village green are mainly brick and flint, but include the distinctive 18th century stuccoed 'White House' with pointed windows and castellations. There is a pub on the main road called the Red Lion. The whole village of Bradenham has been owned by the National Trust since 1956. They market it under the name Bradenham Village. The Strike Command Operations Centre (STCOC) formerly the Primary War Headquarters (PWHQ) bunker was built by RAF Strike Command on the National Trust land to the north east of the village between 1983 and 1985, in spite of opposition including a Peace camp. In front of the manor house is a small, slightly sloping cricket pitch which is used by Bradenham Cricket Club. Village news and activities are documented in the monthly "Contact" magazine, which covers Bradenham plus the nearby villages of Bledlow Ridge, West Wycombe, Radnage and Piddington.
Bradenham is the location of a grand red brick manor house, which in the 13th century was a property belonging to the Earl of Warwick. The house was fit for royalty, as in 1566 Queen Elizabeth I was entertained here by Lord Windsor. The current manor house was substantially built in the 17th century with tall sash windows, steep roofs and slim brick chimneys. In the 19th century it was the home of Isaac D'Israeli who died there in 1848 and is buried in the church. His son Benjamin Disraeli, who became the prime minister, lived there for part of his early life. In the later Victorian era, the house was turned into a boarding school for local young gentlemen. Bradenham Manor is currently leased by the National Trust to Grant Thornton UK LLP as the firm's National Training Centre. It is well known for its gardens.
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