Chalfont St Giles

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Chalfont St Giles
Chalfont St Giles Church.JPG
St Giles' parish church
Chalfont St Giles is located in Buckinghamshire
Chalfont St Giles
Chalfont St Giles
 Chalfont St Giles shown within Buckinghamshire
Population 5,925 [1]
OS grid reference SU9893
Civil parish Chalfont St Giles
District Chiltern
Shire county Buckinghamshire
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Chalfont St. Giles
Postcode district HP8
Dialling code 01494
Police Thames Valley
Fire Buckinghamshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Chesham and Amersham
Website The Chalfont St Giles village website
List of places

Coordinates: 51°37′55″N 0°34′34″W / 51.632°N 0.576°W / 51.632; -0.576

Chalfont St Giles is a village and civil parish within Chiltern district in south east Buckinghamshire, England, on the edge of the Chilterns, 25 miles (40 km) from London, and near Seer Green, Jordans, Chalfont St Peter, Little Chalfont and Amersham.[2]

Chalfont means chalk spring, in reference to the water carrying capacities of the local terrain. The village has a duck pond that is fed by the River Misbourne.


The Church of England parish church of Saint Giles is of Norman architecture and dates from the 12th century.[3] The church contains many notable features, including a lychgate, wall paintings from the early 14th century,[4] and iron cannon balls embedded in the stone, believed to have been fired by Oliver Cromwell's troops when camped in the neighbouring field after the Battle of Aylesbury.[5] The Bishop Francis Hare is buried there.

In the Domesday Book in 1086 Chalfont St Giles and Chalfont St Peter are listed as separate Manors with different owners, called 'Celfunte'. They were separate holdings before the Norman Conquest.

Like most other rural parishes it managed its civil affairs through the vestry until the Local Government Act 1894 required all parishes of over 300 people to have a Parish council independent of the Church.

Milton's Cottage, at 1 Deanway, Chalfont St Giles

During the Great Plague of London in 1665, John Milton retired to Chalfont St Giles, which is where he completed his epic poem Paradise Lost.[6] Milton's Cottage still stands in the village, and is open to the public. The inspiration for Paradise Regained is said to have been found in this parish from a conversation with a former pupil, Thomas Ellwood. In 1887, after an attempt was made to relocate the house to America and rebuild it there, a movement was begun locally to purchase the house by local public subscription. Queen Victoria headed the list with a gift of £20,[7] a considerable amount at the time - approximately £2360 as of 2016.

The birthplace of J.T. Hearne, one of the greatest bowlers of the 1890s and 1900s, who died there in 1944, and of the actress Alexandra Gilbreath.

Notable residents of the village have included Ozzy Osbourne,[8] Harry Golombek, Brian Connolly, Brian Cant, Chicane, Armando Iannucci, Noel Gallagher,[9] and Nick Clegg who became the Liberal Democrats party leader in 2007[10] and Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in 2010 until 2015.

The village has also given its name to Chalfont, Pennsylvania, which is a borough in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

The Chiltern Open Air Museum, located immediately outside the Parish boundary, rescues and re-erects historic buildings which face demolition, from medieval to modern. Its collection includes a cottage from around 1600, and a variety of 19th century buildings, within 45 acres of parkland.[11]


The village is the closest to Hodgemoor Wood, a Site of Special Scientific Interest.[12]

The village is twinned with Graft-De Rijp, Netherlands.


The local football club is Chalfont Wasps, which was promoted to the Hellenic Football League Premier Division for the 2008–09 season. They play their home games at 'The Nest'. Chalfont St Giles has a tennis club, affiliated to the Lawn Tennis Association.[13] The village is home to Oakland Park Golf Club, and nearby to Harewood Downs Golf Club.

Film and television[edit]

Chalfont village green

Chalfont St Giles has been the location of several film and television programmes. It doubled as Walmington-on-Sea in the 1971 film version of Dad's Army. John Laurie, one of the main actors, lived in Chalfont St Peter. The Miller's Tale episode of the BBC Television drama The Canterbury Tales was filmed in and around Chalfont St Giles[14] as was an episode of the BBC Television sitcom As Time Goes By. It was the location for the filming of Episode 6 of Series 3 of Peep Show.[15] The village is also mentioned in the series 3 episode of Jeeves and Wooster entitled "Bertie Sets Sail", when Bertie Wooster likens Lord Wilmot Pershaw's demeanour to `a wet weekend in Chalfont St. Giles.' Other films and TV shows filmed in Chalfont St Giles include Hammer House of Horror,[16] The Sweeney,[17] and The Big Job (film),[18] starring Sid James and Dick Emery. The village is ideal for film production due to its close proximity to Pinewood Studios in Iver Heath, and London.

Rhyming slang[edit]

"Chalfonts" is one of many variations of Cockney rhyming slang for piles, derived from Chalfont St Giles, but, as is typical with Cockney rhyming slang, the part of the phrase which rhymes with the derivative is omitted. There is a Viz comic strip named Nobby's Piles, in which the protagonist, Nobby, uses a range of slang expressions when referring to his haemorrhoids, including "Ooh, me chalfonts!"


Hamlets in Chalfont St Giles parish include:

  • Bottrells Close, located along Bottrells Lane to the west of the village. Bottrells Close Cottage is the location of the ancient hamlet.
  • Chalfont Grove, located to the south of the village along Narcot Lane. It is the location of the British Forces Broadcasting Service.
  • Jordans, located south west of the main village, near Seer Green.
  • Stratton Chase, located to the north of Mill Lane.


  1. ^ Neighbourhood Statistics. "Neighbourhood Statistics 2011 Census". Retrieved 1 February 2013. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "'Parishes: Chalfont St. Giles', A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 3 (1925), pp. 184–193.". British History Online. Retrieved 15 June 2009. 
  4. ^, Parish Websites Ltd.,. "History of the Parish | Chalfont St Giles Parish Council in Buckinghamshire". Retrieved 2016-05-14. 
  5. ^, Parish Websites Ltd.,. "History of the Parish | Chalfont St Giles Parish Council in Buckinghamshire". Retrieved 2016-05-14. 
  6. ^ "A piece of Paradise in Bucks!". BBC. Retrieved 15 June 2009. 
  7. ^, Parish Websites Ltd.,. "History of the Parish | Chalfont St Giles Parish Council in Buckinghamshire". Retrieved 2016-05-14. 
  8. ^ "Ozzy Osbourne Buckinghamshire estate conversion foiled by bats". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-05-08. 
  9. ^ "Buckinghamshire Examiner article regarding Noel Gallagher". 26 February 2010. Retrieved 7 May 2012. 
  10. ^ Family detective: Nick Clegg The Daily Telegraph (London) 22 Dec 2007
  11. ^, Parish Websites Ltd.,. "History of the Parish | Chalfont St Giles Parish Council in Buckinghamshire". Retrieved 2016-05-14. 
  12. ^ Marcus Bicknell. "Hodgemoor Wood". Retrieved 7 May 2012. 
  13. ^ "Chalfont St Giles Tennis Club". Retrieved 7 May 2012. 
  14. ^ IMDB listing
  15. ^ IMDB listing
  16. ^ "Films shot in Chalfont St Giles". Retrieved 2016-05-08. 
  17. ^ "Films shot in Chalfont St Giles". Retrieved 2016-05-08. 
  18. ^ "Films shot in Chalfont St Giles". Retrieved 2016-05-08. 

External links[edit]