Jordans is a notable centre for Quakerism. The village is the burial place of William Penn, founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, making it a popular tourist attraction with Americans. Jordans is also the location of the Mayflower Barn, made from the timbers of a ship, which some sources have claimed came from the Mayflower.
The village has about 200 households and 700 residents, with a nursery, primary school, youth hostel and community shop.
Association with Quakerism
In the 17th century the village became a centre for Quakerism. One of the oldest Friends meeting houses in the country is in the village. The cemetery of the house is the burial place of William Penn, founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, as well as other notable Quakers. Close by the Quaker Meeting House is Old Jordans, originally a farm house, sold by the Quakers to Rivercrest Investments for development in March 2006. Old Jordans was used during World War I as a training centre for the Friends' Ambulance Unit.
Jordans Friends Meeting House
Jordans Friends Meeting House was built in 1688 shortly after the Declaration of Indulgence. The meeting room retains most of its original brick, including the bare brick floor, glass, panelling and benches.
The Meeting House suffered a serious fire on 10 March 2005. The modern extension was virtually destroyed and the roof of the original 17th-century meeting room was severely damaged. The interior of the original meeting room escaped relatively unscathed, although it did suffer some water and smoke damage.
The Mayflower Barn
Within the grounds of Old Jordans is the Mayflower Barn on the edge of the Chiltern hills in the South Buckinghamshire countryside, about midway between London and Oxford, in the small village (and associated farmstead) of Jordans.
The farm's name seems to date back into the late Middle Ages. Its known history begins in 1618 when Thomas Russell bought it. Part of the present farmhouse was already there and Thomas Russell added to it in 1624, when he also built a substantial new main barn with timbers from a ship. In the 1920s antiquarian J. Rendel Harris concluded that the barn had been built with timbers from a ship called the "Mayflower" bought from a shipbreaker's yard in Rotherhithe and that this was the Mayflower which carried the Pilgrim Fathers from Plymouth to New England. However, Harris' research was speculative and drawn mostly from his claims of an oral tradition. Moreover, given there may have been up to 37 Mayflowers plying the oceans at the time and the farm's name is older than the ship, the timbers' origin has not been verified.
The well-preserved structure was a tourist attraction, receiving visitors each year from all over the world and particularly from the Americas but is now privately owned and not open to the public.
Jordans has a primary school (Jordans County First School) and Jordan's Village Nursery School.
Jordans First School
Located in Puers Lane, Jordans Village School is a state funded school, catering for years 1,2 and Reception (Ages 5–8). It is a feeder school for Seer Green School, Thorpe House School and Gayhurst School. The school educates about 60 pupils in total, with a student:teacher ratio of 1:12. The schools inspector Ofsted has commented "The school enjoys an ordered, welcoming and caring environment in which pupils are valued and respected and positive values and attitudes promoted."
- Mrs Woodcock (?-1996)
- Mrs S. King (1997–1999)
- Mrs A.M Bennet (1999–2005)
- Mrs J. Galdies (Acting Head) (2005–2006)
- Mrs P. Farmer (2006-)
- Hazel Bascombe (2015)
- Hannah Bancroft (2015-date)
Leisure and amenities
Jordans retains a strong community atmosphere, despite not having a local pub. Every year, a number of events take place in the village, an annual fete, a sports day and a village supper. The Jordans Tennis Club is a small tennis club located within the village. It has one full size court and one hut. It holds about 7 roll-ups each year. The village also has a youth club.
Jordans village store
Jordans Village Store was opened in 1922. In addition to the usual staples, the shop also has its own brand of preserves. The shop also has a visiting Post Office. The shop is partly funded by a voluntary Shop Amenity Charge, £5 or £10 per month, which is paid by roughly half the households in the Village.
Jordans has 8 new allotments, one for the use of Jordans First School. The old allotment area has been used for the development of four new homes for the elderly, known as Chelsey Garden Cottages.
Jordans is home to:
- Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne who have a mansion just outside the village.
- Bill Turnbull, a BBC news anchorman, was a former resident
- Justin Sullivan, New Model Army frontman and songwriter was born in Jordans.
- Steve Soper, racing driver described by Motorsport Magazine as "the greatest saloon car driver of all time"
- Historic England. "Mayflower Barn (44413)". Images of England.
- Jordans Quaker Meeting
- Jordans School Homepage
- Jordans Village Store Website
- Seer Green and Jordans Society
- Jordans Allotments Website