Little Missenden shown within Buckinghamshire
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|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|UK Parliament||Chesham and Amersham|
The toponym "Missenden" is derived from the Old English for "valley where marsh plants grow". In the Domesday Book of 1086 the two villages are recorded as Missedene and Little Missenden is clearly identifiable by two hides owned between three landlords. One of these hides belonging to the Count of Mortain (around Town Farm) expanded after Domesday to become the manor of Holmer whence the village of Holmer Green was born. Other hamlets which are in the ancient parish of Little Missenden are Beamond End, Mop End, Spurlands End, Little Kingshill, Brays Green and Hyde Heath.
The main London-Aylesbury road used to run through the centre of Little Missenden and past the two pubs – The Red Lion and The Crown. In the early 19th century, a new by-pass road was built to the north and this now forms part of the modern A413 road.
Like much of Little Missenden village, the Saxon parish church of St John the Baptist was built next to the River Misbourne. The church was extended in several stages for at least 1000 years, the oldest part being built in circa 975 AD. The chancel dates to the 13th century, the North chapel was added in the 14th century, and the porch the following century. The exterior of the south aisle was rebuilt in brick in the 18th century. Some wall paintings survive inside the church, which were uncovered in 1931. The best preserved of these is a 13th-century depiction of St Christopher with a young Jesus.
The village has an early seventeenth-century manor, with a southern exterior dating to the late seventeenth century. The manor still has its original staircase. Missenden House is a red/grey brick building dated 1728. Little Missenden Abbey is a neo-Tudor structure built by William Howard Seth-Smith I.
Culture and community
The village has been used in many films and television programmes over the years, particularly as one of the more frequent ITV Midsomer Murders filming locations. "Missenden Murders" was considered as a possible title for the series. The Red Lion pub has appeared in three episodes. Despite being a small village, in recent times it has also hosted acclaimed comedy and arts festivals. The children of Little Missenden school performed the premiere of John Tavener's Celtic Requiem in 1970 and continue to perform annually at the renowned Little Missenden Festival of Music and Arts.
The nearest railway station is at Great Missenden.
- Herbert Austin was born in Little Missenden to a farming family. He moved to Rotherham, South Yorkshire at an early age.
- Dr Benjamin Bates - Sir Francis Dashwood's physician and also a senior member of the Hellfire Club.
- Tony Nash - Olympic bobsledder, who lived in Little Missenden when he was director of an engineering company in Penn.
- Wilfrid Stevenson, Baron Stevenson of Balmacara - Life peer and former policy advisor to Gordon Brown.
- Rayner Unwin - publisher
- John Gardner Wilkinson - traveller, writer and pioneer Egyptologist of the 19th century.
- Neighbourhood Statistics 2011 Census, Accessed 2 February 2013
- Watkin, Bruce (1981). Buckinghamshire: A Shell Guide. Faber & Faber. p. 126. ISBN 9780571138852.
- Jones, Evan Mark G. (2000). Film and TV Locations in Thames and Chilterns Country. Film & TV Tours. p. 59.
- Malvern, Jack (16 March 2011). "'I've got friends who are Pakistani'". The Times.
- "A gesture worthy of the Games". Bucks Free Press. 2 May 2012.
- "High Speed 2 attacked during Lords debate". Bucks Free Press. 16 July 2012.
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