Hertfordshire Genealogy

Guide to Old Hertfordshire


Cheddington Buckinghamshire




Please Note - This page contains links and pictures to augment the Genealogy in Hertfordshire Web Site. There are no plans to extend the "Ask Chris" facility to cover queries relating to Cheddington.


External Links


Wikipedia Page

Village Web Site

Map of Cheddington

St Giles Parish Church

Cheddington History Society

Cheddington (London and North-Western Railway) is without any feature of interest, nor is the church of any importance, though it is well situated on a hillock with a pleasant belt of trees around. It has a low W. tower, nave, aisle and chancel; the 17th-century pulpit and communion table are noticeable.

Cheddington, however, possesses in its "lynchets" an object of considerable importance. They will be found to the S. W. of the village and are a conspicuous object on the landscape. They consist of three broad terraces on the hillside facing E. Of course various absurd traditions are preserved about them in local histories, but their true nature has been now clearly established. They are survivals of the common field system which was an important element in the Saxon and medi:eval village community. "When a hillside," says Mr Seebohm in his now classical work on The English Village Community, "formed part of the open field the strips almost always were made to run, not up and down the hill, but horizontally along it; and in ploughing, the custom for ages was always to turn the sod of the furrow downhill, the plough consequently always returning one way idle. If the whole hillside were ploughed in one field, this would result in a gradual travelling of the soil from the top to the bottom of the field, and it might not be noticed. But as in the open-field system the hillside was ploughed in strips with unploughed walks between them, no sod could pass in the ploughing from one strip to the next; but the process of moving the sod downwards would go on age after age just the same within each individual strip. In other words, every year's ploughing took a sod from the higher edge of the strip and put it on the lower edge; and the result was that strips became in time long level terraces one above the other, and the walks between them grew into steep rough banks of long grass covered often with natural self-sown bramble and bushes."

The lynchets of Cheddington are the best examples in the county of an agricultural and social feature of much historical interest.

Buckinghamshire, by E S Roscoe, 3rd edition, 1918


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September 2016   Page Created