Gerrards Cross and Farnhams
Gerrards Cross & Farnhams was the eighth edition of Local Directory to be launched in June 2015.
Located in the south of Buckinghamshire, Gerrards Cross as a town name is relatively new compared with the majority of English towns. “Gerrards Cross” did not exist in any formal sense until 1859, when it was formed by merging areas from the hamlets of Chalfont St Peter, Fulmer, Stoke Poges and Upton cum Chalvey to form a new ecclesiastical parish. It is named after the Gerrard family who owned a manor there in the early 17th century.
Near its centre is the site of an Iron Age minor hillfort, Bulstrode Park, which is a scheduled ancient monument and is cited as one of the most remarkable examples of defensive earthworks in the county. The parish church of St. James, situated on the A40, was erected by the Misses Reid in memory of their brother, Maj. Gen. Reid, formerly M.P. for Windsor. It is a cruciform building in the Byzantine style of various coloured bricks and stone which caused quite a stir at the time of its construction. Gerrards Cross Common, extending over some 32 hectares, only exists as it is today as the result of a disastrous fire which burned for three months in 1921. Latchmoor Pond, at the north end of the common, is of special interest as it is home to a very rare water plant, damasonium alisma (Starfruit) and has received attention from Plant Life and Conservation Volunteers.
The Farnhams, comprising Farnham Royal and Farnham Common, adjoin the ancient woodland of Burnham Beeches, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a National Nature Reserve and a Special Area of Conservation. Farnham Royal was the main village with its church of St Mary’s, shops, cottages and village pump situated in the centre junction of the crossroads. Farnham Common was known as ‘Up End’, being the common land of the parish where livestock was grazed at certain times of the year. As this common area became more populated it became known as Farnham Common. Notable inhabitants of the two villages include Johnny Ball (former children’s television presenter), Martin O’Neill (football manager), Dennis Waterman (actor) and Alan Carr (comedian).
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