Whiteleaf – Upper Icknield Way and all side roads
List of properties with date or decade of construction and former names
The properties, shown in bold, are those for which we have information either on the property itself, the former residents or an old photo. To access this information, click on the house name below (note:- a link has not yet been set up for other properties), alternatively simply scroll down the page to see all entries.
In some cases there are links in this section to residents (a profile of whom is included in the Former Residents section), to access simply click on the name of the person if it is highlighted in bold. Click on a photo to enlarge it.
Many of the older properties in this section were part of the Whiteleaf Estate. Rather that repeat the reference under each relevant property, the detailed sales particulars for the 1903 and 1919 sales can be viewed by clicking on the relevant date.
|Name of property||Photo||Built||Previous names|
LateC17 – Early C18
|Box Tree Cottage||
|High Lodge||White Lodge|
|Elysium to 1980s|
|Braeside to 1933 ,
Knock-na-Rea to 1963
|Mulberry House||Woodley 1971|
|Oak Cottage||Jaina 1971|
|By the Way to 1998|
|Pollards||The Limes, Rosary 1935|
|The New House||
|Field Cottage to 1992|
|The Other Cottage||
Late C18 – Early C19
|The Red Lion PH||
|The White House|
|Whitecliff Cottage –
|WHITELEAF GOLF CLUB||
4.2.1. Upper Icknield Way (Right hand side from Peters Lane)
The following three cottages form a terrace and are listed buildings and are described in The Report of the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments as follows
“Row of three cottages. Early C17, altered and extended late C18, early C19. Middle Cottage has a timber frame with one curved brace and whitewashed infill. Outer cottages are of flint and brick, part whitewashed, the left gable with remains of timber frame and plaster infill. Thatched roof, half-hipped to left, hipped to right. Brick chimney between left bays. 2 stories, 3 main bays, that to right with thatched wing to rear. Paired barred wooden casements, larger to ground floor, the left bay with 2 to first floor. Similar single light between left bays, single leaded light to left, both to ground floor. Each bay has board door, the outer doors with segmented heads. Lean-to to rear”.
The terrace was part of the Whiteleaf Estate and, as mentioned elsewhere, the individual cottages did not have names. The cottages were rented in 1903 to Widow Grimsdale, Jesse Lacey and Wm. Grimsdale. In 1919 the terrace was sold freehold to Francis Hayward Parrott for £420, the tenants at that time being, Mrs. O Lacey, Mrs. J. Lacey and Mrs. Grimsdale.
Sadly the terrace was destroyed in a fire in April 2016, however it is hoped that reconstruction is possible.
Again the following three cottages form a terrace and are listed buildings and are described in The Report of the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments as follows:-
“Row of 3 cottages. 2 cottages to left are C16, cottage to right is late C18-early C19. C16 part is timber framed with brick, plaster and render infill, whitewashed to left; ground floor of left bay partly rebuilt in whitewashed flint and brick. Right bay also whitewashed flint and brick. Old tile roof, brick chimneys to left and between right bays. 2 stories, C16 part with upper storey jettied to front on moulded bressumer. 3 bays. Barred wooden casements: 4 2-light to first floor; larger 2-light windows to ground floor of right bays; 3-light to ground floor left. 2 board doors between left bays, another to right with segmentalhead. Interior; small curved braces to central cross beams and tie beams, another to tie beam in rear right corner. Slightly curved wind-braces”.
The terrace was part of the Whiteleaf Estate and again the individual cottages did not have names, making identification of the exact occupants difficult. The cottages were rented in 1903 to Miss Rogers, James Arnett and Widow Rogers. In 1919 the terrace was sold freehold for £525 to Rev. Gow, one of the tenants. The other two tenants at that time being, Mr. Pullen and Miss Watkins
The cottage is late 17th Century – early 18th Century, and, as mentioned above was sold to Rev. Gow in 1919.
It has strong links with the twentieth century artist John Nash, who lived there for a while in 1919. Also at that time Francis Unwin, a famous etcher, lived in the shed at the back of the cottage. Unwin’s picture of the Cottage from the back is in the Bolton Museum.
Previous owners included Eva Maclean and sister Kitty McSweeny, who rented the property out in 1941 for a few years to Elizabeth Craig, the famous home economist, journalist and renowned British celebrity chef. Several of her recipes originate from Whiteleaf residents!
In 1916/17 the cottage was rented to Francis Joseph Pullen and he was still in occupation when the terrace was sold to Rev. Gow in 1919. Francis Pullen acquired the cottage in March 1927 and then sold it to Dorothy Maud Pullen in 1936 for £315. 5s. In 1970 Dorothy Pullen, then living in Stevenage, sold the cottage to Louis Emmett for £1,600.
Louis Emmett arrived from Yorkshire to teach at the secondary school (where he later became deputy head) in the early 1950s and presumably rented the cottage until he bought it in 1970. A science master and Radio Ham; his call sign was G3.VKO and he spoke to all four corners of the world from the shed of the cottage. Well known and respected by people all over Risborough and the village, he was also the Secretary of the Monks Risborough Horticultural Society for over 20 years, despite not being a gardener. There is a memorial bench for Mr Emmett on the cricket ground (he was passionate about cricket). The shed in the garden was used to shelter a German boy by Mrs. Gow (from Felix Cottage) during World War II.
In 1985 a small parcel of land belonging to New End (now Library Cottage) was sold to Mr. Emmett.
This Grade II listed cottage was the home of Rev. Henry Gow and Mrs. Edith Gow in 1911. The cottage still has the original inglenook fireplace and bread oven inside. For many years the Gow family used to spend weekends at the cottage to escape the hurly burly of London and as mentioned above the terrace, in which Felix cottage features, was purchased by Rev. Gow in 1919. The family decided to move out to Whiteleaf to live here permanently.
Mrs Gow’s son, Charles Humphrey, was a leading surgeon at Great Ormond Street hospital and died on active service in November 1916. Edith Gow set up the Gow Memorial Library in memory of her son (see also Library Cottage below). Edith Gow died in 1924, however her daughter, Mary Elizabeth continued to live in Felix cottage until the mid 1960’s and to operate the Library.
Deceptively, this house was in fact built in the late 1970s on the site of what was the Gow Memorial library, owned by Mrs Gow who lived next door at Felix Cottage. Most of the cottages in the terrace and in Whiteleaf in general did not have a name until the 1920’s; so ownership is invariably difficult to trace.
Before Library Cottage was built, there was an old barn on this site. The barn was converted in 1922 into the “Gow Memorial Library” by Mrs Edith Gow in memory of her son Charles Humphrey Gow who was killed in action 1916 – see also Felix Cottage above. The memoir she wrote in his memory is available – click here to view. The library was part of the Bucks CC library service and at its peak had some 5,000 books. Sadly it closed in the late 1960s.
It was about that time (mid 60’s) that the barn was converted into living accommodation and a major overhaul of accommodation to its’ present state was undertaken in 1990/91. In 2000 the garden underwent a major project; part of the feature includes bottles from the Red Lion.
At some point the Cottage was known as New End – New End does appear on a Land Registry document dated 1988 which suggests that Library Cottage is a relatively new name, however it not known when the name changed.
Peter Oates (ex Mens’ Captain Whiteleaf Golf Club) used to visit the Library back in the late 1940s’, because this was one of few places that you could meet girls! It is believed that he was 14 at the time.
According to an article in 1989 in the Bucks Free Press, it is suggested that the earliest part of this house is 300 years old and was originally a bakery the 18th Century – apparently the oven is still there. However the Conservation Area study suggests that it was built in the 19th Century. Nevertheless it is clearly marked on the 1839 Enclosure map and was the nucleus of the development of the Whiteleaf Estate.
Angelica Mainstone appears to be the owner in 1839 and her sister Sophia appears on the 1841 census. In the 1861 Census Thomas Rogers Parsons, the owner and manager of the “Lion Brewery” (which was in Princes Risborough on Market Square) was the owner of Whiteleaf House. After his death the house along with the brewery passed to his son Thomas.
The house became even better known for its activity with functions for all social classes taking place in the grounds. The house with considerable other properties and ground was sold in 1903 to Herbert Percy Davies Phillips of Gwerthoner in Glamorgan. In 1903 the house “with grounds, lawns, paddocks, stabling and farmery” comprised an area of about 14 acres out of the total for the whole estate of approx. 50 acres – see photo of gardeners cottages right. Phillips bought his own family and staff to Whiteleaf to manage the house and grounds.
The house passed to Phillips’ daughter Mary Guinevere Davies Way (nee Phillips) in October 1917. In 1919 it was sold to George Macdonald Brown, who subsequently sold it in the same year to William Joseph Ennever, the founder of the Pelham Institute. When the house and Estate (which by this time had grown to approx. 70 acres) were put up for auction again in 1919, Ennever decided to retain the house and the golf course, whilst disposing of the remainder. He then sold the house to Lillie Edwardina Renison in September 1922. By 1924 Miss Maud R. Taylor JP had acquired the property and she retained the property until it was sold again in 1948. For the detailed sales particulars and more photos of the house and grounds, click here.
The 1940s saw the house being let to Hugo Williams whilst he filmed for the Ministry of Information. His son, actor Simon Williams was born here.
It would appear from the 1950 census data that John Goodchild purchased the property in 1948 and that he was still in occupation in 1964.
Whiteleaf Cottage is shown on the 1839 Enclosure map. In 1903 it was part of the Whiteleaf Estate and passed from Thomas Parsons to Herbert Percy Davies Phillips. In 1919 when the Estate came up for sale again, it was sold as the Cottage itself together with a small orchard and an excellent garden (which extended northwards from the Cottage to the boundary of the Red Lion) as well as an enclosed yard or building site on the West side of the Upper Icknield Way. It was sold freehold with vacant possession by Mary Guinever Davies way, George MacDonald Brown and William Joseph Ennever for £1,050 to a Mary Walker Etherington.
In 1948 the Cottage and grounds as described above, together with an additional piece of land (which had been sold by W. Ennever to a Lillie Edwardina Renison in September 1922) were sold by auction by the beneficial owner Joseph Charlton Taylor. At some point the Cottage and its grounds had been acquired by Miss Alice Maud Taylor, who was also the owner of Whiteleaf House. For the detailed 1948 sales particulars “Cottage Properties” click here.
Originally built in 1960 with an integral garage, a separate garage block was built in the early 1990s. The house was updated and modernised by the current owners on their arrival in 2011.
The house was originally named Elysium (Elysium is described as a paradise in Homer’s Odyssey). The name was changed to Huntington or Huntington House, probably in the 1980s.
Previous owners Tony and Liz Dawson lived at Huntington for about 25 years before selling to the current owners in 2011.
The Red Lion was built in the 18th century and is a grade II listed building and is described in The Report of the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments as follows:-
“Public House.Late C18-early C19, altered. Whitewashed brick, formerly vitreous with red-brick dressings. Plinth, off-set eaves. Old tile roof ,brick chimneys to right and between left bays. 2 storeys, 3 bays. Ground floor has 3-light leaded casements with transoms and segmental heads. 3-light barred wooden casements to first floor have C20 board shutters. C20 door between right bays, with flat wooden hood on brackets and recessed brick panel above. Single storey range attached to right has board door and garage doors”
In its time the pub has had some interesting characters holding the licence over the years, including one Jock Renton.
The first known reference found for the Red Lion is of Frances Redrup in 1754 – for a short period it appears to have been called the “Black Boy” but reverted back to the Red Lion. In many cases the pub was run as a second job by the licencees.
In 1841 David Rogers was shopkeeper and publican. Frederick Messenger was a Cordwainer and Inn Keeper. Each landlord has their own tale to tell, the Howards in the 1990s collected several Seafaring artefacts because Whiteleaf was supposedly the farthest place from the sea!
Paxton Cottage is a grade II listed building and is described in The Report of the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments as follows:-
“House. C17. Timber frame with whitewashed brick infill; ground floor and gable of right bay rebuilt in whitewashed brick. Thatched roof, flanking brick chimneys, that to left external with small lean-to, probably an oven to front. 2 storeys, 2 main bays. Leaded casements, irregular to ground floor, upper floor with 2 paired casements to right and 2 3-light casements to left. C20 door to right of left bay. C20 single storey extension to right, mostly glazed with tiled roof. Lean-to to rear” Note: the extension has been re-built with a thatched roof.
The house was originally two cottages and, as with many of the older cottages, was not named until after 1903 census, when it became Paxton Cottage. As further evidence of this there are 2 staircases leading upstairs. There are Tudor bricks in the inglenook at the far end of the sitting room, where the door to the old bread oven is still in situ. The cottage was named after Tom Paxton who was farm manager for Hampden Estate. His boots are sealed into the wall of the inglenook to the left of the front door as you enter. There is a well under the floor near where the second front door was situated.
In 1903 the two cottages were rented to John Redrup and William Briars. In 1919 the property was sold to Cornelius Stevens of Prestwood (the buyer of the land on which Westfields was built) for £180. In occupation at that time were Misses Bray and Hornby in one cottage and Mrs. Baker in the other.
Meetings are known to have been held at the cottage in the past. Eric Phillips (PC 49 of radio fame – before Dixon of Dock Green) lived here for many years with his wife June (born 01.06 and died 01.06 – all in this cottage). Eric took great pleasure in gardening whilst waiting for acting parts. Only recently was the phone alarm dismantled from the back wall of the cottage, owing to noise.
This small cottage, previously known as Melita, adjoins Highrood and was in 1903 and 1919 treated as one lot in the sales which took place then. In 1919 it was sold freehold as part of the lot which included Highrood and a paddock to Augusta Anne Finlay for £875. At the time it was occupied by Mr. J. P. Rogers.
At some point the Cottage and its grounds had been acquired by Miss Alice Maud Taylor, who was also the owner of Whiteleaf House as it was her beneficiary Joseph Charlton Taylor, who sold the house in 1948. For the detailed 1948 sales particulars “Cottage Properties” click here.
The Lucas family, lived at Melita (now Cavall) since 1938 to 1961, when the house was burned down.
In 1919 Augusta Anne Finlay purchased Highrood and Melita and the paddock behind those properties, which extended from the Red Lion back garden through to Thorns Lane. In 1925 Margaret Kathleen Perkins purchased Highrood from Mrs. Finlay.
At some point the Cottage and its grounds had been acquired by Miss Alice Maud Taylor, who was also the owner of Whiteleaf House as it was her beneficiary Joseph Charlton Taylor, who sold the house in 1948. For the detailed 1948 sales particulars “Cottage Properties” click here.
Sadly, as reported by the Bucks Gazette, in May 1961 a fire broke out in the thatched roof of Highrood and, fanned by strong wind, it quickly spread. The fire eventually consumed both Highrood and Melita (the attached cottage), making the then occupants Mr. and Mrs. John Pickering, his mother and their three children homeless. When the houses were re-built the thatched roof was not replaced.
The Pickerings sold the property to Geoffrey and Rosalind Wills, who were connected to the Wills Tobacco Company, and who had to use a ladder to access the upper floor until a new staircase was installed. The Pickerings sold the house to Frank Humble and his wife, who subsequently sold the house to Chris and Margaret Hill. The Hills then sold to Camilla Corben who then sold to the current owners.
Bakers Cottage is said to be 16th Century (c.1575). It is thought to have originally been a mediaeval hall and had a jettied frontage. At some stage it was developed into three cottages and later reformed into one. The Report of the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments describes Bakers Cottage as follows:-
“House. 2 C16 bays, extended one bay to east C18 and again to east C20. Original bays have timber frame with whitewashed brick infill, the original jetty underbuilt with whitewashed brick. C18 bay to right is of similar brick in English bond. Thatched roof, hipped to right. Brick chimneys to left gable, right and between right bays. 2 storeys. Left bay has 3-1ight wooden casement with arched glazing bars to ground floor. Right bays have irregular leaded casements, those to first floor each of 3 lights. C20 door between right bays. C20 whitewashed brick extension with tiled roof to right, outshot of whitewashed brick with some timbering to rear. Left gable has lean-to, leaded casements and small blocked C16 3-light window with chamfered mullions. Interior shows more timber framing, wind-braces and queen strut trusses. Many timbers have been reused”.
In 1903 the property was copyhold of the Manor of Monks Risborough and was still divided into three. The three cottages were occupied by John Baker, Amos Briars and Widow Briars. In 1919 the property was sold (whilst still being Copyhold) to Frank J. Chambers (of Up The Lane) for £380. Mr. Baker still occupied one cottage, but the other two were occupied by a Mr. Norman.
According to a former inhabitant the single storey structure attached to the roadside of the cottage was used as the village butcher shop by John Baker, hence the name of the cottage.
A significant boundary change occurred in 1954, when the land on which the property, Greensleeves, Thorns Lane, now stands was sold.
There is a gap in our knowledge of the ownership history, after the property passed to Eric Chambers. It was owned by Dr. Henshaw in 1951 and he sold it in 1957 to Mrs. Esler. She then sold it to Mr & Mrs Timperley in 1979, who sold it in 1982 (when they moved to Pollards) to Mr & Mrs Patterson, who lived there until 2003.
188.8.131.52 Thorns Lane
Up The Lane was originally an unnamed woodcutters cottage, thought to date from the 18th Century. It can be seen on the 1839 Enclosure map and records show that, in March 1884, John Munger and John East sold the copyhold of the cottage to Thomas Parsons, the copyholder being the Manor of Monks Risborough. Thomas Rogers Parsons had acquired part of the surrounding land after his move to Whiteleaf and this passed to his son Thomas Parsons in 1879.
In May 1903 the cottage (copyhold) and surrounding land (just over 2 acres, freehold) was included in the Whiteleaf Estate sale prospectus under the name of Jubilee Park. However it was not until October 1903, that a contract was entered into by Thomas Parsons and The Right Honorable Sidney Carr Hobart Hampton Mercer Henderson (7th Earl of Buckinghamshire), Richard Pennington and Mortimer Reginald Margesson to convey the copyhold cottage property to Parsons as freehold.
Later in October 1903 Thomas Parsons sold the cottage and land to Frank Job Chambers, an architect, for the sum of £375. It seems that the cottage was named Up The Lane around that time. Chambers also acquired additional land around Up The Lane to the extent that he owned all the land between Thorns Lane and Golf Club Lane (with the exception of the orchard at the bottom of Golf Club Lane.
F. J. Chambers died in June 1937 and the property, together with Robin’s Nest (thought to be Barn Cottage) passed in May and June 1938 to his son Eric Holland Chambers, an engineer, radio company owner, plane builder and boat renovator. Follow the links to find out more.
Eric Chambers was succeeded as owner by his wife Sylva Isenhouer Chambers and she sold the property in the 70’s to Philip and Val Wright (of the Wrights of Great Missenden building firm). The house was then sold to Kevin and Amanda Brundrett, before being sold to the current owners in 2014.
The New House (previously known as Field Cottage)
In 1919 Augusta Anne Finlay purchased Highrood and Melita and the paddock behind those properties, which extended from the Red Lion back garden through to Thorns Lane. In 1936 Field Cottage was constructed on the South Eastern part of the paddock and was rented to Hannah Lipyeart, a local school teacher and her husband Clifford, a local builder.
In 1946 Margaret Kathleen Perkins sold Field Cottage to Hannah Lipyeart for £450 together with a further strip of adjacent land for £25. In January 1991 the Lipyearts sold Field Cottage to Leeway Properties, who demolished the cottage, which was not in a very good state, and built the current house. In February 1992 a strip of land was purchased by Leeway Properties from Paxton Cottage and in 1992 the house was sold to the current owners.
As with The New House, Bryony stands on part of the “Highrood paddock”. A building was erected on the site at some point, but burnt down. Major Thomas Gerard Davidson ( see below under Pipers Loft) was listed as living there in 1928. A “shack” was then erected there in the 1940’s at a cost of approx. £450 to accommodate a Mrs. Pilliner (the widowed mother of Dorothy Pickering of Highrood). The “shack” was then replaced with the current building.
It is understood that the property was built in 1928 by a Mr. Thomas Gerard Davidson, an architect, as his own house. The same architect designed Brambledown, which has some similar characteristics. A single storey extension (a playroom) was added a few years before 1968, built it is believed, by Cliff Lipyeart, (see under The New House).
The land, again part of the “Highrood paddock” passed under the will of Mrs A.A. Finlay to Miss M.K. Perkins in 1925. The deeds say that she conveyed to Mrs. E.G. Davidson, with no reference to a man. Mr E.H. Smith bought the house in 1957, selling on to Mr. R.G.W. Oakley, who had served in the RAF, in 1962. It was sold to Mr. and Mrs. D.H. Miller in 1968. The Oakleys moved to Woodstock, where they took a pub.
184.108.40.206 Thorns Close
The Close consists of 4 properties (excluding Up the Lane) all of which were constructed by a devoloper on land purchased from Mrs Chambers (the widow of Eric H. Chambers) the then owner of Up the Lane.
Constructed in 1974 and originally called “By the Way”. The name was changed to “Penwood” in 1998 on change of ownership.
220.127.116.11 Golf Club Lane
New Place was designed and built by the architect Colin Oates in 1957 on land which was once part of the gardens of Up the Lane. Mr. Oates, who also designed and built Greensleeves in Thorns Lane, lived there until approximately 1980. The house was extended in 1987, by the current owners.
Chiltern Ridge is one of the few examples of domestic architecture of the famed architect, James Stirling (originator of the “Stirling Prize for Architecture” awarded annually). It was commissioned by a Mr Kissa, a Greek resident of London in 1957. Wycombe District Council, turned down Stirling’s plans twice as they showed a flat roof. Stirling amended the original Chiltern Ridge plans to incorporate a pitched roof of special pantiles and permission was subsequently granted and the house was built by Frank Andrews, a local man. His son David built an extension to the property in 1976. Stirling lost interest in the house as it did not conform to his original idea of a house in the Chilterns, built to take in the panoramic views, and never publically acknowledged it.
All this came to light when a lecturer from Manchester University (Mark Crinson) traced the house whilst researching for a new book. Mark has subsequently written and published articles including references to Chiltern Ridge.
Mr. Kissa used the house from Spring to Autumn when it was closed for winter when he retired to sunnier climes. Subsequent owners were a Mr. & Mrs. King, who laid the foundation of flower and rose beds. Then came Mr. & Mrs. McKenzie Pratt. He was a surgeon, latterly with the RAF. The current owners took up residence in 1975.
The club was set up in 1907 as a six hole course by Mrs. Mary Phillips, a fine sportswoman, and wife of Major Herbert Percy Davies Phillips of Whiteleaf House. She donated the land and “clubhouse” as is evidenced by the following extract from –
A meeting was held at Whiteleaf House, the residence of Mr. H. P. D. Phillips, on Friday, Aug. 16 1907, several ladies, and gentlemen belonging to the neighbourhood assembling with the object of inaugurating a golf club, on the ground recently laid out by Mr. Phillips close to the village. Mr. Phillips took the chair, and amongst those also present were. Mr. Coningsby Disraeli, Rev. Blamire Brown, Dr. J. T. Bell, Dr. and Mrs Watson, Mrs Phillips, the Misses Phillips, Messrs. H. B. Aubrey, B. Fieldwick, H. Birrell, and L. S. Wint.
Several letters, expressing regret, at not being ab1e to be present, were read from, amongst others, Rev. A. K. Hobart-Hampden, Mr. Birrel (Thame), Miss Clay, and the Rev. J.W. Cruikshank. . It was decided to form the club and that the annual subscription should be one guinea for all joining within’ two months, after which one guinea entrance fee to be paid in addition. Mr. Phillips was elected president and Mr. Bernard Fieldwick hon. secretary and treasurer. After the meeting most of those present inspected the course, and more particularly the cosy little clubhouse which Mrs. Phillips has furnished so tastefully. Mr. Coningsby Disraeli then opened the c1ub by driving the first ball, his stroke being, by the way, a very good one. The clubhouse will be under the supervision of Mrs. Paxton.
The course underwent major changes to its design soon after the end of the First World War and was extended to 9 holes after the acquisition of additional land. The club house was originally a short row of 14th century dwellings, which included a bodgers cottage, and has been extended and updated. The access road (Golf Club Lane) was concreted in 1937, which allowed members “to drive in comfort to the clubhouse without having to combat skids and wheel spins.
Garry May has recently completed a history of Whiteleaf Golf Club, which has a lot more detail about the club and this should be available from the Golf Club in March 2015.
Red Roofs (previously known as Westfield)
There is little information at present on this property, but see Middle House below. Redroofs was sold as a freehold premise in December 1919 by Mary Guinevere Davies Way, George MacDonald Brown and William Joseph Ennever to Sophie Jane Taylor and Walter John Taylor.
The property, which is semi-detached, was built in about 1912. It is not on the 1903 Whiteleaf Estate map but does appear, along with Redroofs and Romborough on the 1919 map. Redroofs and Middle House were sold as a pair of freehold premises in December 1919 by Mary Guinevere Davies Way, George MacDonald Brown and William Joseph Ennever to Marguerite Helen Dallas for £825. It was however reported in the Bucks Herald that the purchaser was Mr. S. G. Dallas one of the tenants. The other tenant was a Mr. Walter John Taylor, who purchased Redroofs with his wife Sophie Jane.
In 1920 there was an agreement between Francis Hayward Parrott (the owner of Romborough), M. H. Dallas and Sophia Jane Taylor in respect of the cost of repairing and emptying a common cesspool.
In 1925 Middle House was sold Harold Charles Rapley, who in turn sold the property to Anne Elizebeth Wallace and Margaret McIlwaine McKee (two spinsters from Aylesbury) in 1929. Sadly both ladies died within a month of each other in 1942 and a Martin Bank, acting as executor, sold the property in 1943 to London Testing Laboratory.
London Testing Laboratory went into liquidation in 1947 and the property passed to Ethel Ray Robinson. For the detailed 1948 sales particulars click here . In 1951 the property was sold to Molins machine Co. Ltd. for the sum of £4,800. Molins then sold in 1957 to Arthur Vivian Thomas, who then sold in 1968 to Richard Kempe Clarke, a local GP. The Clarkes moved in 1989 and sold to the current owner.
The property, shown on the right, was built between 1903 and 1918 as it features in the 1919 sale of the Whiteleaf Estate. At that time it was occupied by a Mrs. P. Womersley under a three year rental agreement starting from December 1918. Mr. Francis Hayward Parrott purchased the house in 1919 for £1,000.
The building plot for The Spinney was acquired by Alfred George Gardiner in 1919 for £260 and a house was built thereon shortly afterwards. Gardiner was a journalist, who started work at the Chelmsford Chronicle and then the Bournemouth Directory. He joined the Northern Daily Telegraph in 1887 and became editor of the Daily News in 1902. He was also an author, writing many novels under the pseudonym Alpha of the Plough. A biography of A.G. Gardiner can be found in the Former Residents section. In 1919 or 21 the front garden was sold and Long Fortin now stands on that land.
Gardiner, who lived at the Spinney until the late 1930s with his family, was one of the first directors of Whiteleaf Golf Club as well as a member of Monks Risborough Cricket Club. He was well remembered for his repartee at Golf Club dinners with his son-in-law Dr. J.J. Mallon (see also Maytree Cottage).
Two of his daughters, Alice and Phyllis, acquired Maytree Cottage in 1953. Also resident at some point was Dr. Herbert Gwyn Edwards.
The land on which Long Fortin now stands was originally part of the front garden of The Spinney. The land was sold by Alice Gwendolin Gardiner in 1919 and then sold on in 1921 and the house eventually built in 1924 in the Arts & Craft Style. A triple garage and stables were added in 1988 and a conservatory built in 1966 was changed to a garden room in 2009.
It was owned by Doris Dean in 1929 and sold at some point to Ethel Adeline Dix. She sold the house to R. W. Walsh in 1934 for £1,500, who in turn sold it in 1953 for £4,400 to Mr. Wikinson. In 1959 it was sold again for £5,650, and in 1963 for £8,500. In 1968 the price had risen to £12,500, in 1977 to £37,500 and in 1982 to £97,500.
4.2.2 Upper Icknield Way (Left side from Peters Lane)
The house was originally described as “The Limes” in the 1903 Whiteleaf Estate sales particulars, probably after the lime trees fronting on to the Upper Icknield Way. It was named Rosary until 1939 when it became Pollards. The deeds to Pollards were kept in London and were destroyed by bombing in the Second World War.
It was part of the Whiteleaf Estate which was acquired by Herbert Phillips in 1903. It passed to Mary Guinevere Davis Philipsthe daughter of a Herbert Phillip’s, who married William Bernard Way.
Samuel Kerkham Ratcliffe journalist and lecturer, at home and abroad, also lived at the “Rosary” in 1933. He worked for several newspapers and worked under A. G. Gardiner at the Daily News, who lived at “Spinney” at the eastern end of Whiteleaf.
Rumer Godden lived at Pollards from 1951 until 1958. She wrote “Black Narcissus” which, when it became a film, starred Deborah Kerr and Jean Simmons. The house was still two cottages joined together – the outer walls of which can still be seen in the dining room. She is supposed to have built on the wing for her parents – they in fact went to Whitecliff in the Holloway. This wing whenever it was put on caused some argument with the owners of Barn Cottage. The current owner of Barn Cottage discovered that Barn Cottage owes Pollards one old shilling every year on Christmas Day as rent something he religiously keeps up. Rumer looked back on “Pollards” as the happiest of all her homes. As a renowned English author, she had more than 60 fiction and non-fiction books written under her name.
A Viscount Simon (retired Chairman of the Port of London Authority) lived at Pollards in the 1950’s.
Tim and Patricia Berquist enlarged the house substantially and during their ownership rented the house to Angela and Nic Bollen.
The Allen family also lived here. Mrs. Allen loved the garden especially the spring aconites. Benedict Allen their sonis the explorer who does TV programmes. He collected local fossils which still litter the garden.
The Timperleys moved from Bakers Cottage to Pollards and lived here from 1981 to 86. They kept a horse at the bottom of the garden.
The current owners moved in in 1986 and extended the utility room at the back of the house.
Barn Cottage is a grade II listed building and is described in The Report of the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments as follows:-
“Small house. Late C17-early C18, altered. Right gable and part of rear are timber framed with brick infill, left gable flint with brick dressings, front rebuilt in brick and render, whitewashed. Old tile roof, flanking brick chimneys. One storey and attic, 2 bays. C20 wooden casements; those to ground floor irregular with timber lintels; paired casements to upper storey in small gabled eaves-line dormers. C20 door to right. Wing to rear is part weatherboard.”
It does not appear to have been part of the Whiteleaf Estate in 1903; however it does feature in the 1919 sale, when it was acquired by Frank Job Chambers (of Up The Lane) for £300. At the time it was occupied by Miss East and described as a brick-built and tiled cottage and shop. In 1938 the property passed to Eric Chambers and appears to have been called Robin’s Nest.
It was the home of Miss De Beer for many years and she operated the village shop, which was not known to anyone apart from the locals. “For many years I thought the lady’s name was Misty Beer, and since my dad liked a drop it seemed a natural enough name to have” was one villager’s contemporary observation.
18.104.22.168 Whiteleaf Way
This relatively recent development was built on the site of the kitchen garden of Whiteleaf House. The owner of Whiteleaf House at the time, Roy Cutler, a property developer, pushed ahead with the development despite strong opposition in the hamlet.
Thatchers, together with Wood Cottage, is treated as one item in the list of listed buildings. It is a grade II listed building and is described in The Report of the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments as follows:-
“House, 2 C16 bays, extended one bay to east C18 and again to east C20. Original bays have timber frame with whitewashed brick infill ,the original jetty underbuilt with whitewashed brick. C18 bay to right is of similar brick in English bond. Thatched roof, hipped to right. Brick chimneys to left gable, right and between right bays. 2 storeys. Left bay has 3-light wooden casement with arched glazing bars to ground floor. Right bays have irregular leaded casements, those to first floor each of 3 lights. C20 door between right bays. C20 whitewashed brick extension with tiled roof to right, outshot of whitewashed brick with some timbering to rear. Left gable has a lean-to, leaded casements and small blocked C16 3-light window with chamfered mullions. Interior shows more timber framing, wind-braces and queen strut trusses. Many timbers have been reused.”
In 1903, Thatchers was part of the Whiteleaf Estate and was described in the sales particulars as “Bijou Cottage” and was for sale, freehold, together with an adjoining cottage. It was rented at that time to Mr. Charles Pauling, who was still renting the cottage in 1919, when the property was again sold as part of the Whiteleaf Estate and was acquired by a Mr. G. M. Brown.
The adjoining cottage (later called Wood Cottage) was for many years a separate property, until 2013, when the owners of Wood Cottage acquired Thatchers and converted the two cottages into one. In 1903 it was rented to a Mrs. Geo. Baker (widow). In 1919 the cottage was rented to Mr. J. Mellam and as mentioned above was sold together with Thatchers to Mr. G. M. Brown.
The pair of cottages was offered for sale in November 1948 (for detailed sales particulars click here) when they were in the beneficial ownership of Joseph Charlton Taylor. The particulars refer to the land on which the cottages stand as having been sold in March 1920 by Thomas Werner Laurie to James Joseph Mallon (see also Maytree Cottage), presumably Mr. Brown having sold at some point to Mr. Laurie.
22.214.171.124 The Holloway (Left down)
The White House
Hollowdown – also known as Yellow House
Hollowdown was built in 1935 and was acquired by a butcher who paid £26 for it. John Nash’s sister, Barbara, lived in “The Yellow House” and ran a geranium and alpine nursery opposite Whitecliff.
It was subsequently sold to a Scottish engineer who lived there for 4 to 5 years and who sold it to a Mr. & Mrs. Grey in 1984. They only lived there for a year before selling the house to the current owners.
Whitecliff Cottage as it was previously known was built in 1868. It was originally two cottages belonging to the Church. The back (kitchen and room above) was added in about 1888 and in 1933 the side bit (bedroom, drawing room and bathroom) was added. The name was changed to Whitecliff in 1958, when the current owner moved in.
It is believed that the house stands on the site of a Roman villa and pottery was found, which is now in the Bucks Museum. Some Roman and more recent pottery was found when digging up a rose bed. There were 3 wells on the property, with one under the dining room. In the outhouse there is a little stall which would have been used for a pony and the trap, but is now a garage. At some point a strip of land of the Monks Risborough Church land further up the Holloway was purchased to enlarge the garden.
There is a connection with the Horwood family of Aylesbury, who it is thought did the back conversion and purchased the upper bit of garden, mentioned above.
Judge Rowland (Roland) a retired judge in India and his wife (who was a Horwood) did the 1933 conversion. It is believed that Brian Bairnsfather, the 1st World War cartoonist lived here at some point as did Rumer Godden’s mother.
George Lacy and Sons, a local builder, sold the original plot of land on which Maytree Cottage now stands to Henry Carpenter on the 2nd October 1935. The plot was originally part of what was then known as Askett field.
The Land was then sold to James Stuart on the 23rd Nov 1936. It would appear that at sometime between then and the 21st April 1939 that the original cottage was built. This was subsequently extended in 1957.
Maytree Cottage was sold by James Stuart to James & Stella Mallon in November 1947. James Mallon was an eminent social organiser.
The Mallons sold Maytree Cottage to Alice and Phyllis Gardiner on the 27th January 1953, who were described as being resident at the Spinney in the sale documents. The Mallons moved to Pannells.
It is believed that the Gardiner sisters remained in residence at Maytree Cottage for the rest of their lives. Alice Gardiner died on the 26th January 1985. Following the death of Phyllis Gardiner the surviving sister on the 21st October 1987, the current owners bought Maytree Cottage and adjoining land from the executors of the Gardiner estate.
In 1925 Henry Harold Parsons purchased three plots of land from the adjacent University Country Club (see Longridge) and in 1926, his father, Frederick Gymer Parsons a famous professor of anatomy had Orchard Cross built for himself for his retirement. Professor Parsons amongst of other achievements carried out a systematic study of the skeletal remains of the early Anglo-Saxon population of England. He settled in Whiteleaf in 1926 and soon after the beginning of World War II, the house was requisitioned by the military so he moved to Thame to live with his son Harold who was the licensee of The Swan Hotel. Whilst in Whiteleaf, he wrote “Old Records of Monks Risborough” in three parts, published by The Rector and Church Council of St Dunstan’s Church, which is a detailed history of the parish including the translation and explanation of the original Saxon Charter. To view Part 1, Part 2 or Part 3 of these Old Records, click on the appropriate part. He also recorded his impressions of Whiteleaf in a note for the Monks Risborough Church Magazine entitled “A Chiltern Village”, the full text of which can be viewed by clicking here.
In December 1943 Mr. Charles Cole purchased the house from Henry Parsons, who had inherited the property from his father, and in August 1951 Mr. Cole sold the property to Mr. Phillip Reece, with tenants in occupation.
Philip Reece, Director of the Timber Development Association lived in Orchard Cross from 1955 to 1993 and his widow sold the property to the current occupants in 1996.