YOUR TOWN

History of Wendover

Wendover is a market town at the foot of the Chiltern Hills in Buckinghamshire, England. It is also a civil parish within Aylesbury Vale district. The mainly arable parish is 5,832 acres (2,360 ha) in size and contains many hamlets that nestle in amongst the lush forest on the surrounding hills.

Wendover is surrounded by spectacular scenery built partly on the Chiltern Hills and is protected by Green Belt. Wendover was first mentioned in the Doomsday Book in 1086 where it was referred to as "Wendovre".

The town name is of Brythonic origin and means "white waters", pertaining to the stream that rises in the adjacent hills and flows through the middle of the town, bringing chalk deposits on its way.

The town is at the terminus of the Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal which joins Tring Summit Level of the Grand Union main line beside Marsworth top lock. 

Wendover was initially a very small market village which was mainly a base for agricultural industry, lace making and straw plaiting. The first market was held in 1199 and it has had a Royal Charter to hold a weekly market since 1464 meaning that it is a town rather than a village.

One of the oldest public houses in Wendover is the Red Lion – originally called the Lion.  Records date back as far as 1670 when it was used as a fine coaching inn.  Another one is the George and Dragon first recorded in 1578.  This is also in the centre of town and was another popular place for people to stay on their way to London.

Cold Harbour Cottages are a group of thatched cottages which exist on the Tring Road which date back to Henry VIII, who gave them to his wife Catherine of Aragon.

The parish church of St Mary's is to the east of the town – a feature among towns with strong Celtic origins.  The Clock Tower at the centre of the town was built in 1842.