Knowing Your Place…Discovering Buckinghamshire’s Parishes

Are you a keen historian, local super-sleuth or simply fascinated by your parish’s past? Do you belong to a local history society with shared knowledge of your local area? Or perhaps you’re new to the area and keen to learn all about the history of your new home and surroundings?

If so, then the Buckinghamshire Council Archaeology Service needs your help with updating its special ‘parish summaries’. These give an important potted history of locally significant archaeological sites, landscapes and buildings in each parish and include illustrations and links to other detailed records and photographs.

The call for help follows last summer’s launch of the Buckinghamshire Heritage Portal, an interactive public-facing website containing vast amounts of data and information about the history of Buckinghamshire.

Included on the portal are the parish summaries, one for each of the county’s 163 parishes. While they are fascinating and informative, some of the summaries are now over 10 years old and need updating in light of more recent local parish discoveries. You can check out the current parish summaries at https://heritageportal.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/theme-list/parishes

Buckinghamshire Council Cabinet Member for Culture, Patrick Hogan said it was really important that local people take part. “The Heritage Portal is a hugely valuable resource containing thousands of important local references. Brilliant as it is, we can make it even better by tapping into those with invaluable local knowledge to help us update our parish summary records.

“We’re really keen to invite local historians, societies and interested parties to join in and help us out with this fascinating project.” 

Patrick continued: “Training on using the portal to update the text will be provided, and all assistance will be acknowledged on the relevant parish pages once updated. Of course, additional information, known to the local community but missing from the portal, is very much welcomed.”

For further information and details of how to take part, please email her@buckinghamshire.gov.uk with the subject heading ‘FAO Lucy Lawrence – Knowing Your Place’ and with the following information:

  • Name of participant(s)
  • Parish(es) of interest
  • Association to parish(es) of interest
  • Affiliation to local archaeological or historical societies
  • Any particular area of expertise.

We will allocate a volunteer group or individual to each parish on a ‘first come first served’ basis, although we will be looking for an association with a parish from the participant. This will be a real two-way relationship and we will provide positive support to volunteers. There is no deadline for expressions of interest, and the volunteers are welcome to take on further parishes if there are any remaining after the first round of applications.