Clifton Lodge Hotel

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 High Wycombe Hotel

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Local History


The pattern of historic developments is traditionally one of small villages and hamlets scattered across the Chiltern Hills, along the River Thames in the south, and in the north across the flat clay lands of the Vale of Aylesbury. The three historic towns of the District have very contrasting natures, the smallest being Princes Risborough on the Chiltern scarp, Marlow on the River Thames and High Wycombe. The latter two have Victorian and Edwardian expansions of considerable historic interest.

Wycombes industrial heritage is based on the wooded Chilterns, which provided timber, and the River Wye, which provided water for its numerous watermills. This led to, in particular the furniture industry, and paper making. The architectural evidence for this remains, and some, such as the cane and rush works in High Wycombe, are still in use.

The bulk of the District is covered by the Chiltern range of chalk hills, which rise to over 250 metres at Coombe Hill. The Vale of Aylesbury to the north is flat clay lands. The Chilterns provide much of the local vernacular building materials that characterise the District. The relatively limited palette of traditional and vernacular materials adds to the historic architectural character of the District. Red brick, until recently locally produced, flint from the chalk, and timber framing with rendered or brick infill panels are the predominant building materials, while roofs are thatched or plain clay tiles. Slate was extensively used from the mid 19th century onwards, while stone, including locally quarried Denner Hill and chalk stone, and imported limestones such a Bath or Ham Hill is found. Churches are usually small and in local materials such as flint with imported freestone or local chalk stone dressings. Larger houses and churches tend to be in higher quality imported stone and often have lead roofs. This range of materials contributes greatly to establishing local character.

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