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Buckingham Hotels 156 W Wycombe Rd, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire HP12 3AE, United Kingdom
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About High Wycombe

High Wycombe 







High Wycombe, often referred to as just Wycombe, is a large town in Buckinghamshire, England. It is 29 miles (47 km) westnorthwest of Charing Cross in London; this information is also engraved on the Corn Market building in the centre of the town. According to the 2011 census High Wycombe has a population of 120,256 making it the second largest town in the county of Buckinghamshire after Milton Keynes. The High Wycombe Urban Area, the conurbation of which the town is the largest component, has a population of 133,204.

High Wycombe is mostly an unparished area in the Wycombe district. Part of the urban area constitutes the civil parish of Chepping Wycombe, which had a population of 14,455 according to the 2001 census – this parish represents that part of the ancient parish of Chepping Wycombe which was outside the former municipal boroughof Wycombe.

Wycombe is a combination of industrial and market town, with a traditional emphasis on furniture production. There has been a market held in the High Street since at least the Middle Ages.

 



 

High Wycombe Guildhall 2.JPG
High Wycombe Guildhall, located at the end of the High Street

 

 

 

 

History



Early history

 

 


A map of High Wycombe from 1945




The name Wycombe comes from the river Wye and the old English word for a wooded valley, combe. Wycombe appears in the Domesday Book and was noted for having six mills. The town once featured a Roman villa (built 150–170 AD) which was excavated three times, most recently in 1954. Mosaics and a bathhouse were unearthed at the site on what is now the Rye parkland. High Wycombe was the home of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.

The existence of a settlement at High Wycombe was first documented as 'Wicumun' in 970. The parish church was consecrated by Wulfstan, the visitingBishop of Worcester, in 1086. The town received market borough status in 1222, and built its first moot hall in 1226, with a market hall being built later in 1476 



 

Trade and industrial development


 

High Wycombe remained a mill town through Medieval and Tudor times, manufacturing lace and linen cloth. It was also a stopping point on the way from Oxford to London, with many travellers staying in the town's taverns and inns.

The paper industry was notable in 17th- and 18th-century High Wycombe. The Wye's waters were rich in chalk, and therefore ideal for bleaching pulp. The paper industry was soon overtaken by the cloth industry.

Wycombe's most famous industry, furniture (particularly chairs) took hold in the 19th century, with furniture factories setting up all over the town. Many terraced workers' houses were built to the east and west of town to accommodate those working in the furniture factories. In 1875, it was estimated that there were 4,700 chairs made per day in High Wycombe. When Queen Victoria visited the town in 1877, the council organised an arch of chairs to be erected over the High Street, with the words "Long live the Queen" printed boldly across the arch for the Queen to pass under.

The town's population grew from 13,000 residents in 1881 to 29,000 in 1928. Wycombe was completely dominated socially and economically by the furniture industry and, consequently, there was considerable unemployment and social problems when the industry declined in the 1960s.

 

 

 

 

 

20th century



 

By the 1920s, many of the housing areas of Wycombe had decayed into slums. A slum clearance scheme was initiated by the council in 1932, whereby many areas were completely demolished and the residents rehoused in new estates that sprawled above the town on the valley slopes.  Some of the districts demolished were truly decrepit, such as Newland, where most of the houses were condemned as unfit for human habitation, with sewage pouring down the street and people sharing one room in cramped quarters of subdivided flats. However, some areas such as St. Mary's Street contained beautiful old buildings with fine examples of 18th- and 19th-century architecture.

From 1940 to 1968 High Wycombe was the seat of the RAF Bomber Command. Moreover, during World War II, from May 1942 to July 1945, the U.S. Army Air Force's 8th Air Force Bomber Command, codenamed "Pinetree", was based at a former girls' school at High Wycombe. This formally became Headquarters, 8th Air Force, on 22 February 1944.Since 1968 all commands of the Royal Air Force have been housed at RAF High Wycombe.




 

River Wye near Wooburn Industrial Estate




 

In the 1960s the town centre was redeveloped. This involved culverting the River Wye under concrete and demolishing most of the old buildings in Wycombe's town centre. Two shopping centres were built along with many new multi-storey car parks, office blocks, flyovers and roundabouts. On the open area known as Frogmoor the original cast-iron fountain and some Georgian buildings have been torn down. A recent town centre regeneration project (the 'Eden Project') originally planned to uncover the Wye, but in a change of plans a new shopping centre has been built over the whole area, right up to the road which runs parallel with the river

 

 

 

Modern-day High Wycombe



 

High Wycombe comprises a number of suburbs including Booker, Bowerdean, Castlefield, Cressex, Daws Hill, Green Street, Holmers Farm, Micklefield, Sands, Terriers, Totteridge and Wycombe Marsh, as well as some nearby villages: Downley,Hazlemere and Tylers Green.

Although situated in the county of Buckinghamshire, which is one of the most affluent parts of the country, Wycombe contains some considerably deprived areas, In 2007, a GMB Union survey ranked the Wycombe district as the 4th dirtiest in the South East and the 26th dirtiest in the whole UK. The survey found litter on 28.5% of streets and highways. Data for the survey were taken from the Government's 2005/06 Audit Commission.

The town has recently undergone major redevelopment, including development of the town's existing shopping centre, completion of the new Eden Shopping centre, and redevelopment of the Buckinghamshire New University with a large student village and new building on Queen Alexandra Road.

These developments prompted the building of larger blocks of flats, a new multi-million-pound hotel in the centre, and a newSainsbury's store on the Oxford road next to the Eden shopping centre and bus station.

 

 

Education



 
Gateway Building, Buckinghamshire New University.



 

Buckinghamshire is one of the few counties that still has a selective educational system based on the former tripartite system. Students in their last year at primary school take what is commonly known as the 11+ exam. Their score in this exam determines whether they are accepted into a grammar school or a secondary modern school.





Primary schools

Catchment area Primary Schools in High Wycombe

Secondary schools

Independent schools

 

 


Further and higher education



 

Amersham & Wycombe College is a further education college located near High Wycombe at Flackwell Heath, with campuses also at Chesham and Amersham. High Wycombe is home to the main campus of Buckinghamshire New University. It is located in the centre of the town on the former site of the High Wycombe College of Art and Technology. It received its university charter in summer 2007.



 

 

 

Transport

 

Road

 

The town's nearest motorway is the M40, which has two junctions serving Wycombe: junction 3 for Loudwater and High Wycombe (east) and junction 4 at Handy Cross roundabout for central Wycombe, Marlow and the surrounding area. Junction 4 is a major interchange between the M40 and A404 trunk road. It had suffered from heavy congestion but was improved by the Highways Agency in 2006.[70] Junction 3 is restricted; only traffic going towards and coming from London can join and exit respectively. The M25 and M4 are also fairly close.

Other roads include the A404 towards Marlow and Amersham; the A4010 towards Aylesbury; and the A40 towardsBeaconsfield and Oxford.




Bus


 

The town has a central bus station attached to the Eden Shopping Centre with most services operated by Carousel Busesand Arriva. Major destinations include ReadingSloughAylesburyHeathrow AirportMaidenheadWatfordChesham,Uxbridge and Berkhamsted. Most recently, First Berkshire added a new express service to Maidenhead to their existing hourly express to Slough. Other operators serving the town include Z&S Buses, Red Rose and Redline.

High Wycombe is served by one of Buckinghamshire's Rainbow Routes network of services. Originally piloted in Aylesbury, its success led to a network being set up in the town. Rainbow Routes is a partnership between the County Council and local operators Arriva and Carousel Buses. They provide regular services within the town and its suburbs, and this network includes:



 

The town also has a Park and Ride facility located in Cressex, near junction 4 of the M40. Services run to the town centre, passing the railway station.






Coach

The town is currently poorly served by coach services, with only the 737 service from Oxford to Stansted passing through the town. Plans for a High Wycombe Coachway close to junction 4 of the M40 and linked to the town by local buses and by park and ride buses are currently under construction.





Rail

High Wycombe railway station, the only railway station in the town, is on the Chiltern Main Line with services to London Marylebone and Birmingham Snow Hill as well as to Aylesbury via Princes Risborough. The station is the busiest in South Buckinghamshire. It is possible to reach London in 23 minutes on fast trains following recent line upgrades, slower trains take up to 45 minutes. A new link to Oxford via Bicester is due to open in 2015. The Wycombe Railway ran from High Wycombe to Maidenhead, through Loudwater and Bourne End. However, it was a victim of the Beeching Axe with the Wycombe-to-Bourne End section closed in the 1970s. The southern section remains open as part of the Marlow Branch Line.





Air

Heathrow Airport is the nearest international airport, located just outside Buckinghamshire in HillingdonWycombe Air Parkon the southern edge of the town is popular with learning pilots and gliders. RAF High Wycombe (site of RAF Air Command), a station without a runway, is located near the village of Walters Ash near High Wycombe. Close by, RAF Daws Hill (now closed) is between Flackwell Heath and High Wycombe centre.








Facilities and places of interest


 

High Wycombe town centre covered by snow in February 2007

 
High Wycombe, Holywell Mead swimming pool, closed 2009 and reopened 2011





 
The Dyke, with the Rye beyond





 
High Wycombe Eden Centre in 2007





 
Artist Simon KozhinHigh Wycombe Buckinghamshire




 

There are two shopping centres: the Eden Centre which spreads from the High Street under the Abbey Way flyover to the south of the A40, and the Chilterns Centre, which is located between Queen's Square and Frogmoor to the north. The High Street (pedestrianised in the early 1990s) has a number of 18th- and 19th-century buildings, and ends at the colonnaded Guildhall that was built in 1757 byHenry Keene and renovated in 1859. The small octagonal-shaped Cornmarket opposite, known locally as the Pepper Pot, was rebuilt to designs by Robert Adam in 1761. The large parish church of All Saints was founded in 1086, enlarged in the 18th century, and extensively restored in 1889. There is a large, well equipped theatre, the Wycombe Swan, which hosts many acts and shows before or after their appearance in the West End.

In March 2008, a new development of the town centre was completed. This included the demolition and relocation of the bus station and the brand new Eden Shopping Centre, with 107 shops, new restaurants, a large bowling alley and cinema, and new housing. The old Octagon shopping centre was connected to the new development. The complex, one of the largest in the country, is seen as a major milestone in the regeneration of the town.

There are out-of-town retail outlets in the suburbs of Cressex (including John Lewis,Asda, and TGI Fridays), and Wycombe Marsh, where there is small retail park of shops and restaurants including Hobbycraft, PC World, Pets At Home, Homebase and M&S Simply Food. Desborough Road provides a secondary shopping area with more independent traders, and a number of takeaways.

 

 

 

 Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Wycombe 


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