River Chess - Latimer
The Chess flows eastwards
Post to the west Latimer
Latimer House. A manor house is first mentioned here in 1194 and this hillside site is that of the Elizabethan Manor House. In 1331 the manor was given to William Latimer by King Edward III and it remained in the family’s ownership until the middle of the 16th. The house is where Charles I was held in 1647 and Charles II is said to have been before escaping abroad. In the 19th it was owned by members of the Cavendish family who became the barons Chesham. The original Elizabethan house burnt out in the 1830s and was rebuilt by the Earl of Burlington, father of the first Lord Chesham in 1834-38 to designs by E Blore. It is a symmetrical red brick mansion in Tudor style. There are ranges around a courtyard with a wall, battlemented with a clock tower with a cupola. Requisitioned in the Second World War this was Number One Distribution Centre seemingly a supply depot. But really it was used by British Intelligence to eavesdrop on the conversations of captured German U-boat submarine crews and Luftwaffe pilots. The original prison cells still exist in what were the wine cellars. Later it was the home of the British military's Joint Service Defence College during the twentieth century. It is now a conference centre facilities have been built in the grounds – it has 44 meeting rooms, a pool and other leisure facilities and bedrooms for 197. The Cavendish coat of arms remains above the principal door.
Church of St Mary Magdalene. Built 1841 by E Blore and later altered by Giles Gilbert Scott in 1867. It is in red brick with a wooden roof on corbels with wild flower carving. Stained glass by Clayton and Bell and also Powell and Sons and Kempe. Monuments of 1632 and 1706.
Pumping engine, later a sewage works is shown on maps up to the 1970s north of the path between Church Lane and the Chess.
St Mary Magdalene church. This was Flaunden parish church, now a ruin. It was built in the 13th and abandoned in 1838 when new church as built in the village. It was a small flint building. All that remains is some wall hidden in coppice on the edge of the Chess. For a long time traces of early mural painting remained but ivy and exposure have lost them.
Liberty tomb. This is alongside a path west of Mill Farm. It is the tomb of 'William Liberty of Chorley Wood Brickmaker who was by his own desire buried in a vault on this part of his estate died 21 April 1777 aged 53 years and Alice Liberty his wife'.
Latimer Village Green
31 17th timber-framed house
34–35 Foliots. 16th or 17th timber-framed house with colourwashed roughcast walls. It has a 17th central brick chimney stack of thin bricks and the original door which is now a window is in front of it.
36 Anne Cottage – 37. 17th timber-framed house subdivided and refronted in the 19th.
38 16th timber-framed house with 17th addition.
Latimer Cottage. 17th timber-framed house
Rectory Cottage. This was an 18th outbuilding to the old Rectory. It is timber-framed and weatherboarded,
Pump in a metal tented surround. This supplied water to residents until the 1940s
Obelisk in honour of local men who fought in the Boer War.
Stone mound with plaques saying 'The horse ridden by General de Villebois Mareuil at the Battle of Boshof, S. Africa, 5th. April 1900 in which the General was killed and the horse wounded'. On the other side it says 'Villebois, Brought to England by Major General Lord Chesham KCB in 1900. Died 5th. Feb. 1911.
Lower Water. This is impounded water created in the 18th as part of landscaping work on Latimer Park,
School Cottage. Old school building of 1850 in red brick. The school was for boys and girls and infants.
British History. Buckinghamshire. Web site.
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Buckinghamshire Family History Society. Web site
Chiltern District Council. Web site
Latimer. Wikipedia Web site
London Transport Country Walks.
Waymarking. Web site.