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Haddenham

Aerial photograph of ring-ditch and enclosure south-west of Haddenham stationLots of prehistoric artefacts have been found in fieldwalking. These comprise Mesolithic flint blades, a blade core and microliths, Neolithic to Early Bronze Age flint flakes, scrapers, cores, knife, arrowheads and late prehistoric flint flakes that are not closely datable. A great deal has been found in fields all around Scotsgrove House and close to Round Hill Farm and smaller scatters near Budnall Farm, Crosses Covert, Grove End, south of the church, near Manor Farm, Diggs Farm, south of Yolsum Plantation, west of Bettymoor Plantation and in fields to the south-west of the station.

A few ring-ditches, possibly the remains of Neolithic to Bronze Age round barrows, are also known in the parish from aerial photographs. Two are in a field south-west of the station, associated with some enclosures which may also be prehistoric, where some late prehistoric flints have also been found in fieldwalking. Another ring-ditch was seen at Round Hill Farm, along with two small square enclosures and three other Neolithic to Bronze Age enclosures on aerial photographs. A mound recorded in topographic survey at Round Hill Farm may be a Bronze Age barrow or possibly a medieval windmill mound. Another enclosure was recorded on an aerial photographs south-east of Haddenham Low Farm. Four ditches were recorded in section in a cutting for a pipeline to the north of Church End and may be Roman or late prehistoric but no artefacts were found that would help with the dating.

Roman artefacts have also been found in the same fieldwalking events as described above. Roman pottery and tile are ubiquitous and there are sometimes finds of quern fragments, such as that north-east of the church, but mainly pottery and tile have been found around Scotsgrove Mill, Budnall Farm, Round Hill Farm and anywhere else that prehistoric flint has been found. Rectangular crop-marks have been found by aerial photography north of Folly Farm and may be Roman or possibly later prehistoric. Post-holes and a pit associated with Roman pottery were found in a pipeline cutting at Folly Farm and may give some idea of the date of the enclosures. Another possibly Roman enclosure is known in fields to the north-west of Haddenham. It is associated with other enclosures and linear crop-marks. Just north of this in the fields to the south of Cuddington, part of which is still in Haddenham parish, Roman pottery, oyster shell, pottery and metalwork were recovered in a metal-detecting survey.

St Mary's church, HaddenhamSt Mary’s church is the oldest surviving building in Haddenham. It has a thirteenth century nave, chancel and tower and some fourteenth century alterations. There are records, however, that there was a minster here since late Saxon times. Indeed, a Saxon to medieval pit and witchert boundary wall associated with Saxon and medieval pottery was found in excavations to the south of the church. A Saxon ditch and pottery was found in excavation at Bank House, just over the other side of the green from the church, in 1975. It was backfilled in the twelfth century. Medieval pottery has been found in all the field-walking surveys mentioned above, plus medieval pottery, tile and window glass was found north of Budnall Farm. There are crop-marks of the medieval Green Lane on aerial photographs. The modern route partially follows the ancient one. There are historical records of a fishery on the River Thame at Haddenham and weirs are mentioned in a document of the fourteenth century. There are also records of a watermill at Scotsgrove since Domesday, though it stopped working in 1967. There are also documentary sources of a chapel on the green outside the church in the sixteenth century.

Church farm, HaddenhamBigstrup Farm is now a sixteenth to seventeenth century timber-framed farm to the far east of the parish. There are records from the thirteenth to the eighteenth century that this was a small hamlet. Grenville Manor was a separate manor in the medieval period. The house is now a sixteenth century timber-framed house

There are a number of cruck-built houses in Haddenham that probably date to the fifteenth century. Gog Farm is one, though it was partly rebuilt in the seventeenth century; Oak Beam Cottage is another; Berry Cottage; 1 Fort End; 26 & 28 High Street. All but Oak Beam Cottage and 26 & 28 High Street also have witchert walls. Another fifteenth century house is Church Farm, to the east of the church. This is a hall-house, however, and is therefore a box-frame rather than a cruck frame. Church Farm is actually a Wealden house, rather unusual in Buckinghamshire. It seems as though it was built in this style because of the connection between the church and the Diocese of Rochester. It was altered in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, with a first floor being put in so it no longer has a hall open to the roof and a nineteenth century wing added. Manor Farm, to the south of the church, is also a fifteenth century timber-framed building.

Gravestone at the Baptist chapel's cemeteryWitchert is the distinctive building material in Haddenham. Most of the witchert buildings are listed, along with many others. There are a few that date to the fifteenth century, as mentioned above, and there is the witchert wall south of the church that may date to the Saxon period, but otherwise they are listed as being seventeenth or eighteenth century. However, as the building material is so localised it is difficult to date and many of the buildings may be older than their listing date.

There are a number of non-conformist buildings in Haddenham. The Baptist chapel on Stockwell is a seventeenth to nineteenth century witchert building with an attached cemetery. There are historical records of a Friend’s Meeting House and burial ground in the seventeenth century. The Methodist church on the High Street is a nineteenth century witchert building.

There were over twenty pubs in Haddenham in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Most of these are now private houses, such as Eight Bells House, the Old Brewery, The Anchor and White Hart House.

Haddenham airfieldThere are records of several windmills in Haddenham in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Windmill Road, off Dollicott, is good place-name evidence of the site of a windmill. There are records of an eighteenth century windmill at Scotsgrove. A nineteenth century windmill near the station was demolished in the 1920s to make way for the airfield and there is another windmill on nineteenth century maps to the east of the village. Other industrial remains are a nineteenth century brickworks and limekiln at Haddenham Low Farm, known from historic maps.

The airfield was set up before the Second World War and was known as Aylesbury and Thame Airport but by 1941 was known as RAF Thame. It was a centre for glider training and was visited by Winston Churchill and King George VI.