Speen Heritage Group

The aims of the group are to protect, preserve and promote features of the heritage of Speen, and the committee are busy working on various projects. Click Here to listen to Peter Symonds talking about the Heritage Group on the radio (Wycombe Sound) in June 2017

They have identified several key elements of the heritage related to the wood-turning industry, the tradition for lace-making and also the background of religious non-conformism which have all influenced the development of the village. In addition there is the brick and flint architecture and use of other local materials reflected in many of our buildings and in a broader context the local beechwoods and our natural environment. An attempt to produce a Village Design Statement was made in 2007, and the Heritage Group recently discovered a website created to support that attempt; you can see it by clicking here . [Website since expired!]

A considerable amount of research was carried out in the past by Bob Johnston and Martin Stockley much of which is published in their book The Leaves of Time – A History of Speen (Updates and Corrections Here). Copies of this book are still available at Speen Stores. However the committee are still interested in hearing from anyone in the village with photographs, documents, and even personal memories or any items that would be of local interest.
An earlier (and much shorter) history – Speen   A Historical Essay – was written in the 1970’s by Alice Dean. Click Here to read this 11 page essay.

Who lived and worked here, and when?
Are you interested in the history of the village? Lockdown and social isolation could be a good time to find out more. We seek volunteers to work on gathering census information from the past 180 years, showing who worked in Speen, and what their occupations were.
You can do this at home with a computer and an internet connection. We can show you how and provide spreadsheets to record the information. We are working on this in conjunction with the Bucks New University Woodlanders project. Please contact David Worlock (david@davidworlock.com or 07836361873) in the first instance.

How old is your house?
Speen Heritage Group seeks to build a register of every house in the village built before 1900. Over a period of years we want to build up a history of houses in Speen, and to mark each historical house with a Speen Heritage Group plaque and a copy of the house history. Before we can begin this project we ask everyone in Speen who lives in a pre-1900 house to register with us by contacting John Radford (John@SpeenBucks.org)

We have produced a guided heritage trail leaflet (available to purchase in Speen Stores £1, screen copy here) and have considered the possibility of historical plaques for our more significant buildings amongst other schemes. We would also like to be able to collect old photographs of the heritage that could be utilised in an exhibition display. We would welcome help and suggestions about ways of preserving old records that have already been collected. Click for Index

If you have an interest in this subject or have contributions please contact Peter Symonds in the first instance. (01494 488016 or PSymonds590@gmail.com.  Whilst we have no funding at present we hope to progress some of these ideas over a period of time.

One or two events have been organised since the group formed. In 2012 a guided walk through the ancient woodland at Piggots and a tour of what is now home to the renown Music Camp but had previously been the residence of Eric Gill was guided by Nick Wheeler Robinson – (see the article in the Summer 2012 edition of the Speen & North Dean News and some more photos here).

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.