Great Missenden

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Great Missenden
The Cross Keys, Gt Missenden - - 46787.jpg
The Cross Keys, Great Missenden
Grid reference: SP894012
Location: 51°42’9"N, 0°42’24"W
Population: 10,138  (2011)
Post town: Great Missenden
Postcode: HP16
Dialling code: 01494
Local Government
Council: Buckinghamshire
Chesham and Amersham
Website: Great Missenden Parish Council

Great Missenden is a large village in the Misbourne Valley in the Chiltern Hills in Buckinghamshire. There are no towns nearby; the closest are Amersham to the east and Wendover to the north. Its sister village, Little Missenden, is down the valley 2½ miles to the southeast. Prestwood is a village almost attached, to the southwest.

West of Great Missenden, the dip slope of the Chilterns makes its great haul up to the Chiltern ridge.

The narrow High Street is bypassed by the main A413 London to Aylesbury Road. The source of the Misbourne is to be found just north of the village, although the upper reach of the river runs only in winter and the perennial head is in Little Missenden. The village is now best known as home to the late Roald Dahl, the internationally famous children's author. The Roald Dahl Museum in the village is a popular attraction.

Great Missenden lay on a major route between the Midlands and London. Several coaching inns, particularly the Red Lion (now an estate agency) and The George (which still exists), provided rest and refreshment for travellers and their horses. The first railway line in the area was, however, routed alongside the Grand Union Canal to the east. Once the coaches stopped running Great Missenden declined in importance and prosperity, becoming an agricultural village. Following the arrival of the Metropolitan Railway in 1892, Great Missenden became a commuter village for London, and several writers, entertainers and even Prime Ministers were to be found among the passengers. Great Missenden railway station is now on the Chiltern Railways line and offers services running into London Marylebone.


The parish church is St Peter and St Paul, a mediæval church which stands outside the village, about 300 yards up a broad spur above the old centre of the village. It is reached by a bridge over the bypass.

St Peter and St Paul


The position of the parish church suggests an earlier settlement round the church with a move to its present location in the Middle Ages.

In the twelfth century Great Missenden was granted a charter allowing it to hold an annual fair in August. Missenden Abbey, founded in 1133 as an Augustinian monastery, was ruined following the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and the remains were incorporated into a Georgian mansion which is now a conference centre.

Gipsy House in Great Missenden was the home of author Roald Dahl from 1954 until his death in 1990 and still remains in the family, and many local scenes and characters are reflected in his work.[1] Dahl is buried at St Peter and St Paul's Church and children still leave toys and flowers at his grave.

Great Missenden was also temporarily home to Robert Louis Stevenson, the writer of famous works such as Treasure Island and the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. It is currently home to actor Geoffrey Palmer, and his wife Sally. Model turned cookery show presenter Sophie Dahl (granddaughter of Roald Dahl) and her husband jazz musician Jamie Cullum have also bought a property in the village.[2]

Sights of Great Missenden

The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre opened in Great Missenden in June 2005 to honour the work of Dahl.[1][3]

During 1980, Hammer Film Productions filmed a small series of horror films for television, many of them filmed in and around Great Missenden. Of note is the episode "Rude Awakening" starring Denholm Elliott who plays an Estate Agent trapped in a recurring nightmare. The location of the premises used as the Estage Agent's office is located on the corner of Station Approach and High St. in the centre of the village. Nowadays the property is a Gentlemen's Hairdresser.

Hamlets by the village

Places in Great Missenden parish include

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Great Missenden)


  1. 1.0 1.1 David Hurst (20 June 2005) "Roald Dahl's fantasy factory". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 26 October 2012
  2. "Ooh, I think I felt the little Dahling kick: Just a month to go until Sophie and Jamie's big day". Daily Mail. Retrieved 26 October 2012
  3. Clarie Heald (11 June 2005) Chocolate doors thrown open to Dahl BBC News