Penn, Buckinghamshire

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Penn Street Church.JPG
Holy Trinity parish church, Penn Street
Grid reference: SU912935
Location: 51°37’59"N, 0°40’52"W
Population: 3,961  (2001)
Post town: High Wycombe
Postcode: HP10
Dialling code: 01494
Local Government
Council: Chiltern
Chesham & Amersham

Penn is a village with its wider parish, all in the Chiltern Hills of Buckinghamshire. The village is to be found about three miles north-west of Beaconsfield and four miles east of High Wycombe.

The Parish of Penn contains Penn village and the hamlets of Penn Street, Knotty Green and Forty Green, plus Winchmore Hill, covering 3,991 acres.[1]


The parish name is from the old British language, in which pen meant 'head or in this context 'hill'. Penn village stands on a particular promontory of the Chilterns, and from the tower of Holy Trinity Church in the village it is supposedly possible to see into eight other counties. There is also a beacon hill with a signal post on it in the village boundary.

Segraves Manor, the principal manor in Penn, belonged to the Penn family. Sybil Penn, wife of David, was dry nurse and foster mother to King Edward VI and Lady of the Bed Chamber to his sister Queen Elizabeth I. William Penn (after whose father, Admiral Sir William Penn, Pennsylvania is named) erroneously believed himself to be a descendant of this family. In 1735 the manor passed from the unmarried Roger Penn to his only heir and sister, who was married to Lord Curzon. Penbury Grove House was built in 1902 by the American engineer Horace Field Parshall to be a replica of Pennsbury Manor, William Penn’s house in Pennsylvania, following this legend.

A loval legend would have it that Penn is haunted by the ghost of an 18th-century farm labourer, who appears, laughing, on a phantom horse.[2]

Penn Street, Knotty Green and Forty Green

Penn Street, Knotty Green and Forty Green are hamlets of the parish within a mile of the main village. Penn Street remains home to Earl Howe of the Penn-Curzon-Howe dynasty and the family's long influence on the village is evident all around Penn Street church. The churchyard contains items from Gopsall, Lord Howe's other country house in Leicestershire. The lych gate and Countess Howe memorial were moved from Congerstone in 1919, when the family sold the Gopsall Estate. Penn Street and Knotty Green have village commons, where Knotty Green Cricket Club plays in summer.[3] The Squirrel in Penn Street and The Red Lion in Knotty Green face their respective commons.

Penn today

The area is part of the Chiltern Hills and popular with people who work in London due to its proximity to road (junction 3 of the M40 motorway at Loudwater) and rail (Mainline rail at Beaconsfield and London Underground at Amersham) links into the city.

On television

The Cottage Bookshop in Penn has been one of the locations for the A Tale of Two Hamlets episode of the ITV television programme, Midsomer Murders. It was also used to film an episode called "Bookshop Chuckles" of the children's television show ChuckleVision. The tree acre set for Nanny McPhee was also constructed there.


  • Cricket:
    • Penn & Tylers Green Cricket Club
    • Penn Street Cricket Club
    • Knotty Green Cricket Club
  • Football: Penn & Tylers Green FC, which plays at Elm Road.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Penn, Buckinghamshire)


  1. [1]
  2. Ash, Russell (1973). Folklore, Myths and Legends of Britain. Reader's Digest Association Limited. p. 274. ISBN 9780340165973. 
  3. Penn Street Cricket Club and [2]