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High Wycombe is often looked upon as the archetypal, provincial town; a suburban satellite of London with little or any history of note.
Such a viewpoint is far from the truth as it is Buckinghamshire's second largest town, with a rich heritage stretching back over two thousand years.
First recorded as 'Wicumun' in 970 AD, it became a market borough in 1222 and in subsequent centuries its industries included the production of lace, linen, paper and furniture.
In more recent times, the town was home to RAF Bomber Command from 1940 to 1968. In 'High Wycombe in 50 Buildings' local author Eddie Hazel charts the town's architectural lineage showing how it has developed over the centuries.
In doing this he also reveals much about the history, the people and their way of life.
Although it has expanded, with new developments stretching over its surrounding hills, the centre of Wycombe and its valley still have many buildings, showing the rich heritage of the town through the Iron Age, Middle Ages, Georgian and Victorian eras, right up to the present day. Among those buildings included are Iron Age hill forts, medieval ruins and the largest town church in Buckinghamshire, All Saints.
The author also features the stately homes of West Wycombe Park and Hughenden Manor, home to the nineteenth-century Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.
Both these country houses are now cared for by the National Trust.
The latter half of the book focuses on the rebuilding that took place in part of the town during the 1930s, and eventually the development of modern Wycombe. Illustrated throughout, 'High Wycombe in 50 Buildings' presents a fascinating chronicle of the town's architecture, which reveals much to interest residents, visitors and anyone with connections to the town.
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