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Pictures of Amersham

a Historic Market Town in the county of Buckinghamshire

About Amersham

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Amersham is one of those towns where with one cast of the eye, you immediately know that this is a place with a long history for around the broad High Street is a mixture of fine old buildings. At the side of one is a wide archway, with a simple flick of vision you can almost see a coach and four sedately driving through into a cobbled courtyard beyond! Such is the atmosphere of the place. It has a wealth of timbered and gabled cottages, with inns that open right on to the road.

At the heart of the town is the Market Hall built by Sir William Drake in 1682, this is supported by arches above an open piazza where there was once an old twin lock-up. Trade guild meetings were held in the room above, and a market carried on beneath. The building remains in use, stalls often set up and the rooms above are used for public and social gatherings. The building is topped with a decorative turret with a bell which is rung each Tuesday to announce the market. For years the bell was used as a means to call the local fire service. A plaque on the wall proudly proclaims the towns inclusion in the historic Doomsday Book of 1086.

The town has many distinctive features, the Martyrs' memorial lies on a hill just off the main road. This commemorates the many people from the town who suffered during the Persecution.

The Crown Hotel was mentioned in records of 1620, it has wall paintings thought to be Elizabethan and a Tudor Coat of Arms, with the quarterings of England and France and the lion and dragon supporters. This is thought to commemorate a visit of Queen Elizabeth I to a nearby mansion. Most recently the inn is famous for appearing in Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Another noted inn is the Kings Arms, a beautiful Elizabethan timber framed building situate in the High Street. It was visited by Elizabethan traveller Leland who described the town as " a rightly pretty market town", whilst the Swan Inn has gable wings and the date 1671 inscribed on a chimney.

In the Old Town of which we have been speaking there are some delightful individual shops. More modern facilities can be found in the newer part of the town which has expanded to meet the demands of industry moving into Amersham during the second half of the past century.

Amersham is in the valley of the River Misbourne between Chalfont St.Giles and Great Missenden. It is bounded by some fine Buckingham countryside with lovely open spaces such as Hervines Park, Parsonage Wood and Willow Wood, all areas of quiet enchantment which provide lovely autumnal walks and are between them a haven for the regions abundance of wildlife.

This is a pleasant place for a romantic weekend away from it all, or for a longer stay to explore all Amersham and its neighbours have to offer.

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