Penn's tiling industry
Who was Katharine Knapp?
Another historical mystery solved…
My wife and I had occasional contact with the Katharine Knapp Home for Old People which for many years was prominent in Tylers Green. But in the 30 years that we have been here we had never found anyone who knew anything about Katharine Knapp. So with the willing help of the staff at the County Council’s archives at Aylesbury, I think I have her saga:
St Margaret's Church
It was Sir Philip Rose with his energy and money that led to the construction of the church, named after his wife and completed in 1854. It was built on meadow land, given by the first Earl Howe.
The church was designed by David Brandon, a Jewish architect and a medal-winner for his work on the Great Exhibition of 1851. He had made a study of medieval work and the church is mainly in the Decorated style of the early 14th century. The builder was Zachariah Wheeler, whose descendants still live in the village. Chalk flints came from Common Wood, black flints from Clay Street and sand from Tyler's Green Common.
The French School at Penn & Edmund Burke (Part 1)
The story of French School students, by Miles Green
In 1996, I was invited to meet two senior French civil servants who were visiting Penn, accompanied by the head of the Consular Division of our Foreign Office. Both Frenchmen were devotees of Edmund Burke, who was one of the greatest politicians of the 18th century, described as the best orator and statesman of his times.
He wrote passionately and to great effect about the French Revolution, and the two Frenchmen wanted to know about the school that he had set up in a large mansion house overlooking the pond at Penn in 1796, exactly two centuries earlier, for the sons of the French nobility who had escaped from the Revolution.