Sunday, January 22, 2017
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A Potted History of Penn & Tylers Green

With finds from the Stone Age and written records from 1183, the villages we now know as Penn & Tylers Green have a long and illustrious history.  Tiles made in the villages were of the highest quality and are to be found in Windsor Castle. The Civil War saw Royalists versus Roundheads battles in the vicinity. In 1796, Edmund Burke's school for aristocratic French émigré boys in the village was visited by kings, dukes and ministers. It is only in recent years that the village of Tylers Green has grown to outnumber its older brother, Penn.  For more details read on....


The Common and Widmer Pond

Today the common is divided into two distinct areas, known as the Front and Back Commons. The earliest map of 1761 shows no buildings anywhere, with open common half way down Beacon Hill as far as the site of the former beacon. There has since been considerable encroachment. By 1746, the first land on the Front Common had been illegally enclosed and by 1769 a cottage had been built and obtained a licence as a pub, known as The Bell, now called the Old Bell House. The oldest part is the central section. It was a village pub until 1922 when it was converted into a house.

Penn's tiling industry

Documentary evidence traces the tiling industry in Penn back to a tiler in 1222 and to 1296 when roof and ridge tiles were sold to a royal household in Berkhamsted. By 1332 there were three tilers in Penn whose combined wealth equalled that of the Lord of the Manor. In the 14th century Penn was home to England's leading floor tilers and Penn floor tiles were the popular choice for major buildings including royal palaces, castles and cathedrals throughout London and the South East. Tilers laid more than 250,000 tiles at Windsor Castle over a period of eight years. There were some 200 designs. One complete floor survives - the Aerary (Treasury) in Windsor Castle, but evidence of tiled floors has been found in 190 different sites in 18 counties as well as 80 sites in London.

Who was Katharine Knapp?

Another historical mystery solved…

D.H.Hughes writes:

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.

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