Books on the history and archaeology of Buckinghamshire


The Victoria County History of Buckinghamshire in four volumes, although compiled in the late nineteenth century (published in 1905), is invaluable for information, particularly for extracts from the Domesday Book and history of churches. The first two volumes have information by theme and period, the second two have information by parish within their hundreds.


J.J. Sheahan’s History and Topography of Buckinghamshire (1862) also treats Buckinghamshire by parish, village or town, it is a useful record of some features of Buckinghamshire that have since disappeared.


G. Lipscomb’s History and Antiquities of Buckinghamshire (1847) in four volumes breaks the county down into Hundreds and then villages. This set of books records ecclesiastical and manorial history as well as the pedigrees of the major landowners.


The south of the county is briefly covered in F Martin’s History, people and places in the Thames Valley (1972). Two or three of the chapters are valuable for information about south Buckinghamshire.


The Buckinghamshire Record Society has published many books on the history of Buckinghamshire, mainly transcriptions and analyses of primary sources. The Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies has copies of these publications. There is a list of a selection of the publications of the Buckinghamshire Record Society on the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies website.


Published archaeological reports are usually to be found at university libraries and there are copies of ones relating to Buckinghamshire in the Historic Environment Record.


The RCHM(E)’s Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Buckinghamshire in two volumes (1912) is a gazetteer of monuments that date to before the year 1700. This records churches, houses, some earthworks and finds assemblages.


I.D. Margary's Roman Roads in Britain (1955) is more specialised but for those interested in the subject is a good place to start.


Click here to see a list of books on Chilterns archaeology.


M. Reed, The Buckinghamshire Landscape (1979) is a very interesting book exploring the influences on the landscape of Buckinghamshire from prehistory until the twentieth century. It is organised chronologically but has a good index for finding specific locations.


N. Pevsner and E Williamson, The Buildings of England: Buckinghamshire (2nd Edn 1994) is an essential directory of buildings of historic and architectural interest. It is organised by parish and contains information on the construction of churches, great houses and smaller houses of note. There are also introductory chapters on the history of Buckinghamshire.

Records of BuckinghamshireJournals

The Buckinghamshire Archaeological and Architectural Society, now Buckinghamshire Archaeological Society, have published the Records of Buckinghamshire since 1854. The journal has papers on buildings and archaeological monuments, excavations and famous people in Buckinghamshire’s history. A complete set can be found at the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies and the County Reference Library. A near complete set is held at the Historic Environment Record.


There is an index to all publications of the journal South Midlands Archaeology on the Council for British Archaeology website where you can also find out which libraries have copies. 

Where to find the books

Copies of these books can be searched on the libraries catalogue: There are copies of all the above books in the Historic Environment Record library in Aylesbury and most of them in the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies. A list of books on Buckinghamshire can be found on the Gen UK website. You can search archaeological publications on the British and Irish Archaeological Bibliography website.


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Click here to find out how to get involved in archaeology.