Mesolithic site under excavation at the Sanderson FactoryWith the River Colne running through Denham, it made it an attractive place to live in prehistory. Many Palaeolithic items have been found. For instance, Palaeolithic flint handaxes, flakes, cores and a scraper were found in the road cutting for the M25 at Normer Hill. A Lower to Middle Palaeolithic flint scatter made up of a handaxe and 33 flakes was found in Denham Green. A Mesolithic flint working site was found in Boyer's Pit in the early twentieth century. Flint blades, flakes, scrapers, burins, gravers, knives, microliths, a tranchet axe and several cores were found. More recently a Mesolithic occupation site was excavated at the Sanderson factory site. A hearth and several caches of knapped flint, red deer bones and hazelnut shells were found next to a silted up stream. Mesolithic to Neolithic flints were found along a pipeline east of Southlands Farm.


Quite a lot of Neolithic artefacts have been found, mainly as stray artefacts, for instance a polished flint axe-head was found on the west side of the Willowbank Estate and another was dredged from a millstream at Denham Court, a Late Neolithic arrowhead was found in a garden on Savoy Lane in Denham Green, and a Neolithic retouched flake was found in the garden of the Green Man. Lots of Neolithic to Bronze Age flint flakes were also found in advance of the construction of the M25. A Neolithic flint scatter was also found during the construction of Denham golf course. Recent excavations at The Lea have also found a Bronze Age ring-ditch, probably all that's left of a ploughed out barrow.


Roman flint-lined well at The LeaA Roman road passes through Denham, possibly from London to somewhere in Oxfordshire. Despite this not a great deal of Roman evidence has been found until recently. Gravel extraction at The Lea has uncovered a number of Roman sites, such as a well, field boundaries and a bustum burial. A bustum is a burial of a cremation pyre.


Denham is mentioned in Domesday. There are also historic records of medieval watermills, such as Town Mill, which is mentioned in Domesday, Medemill on Oxford Road is recorded as far back as the fourteenth century. There are also medieval pottery kilns in Denham. Thirteenth century pottery kilns have been found north and south of the village, along with clay pits to provide the clay for the pots. Other possibly medieval remains include cropmarks at Holly Bush, which may be the remains of a medieval hamlet.


St Mary's churchThere were a number of manors in Denham in the medieval period. These were Denham Durden Manor that later became Savay Manor, Southlands Manor and Denham Court Manor. Savay Farmhouse is fourteenth century and is surrounded by a moat, probably of a similar date. There are sixteenth to seventeenth century wall paintings inside the house. Southlands also has a moat but the house is slightly younger, dating to the sixteenth century. Denham Court Manor has a seventeenth to eighteenth century house on the site of the fourteenth century manor house. The oldest building is, of course, St Mary's church, which as a Norman tower and thirteenth century chancel, though the nave was rebuilt in the fifteenth century and promptly painted inside, some of which survives. The Old Bakery, however, is also a thirteenth to sixteenth century cruck-built house.


Many of the other listed buildings in the parish date to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. These include Zelly Cottage, which was a blacksmiths, Maltman Green, The Marish and Westhall Cottage. Denham Place is a seventeenth to eighteenth century country house with outbuildings and garden features of a similar date. Denham Mount is a nineteenth century country house, also with contemporary garden buildings.


Some of the more recent additions to the parish include the airfield, which was set up in 1917 and was used in both the First and Second World War and is still going as a private airfield. The film studio was built in 1935-6 and also played its part during the Second World War, making films for the Ministry of Information. Denham Garden Village was a retirement village built in the 1950s but was demolished in 2003 and is due to be rebuilt.


Want to find out more?  Read the detailed historic town report for Denham (below).