Many Palaeolithic implements have been found in Iver, probably because of widespread gravel extraction. Four Lower to Middle Palaeolithic flint handaxes were found in a railway cutting during construction of the Great Western railway. Many Lower to Middle Palaeolithic flint tools were found in Lavender Pit. Sixty-five handaxes, two cleavers and many Levallois flint flakes were found, as well as Neolithic and Bronze Age flint flakes and pottery. Twelve Lower to Middle Palaeolithic handaxes were found in Stubbs or Studds Pit; one in Purser’s Pit; four in Mead’s Pit along with a cleaver; a handaxe, cleaver and flake were found in the Great Western Railway pit; a flake and handaxe were found in Reed’s Pit at Iver Court Farm and a core and handaxe were found near the Everlasting Tile Company. One Lower to Middle Palaeolithic handaxe was found in a garden at Lower Mead. Several others have also been found around the parish.
The area also seems to have been attractive to Mesolithic hunter-gatherers. Four Mesolithic blades were found in Costain’s gravel pit. An Early Mesolithic flint assemblage comprising blades, flakes, cores, a graver, scrapers, microliths, a tranchet axehead and a quartzite hammerstone were found in a gravel pit at Sandstone. Another Mesolithic occupation site was excavated in advance of the M25 at Mansfield Farm. Flint flakes, retouched blades, cores, a scraper and a tranchet axe-sharpening flake were found next to a silted up watercourse in which a wooden stake had been preserved. Another Mesolithic flint scatter was found in Iver Quarry on Larbourne Farm, along with Neolithic to Bronze Age flint flakes in a double ditched feature and some Bronze Age pottery.
Prehistoric occupation carried on into the Neolithic and Bronze Age. 700 Mesolithic to Neolithic worked flints were found along the Iver to Arkley pipeline at Mansfield Farm. Neolithic to Bronze Age flint flakes and scrapers were found on Iver Heath in a fieldwalking survey; as they were south-east of Dromenagh Farm. A few were also found in trial trenching on Richings Park golf course. Several ring-ditches, possibly the ploughed out ditches of Bronze Age round barrows, have been identified from aerial photographs, for instance at the Tower Arms Hotel, Thorney, where a double ring-ditch was associated with a pit containing Neolithic pottery and flint tools; another at Sutton; and another possible one was identified in geophysical survey south of the M25. Middle Bronze Age pottery was found in a trench in the road on Wood Lane.
The gravel pit at Thorney Farm also revealed some Iron Age to Roman settlement debris, such as 230 Early Iron Age pottery sherds, 90 Late Iron Age to Early Roman pottery sherds, eight Iron Age to Roman pits, plenty of animal bone and a Roman hearth. An enclosure was seen on an aerial photograph here that may be related to this activity. Early Iron Age pottery was found in ditches at the Tower Arms Hotel in Thorney.
There are a few cropmarks known from aerial photographs that could be prehistoric: an enclosure at Richings Park; an enclosure and field system at Palmer’s Moor Farm and two rectangular enclosures north of Warren House, but these may all be later in date. A rectilinear enclosure identified in geophysical survey south of The Clump may also be of any date. Part of a human pelvis was found digging a pond at Mansfield Farm and given all the other remains there, this is likely to be prehistoric.
Roman pottery including Samian ware was found at Larbourne Farm in Thorney. Tile fragments and a bowl of jet or lignite were also found, along with a skull. An Egyptian Ushabti was also found here. Part of an early Roman rotary quern was found somewhere in the parish. After the Romans came the Saxons. There were several settlements in the parish by Domesday. Before the Norman Conquest the area was threatened by Danes. There is a record of a Danish retreat to Thorney Island where they were besieged by Saxons in 893 AD. St Peter’s church in Iver contains some Saxon work. Some of the mortar was found to date to the eleventh century. Saxon pottery has also been found in the churchyard.
There were several manors in Iver in the medieval period. These included Iver itself; Richings Park, where there was also a chapel dedicated to St Leonard, the manor house burnt down in 1788 and the eighteenth century country house was demolished in 1946; Huntsmoor Park where there are records of a sixteenth to seventeenth century manor house; Delaford Manor which has an eighteenth century house on the site of a sixteenth century manor house, but there is a sixteenth century dovecote in the grounds; and Mansfield Manor, though the farmhouse is eighteenth century. There are also records of four fisheries in Iver in Domesday, and fourteenth century records of a fishery on the Colne Brook and of Bigley Ditch. Iver Mill, Huntsmoor Mill, Thorney Mill and Colnbrook Mill are all recorded in Domesday as well, though the medieval mill buildings don’t survive.
Moats in other parts of the parish suggest other large houses in the medieval period, such as at Parsonage Farm. Moat House was built in 1600. Shredding Green Farm had a medieval moat but it was infilled in 1930. A medieval farmstead was excavated at Richings Park in advance of the construction of the golf course.
Most of the listed buildings in Iver date to the eighteenth century. After Germany and Russia invaded General Władysław Sikorski escaped to Britain to create the Polish government-in-exile and stayed in Iver Lodge. The eighteenth century house was a place to get away from the bombing in London, but he had offices in London where he went to work.
General Władysław Anders lived briefly in Iver Grove, an eighteenth century house the other side of Iver. During the war he had led the Polish Army against first the Soviet Union and then joined forces with Russia against Germany. Anders became the leader of the Poles in exile after the war. Many did not go home as the country had turned to communism.
Richings Park was rebuilt for the Duke of Somerset after having burnt down in 1788. The house was requisitioned during the Second World War and used as a bombing headquarters by the RAF. Unfortunately it sustained heavy bombing during the war and was demolished in 1946. The foundations and cellar of the house could still be seen in 1983 but the site is now a golf course. Round Copse was an eighteenth century shooting box but it was knocked down in 1954 and a new house built.
St Margaret’s was built in the nineteenth century, as was St Thomas' in Colnbrook and the Old School House, which is now Colnbrook youth centre. Later centuries brought industry to the area. There are records of a seventeenth to eighteenth century pottery kiln at Potter’s Cross and of brickworks at Shredding Green and Ensby’s on Iver Heath. The Slough Arm of the Grand Union Canal was opened in 1882. The Great Western Railway was designed by Brunel and built in stages between 1834 and 1841. Two road bridges across the railway called Dog Kennel Bridge and Thorney Lane Bridge have survived until now. Twentieth century pits were set up at Mansion Lane and Hollow Hill Lane.
Hawker Aircraft Ltd purchased land at Langley in 1936 and built a factory and airfield. By 1938 the factory was completed and producing one Hurricane a day, rising to five a day in 1942. During 1941/42 Typhoons were built. The 13th Bucks Battalion of the Home Guard was also based at the Hawker Aircraft factory. The men all worked for Hawkers and then joined up to protect the factory and airfield from attack. The site continued in use after the war but testing of aircraft was difficult because London Airport was so close. In 1950 Hawker Aircraft moved to Dunsfold airfield in Surrey. Most of the airfield land was transferred to Berkshire in 1995, but a little bit of it is still in Buckinghamshire. Much of the land was built on with the extension of Slough eastwards and the factory was demolished in 1998.
There is an anti-aircraft battery on Chandler’s Hill at Iver Heath. There were 13 huts for the soldiers manning the guns, but only the floors of these survive. In 1955, ten years after the war had ended, Chandler's Hill anti-aircraft battery was just being dismantled. There were still several huts, including a guardhouse and some of the accommodation huts, two of the four gun emplacements, a gun store and a magazine (a building for storing ammunition).
Pinewood Studios was built in 1936, incorporating the nineteenth century house called Heatherden Hall, and was requisitioned during the Second World War for use by the Crown Film Unit, the Army Film and Photographic Unit, RAF Film Unit and the Polish Air Force Film Unit. The Royal Mint was moved out of its London building on Tower Hill, and offices for Lloyds of London, the insurance company, were provided on sound stages as well. Some of the large buildings were also used for food storage. Pinewood has gone from strength to strength since the war and is the filming studio of choice for some of the biggest film franchises including Harry Pottery and James Bond.