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This page is about Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire, England. For other uses of the name see Beaconsfield (disambiguation)

Beaconsfield is a market town in Buckinghamshire, England, about 30 miles NW of London. The town sits in the highly attractive Chiltern Hills and is part of the London commuter belt, thus the average cost of housing in the town is extremely high.

The parish is mainly given over arable land though some forest remains that was planted to supply the furniture industry of High Wycombe. The parish church is dedicated to St Mary.

The town name first made an appearance in manor records of 1184 and was written as Bekenesfelde or "Beacon's Field" in modern English, meaning that here was a field in which could be found a beacon or signal fire.

In the Victorian era the town was the home constituency of Benjamin Disraeli, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in 1868 and then again from 1874 until 1880. In 1876 he was made the 1st Earl of Beaconsfield by Queen Victoria. It was due to this that Beaconsfield became a popular road name in industrial cities across the country in the late Victorian period.

Dominic Grieve is the Member of Parliament for Beaconsfield, first elected in 1997, and now the shadow Attorney-General. Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom famously contested the seat in a by-election in 1982 and lost.

Today the town is very prosperous and quite picturesque. It is the home of Bekonscot model village, the National Film and Television School, and it is the birthplace of Terry Pratchett. Famous residents include Enid Blyton and Pauline Quirke, and it is the burial place of Gilbert Keith Chesterton, Edmund Burke and Edmund Waller.

The town is served by a railway station on Chiltern Line out of Marylebone towards High Wycombe and Birmingham Snow Hill. Old Beaconsfield - the picturesque part - which grew up on the Oxford Road in part to serve the coach traffic, is now mirrored by New Beaconsfield which has grown up round the station to the north. The station had two platform roads and two through roads when built, but cost savings in the years when BR were running down the services removed the through roads, and diverted all services to the platform roads. Realignment has improved running times for non-stopping trains, and Chiltern Railways have stated that they intend to reinstate separate platform and through roads where space permits.

Twin towns

External links

  • 'Beaconsfield - The Network'
  • 'Beaconsfield Rangers FC'

Last updated: 02-24-2005 04:26:49