Rural district
 • 191171,716 acres (112.056 sq mi; 290.22 km2)
 • 193164,357 acres (100.558 sq mi; 260.44 km2)
 • 196171,232 acres (111.300 sq mi; 288.27 km2)
 • 190122,910
 • 193127,694
 • 197171,331
 • OriginRural sanitary district
 • Created28 December 1894
 • Abolished31 March 1974
 • Succeeded byWycombe District
StatusRural district
GovernmentWycombe Rural District Council
 • HQHigh Wycombe
Insignia of the Wycombe Rural District Council

Wycombe Rural District was, from 1894 to 1974, a rural district in the administrative county of Buckinghamshire, England.


The district had its origins in the Wycombe Poor Law Union, which had been created in 1835, covering High Wycombe and several surrounding parishes. In 1872 sanitary districts were established, giving public health and local government responsibilities for rural areas to the existing boards of guardians of poor law unions. The Wycombe Rural Sanitary District therefore covered the area of the poor law union except for the town of High Wycombe, which was a municipal borough (officially called Chepping Wycombe until 1946) and so became its own urban sanitary district. The Wycombe Rural Sanitary District was administered from Wycombe Union Workhouse, which had been built in 1843 in open countryside in the parish of Saunderton, nearly five miles north-west of High Wycombe.[1]

Under the Local Government Act 1894, rural sanitary districts became rural districts from 28 December 1894. The Wycombe Rural District Council held its first meeting on 31 December 1894 at the workhouse. William Morris was appointed the first chairman of the council.[2][3]

Area and parishes

The district consisted of a number of rural parishes surrounding High Wycombe. In 1934 it was enlarged, when a county review order added the area of the abolished Hambleden Rural District.[3][4]

Parish Changes
Bledlow Merged with Saunderton 1934
Bledlow cum Saunderton Formed by the merger of two parishes in 1934
Chepping Wycombe Rural Renamed Chepping Wycombe 1949
Fawley Transferred from Hambleden RD 1934
Fingest Renamed Fingest and Lane End 1937
Great and Little Hampden Parishes had been merged in 1885
Great and Little Kimble Parishes had been merged in 1885
Great Marlow Part of parish became Marlow Urban District in 1897
Hambleden Transferred from Hambleden RD 1934
Horsenden Abolished 1934: area split between Bledlow cum Saunderton and Princes Risborough
Ilmer Abolished 1934: formed part of Longwick cum Ilmer
Lacey Green Formed 1934 from part of Princes Risborough
Little Marlow
Little Missenden Transferred to Amersham Rural District 1901
Longwick cum Ilmer Formed 1934 by merger of Ilmer and Monks Risborough (with parts Princes Risborough of Towersey)
Medmenham Transferred from Hambleden RD 1934
Monks Risborough abolished 1934, most passed to new parish of Longwick cum Ilmer
Princes Risborough
Saunderton Merged with Bledlow 1934
Stokenchurch Transferred from Oxfordshire 1895
West Wycombe Abolished 1934, with part added to enlarged Borough of Chepping Wycombe, remainder to West Wycombe Rural
West Wycombe Rural Formed 1934 from the part of West Wycombe not added to the borough with part of Hughenden


The council continued to be based at the workhouse in Saunderton until the First World War, when the building was taken over for military purposes.[5] Meetings were held at High Wycombe Guildhall for the next few years, with staff based at various offices.[6] In 1928 the council acquired 17 High Street in High Wycombe, converting it to become their offices and meeting place.[7] The council remained based at 17 High Street until 1967, when it moved to a newly built office building called Bellfield House at 80 Oxford Road in High Wycombe.[8][9] The council remained at Bellfield House until its abolition in 1974.


Wycombe Rural District was abolished under the Local Government Act 1972, merging with the borough of High Wycombe and Marlow Urban District to become Wycombe District.[10] Bellfield House was used as secondary offices for the new council for some years, but was subsequently demolished in the early 2000s.[11]


  1. ^ Higginbotham, Peter. "Wycombe Workhouse". The Workhouse. Retrieved 27 April 2022.
  2. ^ "Wycombe Rural District Council and Board of Guardians". South Bucks Standard. High Wycombe. 4 January 1895. p. 2. Retrieved 26 April 2022.
  3. ^ a b Youngs, Frederic A Jr. (1979). Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England. Vol. I Southern England. London: Royal Historical Society. ISBN 0-901050-67-9.
  4. ^ "Wycombe Rural District". A Vision of Britain through Time. GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 27 April 2022.
  5. ^ Kelly's Directory of Buckinghamshire. London. 1915. p. 232.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  6. ^ "Rural District Council". Bucks Herald. Aylesbury. 3 January 1920. p. 2. Retrieved 26 April 2022.
  7. ^ "Wycombe Rural District Council". Bucks Herald. Aylesbury. 20 April 1928. p. 2. Retrieved 26 April 2022.
  8. ^ "Buckinghamshire County Council". The London Gazette (44256): 2140. 24 February 1967. Retrieved 27 April 2022. ...17 High Street, High Wycombe...
  9. ^ "Wycombe Rural District Council". Bucks Examiner. Chesham. 8 December 1967. p. 22. Retrieved 27 April 2022. ...Bellfield House, 80 Oxford Road, High Wycombe...
  10. ^ The English Non-Metropolitan Districts (Definition) Order 1972 (S.I. 1972 No. 2039). London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. 1972. Retrieved 27 April 2022.
  11. ^ Planning application 98/05390/FUL submitted to Wycombe District Council 19 February 1998, granted 17 December 1999, for demolition of Carrington House and Bellfield House, 80 Oxford Road, and erection of three-storey office and car park.

51°39′N 0°47′W / 51.65°N 0.78°W / 51.65; -0.78