From the Universal British Directory 1790

AMERSHAM, BUCKS is a borough town. It is 26 miles from London; has a market on Tuesdays; fairs Whitsun-Monday for cattle, 19th of September for ditto and statute. The chief manufactures are lace, which is considerably large chiefly black lace; the sacking manufacture, which is but small; and a manufactory for cotton, by Messrs. Morris, Hailey and Hailey, of all kinds of white cotton goods, by machinery of the newest, and some of it peculiar, construction. It lies in a vale between woody hills, near the river Colne, and has a free school, founded in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. This little town consists of a long street, in the road from Uxbridge to Buckingham, divided about the middle by a shorter cross street; in the intersection of which stands the church; its town-hall, or market-house, is the handsomest in the county.

The living is said to be the best in England. Here are three inns, at which are good accommodations: the Crown inn, Fowler; the Griffin inn, Loton; the King’s Arms. Morgan. The post office at the Crown inn opens mornings at 7 and shuts at 9 o’clock in the evening. Aylesbury stage coach to London at 10 every day, except Saturday; and 2 o’clock in the afternoon from London every day, except Sunday; stops at the Griffin; in-side fare 7s. out-side 3s.6d.  Amersham and Missenden stage coach, from the Crown inn, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, at 8 in the morning; comes in Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, at 5 o’clock in the evening; fare as above. Waggon Mondays and Thursdays, at noon to London; comes in Wednesdays and Saturdays, at 6 o’clock in the evening.

On the hill, rather North of Amersham, is the seat of John Drake, D. D. which commands a fine view of the town; rather beyond the town, West, is the seat of William Drake, Esq.. M.P. a noble house, in a fine large pleasant park.

It is 3 miles from Amersham to Chesham; 5 miles to Beaconsfield; 7 miles to High Wycombe; 3 miles to Little Missenden, a small village, at which there is a church, the minister, the Rev. Mr. Anderson. Here is a boarding school for young ladies, by Mrs Reed. Five miles from Amersham is Great Missenden, a large village, in it is a church, the minister, Rev. Mr. Nevell; a little beyond this is the seat of Sir Hugh Palliser, Bart. and also, not far from hence, is the seat of Henry Gath, Esq. one of his majesty’s justices of the peace; it is also 5 miles from Amersham to St. Peter’s Chalfont, a large village, at which is a church, the Rev. Mr. Jonas, minister, who is one of his majesty’s justices of the peace.


Amersham in 1823/24 (from Pigot & Co’s Directory)

 Agmondesham, otherwise Amersham, an ancient borough town unincorporated, situate in a fine romantic vale, in the hundred of Burnham, and county of Buckingham, twenty-six miles from London, on the Aylesbury road, sends two members to parliament chosen by every house dweller paying scot and lot.  The town consists of a principal broad, clean and neatly paved street, from southeast to northwest, having, about the centre, a branch street on each side, at nearly right angles, the one leading towards Chepping Wycombe and the other towards Chesham.  At the commencement of the latter stands the market house, (an ancient brick building) and about the middle is the church, a gothic building, fitted up with peculiar neatness.  It is well attended and considered the best endowed rectory in the county.  There are three discenting meeting houses, one belonging to the general, one to the particular Baptists and one to the Society of Friends.  It has a toll-free market weekly held on Tuesdays, for grain, and two fairs in the year, one on Whit Monday, the other on the 19th September.  There is a manufactory for crape silk, and considerable employment is found in manufacturing chairs for exportation. The women and children are principally employed in the manufacture of lace and of straw-platt.  There is here also a free grammar school and a house for the school master, who is generally the curate, and another free school for writing and arithmetic, with a residence for the master.  About a mile west of the town in Shardeloes, the residence of Thomas Tyrwhitt Drake Esq. who enjoys it in a highly improved state from a long line of ancestors.  It is seated in a beautiful hill and dale park, richly timbered, and has a fine lake of water.  Its owner is Lord of the Manor, proprietor of the principal part of the parish and nearly the whole of the borough, is patron of the rectory and with his brother, William Tyrwhitt Drake Esq., represents the borough in parliament.  A short distance, north of the town, and on an agreeable eminence, stands the rectory house, surpassed by few in the kingdom, it commands a beautiful and extensive prospect over a richly timbered country.  The present incumbent is the Rev. John Drake, LLD.  The population returns of 1821 was 2,612.

POST OFFICE.  Francis Priest, Post Master.  The post arrives from Beaconsfield every morning at seven o’clock, and departs for that place every evening at nine.


Plan Your Visit

Opening hours:

Wednesday to Sunday, and Bank Holiday Mondays, 12noon to 4:30pm

49 High Street
Old Amersham

01494 723700
[email protected]


“Enjoyed our visit to this wonderful interactive museum where you are positively encouraged to touch things!”

“Visited Amersham museum yesterday – lovely place, provides many details on the history of the place. Plenty of cute cafes, pubs and shops around also… not difficult to find free parking nearby. ”

“A well-run, informative and interesting small museum on the main street. It’s mostly volunteer-run and they do a great job in keeping it and making you feel welcome…Check out the herb garden too.”

“Enjoyable film and television location guided walk around Amersham hosted by Amersham Museum – here are the Sun Houses on Highover Park and further up the hill is High & Over.”

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