Sections of Buckinghamshire closer to London are part of the
Metropolitan Green Belt and this inhibits development. Buckinghamshire is also
the location of the nationally important Pinewood Studios and Dorney Lake, which
hosted the highly successful rowing events at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Buckinghamshire is also well known for the new town of Milton Keynes (and its
famous concrete cows) and the Chiltern Hills area of outstanding natural beauty.
The name Buckinghamshire is Anglo-Saxon in origin and means the
district of Bucca's home. Bucca's home refers to Buckingham in the north of the
county, and is named after an Anglo-Saxon landowner. Buckinghamshire has been
so named since about the 12th century; however, the county itself has existed
since it was a subdivision of the Kingdom of Mercia (585-919).
Historically, the biggest changes to Buckinghamshire came in
the 19th century when a combination of cholera and famine hit the rural county,
forcing many to migrate to bigger towns to find work. Not only did this change
the local economic picture, it meant a lot of land was cheaper at a time when
the rich were more mobile and the leafy Bucks became a popular rural idyll - an
image it retains today. London commuters often choose Buckinghamshire as a
home, which has led to greater local affluence albeit with some pockets of relative
Buckinghamshire is also home to two of the four longest
rivers in England. The River Thames provides the southern boundary with
Berkshire, although Berkshire has crept over the border at Eton and Slough
meaning the river is no longer the sole boundary between the two counties. The
River Great Ouse flows east through Buckingham, Olney and Milton Keynes and has
its origins in Northamptonshire.
Open countryside and outstanding natural geography are
defining features for Buckinghamshire, including the River Thames and the
Chiltern Hills area of outstanding natural beauty. A large quantity of historic
houses are situated within Buckinghamshire – a consequence of the migration of
the affluent from London when land was cheap - and the National Trust has
opened some of these to the public, including Cliveden, Waddesdon Manor and
West Wycombe Park.
Buckinghamshire is famed as the home of various notable
people including the author Roald Dahl who included many local characters and
locations in his works. More recently Buckinghamshuire is a favourite haunt of rural
retreats for rock stars.
Buckinghamshire is home to a number of notable sports
facilities, the National Hockey Stadium and Stadium:MK in the north to Adams
Park in the South.
Several notable people have their birthplace and/or resting
place in Buckinghamshire. Saint Rumwold was buried in Buckingham around the
same time as Saint Osyth was born in Quarrendon and both were buried in
Aylesbury in the 7th century. From the medieval period Roger of Wendover was,
as the name suggests, from the town of that name and Anne Boleyn also owned
property in the same town. It is said that King Henry VIII made Aylesbury the
county town over Buckingham because Boleyn's father owned property there and the
king was a regular visitor himself. John Wycliffe lived in Ludgershall and
Edward the Confessor had a palace at Brill.