The Chilterns AONB is truly a landscape fit for kings and queens, with many towns and villages having a host of connections with royalty past and present, going back over 1,000 years.
Here are some of the Chilterns' most royally-connected places:
Berkhamsted’s connections with kings and queens through the ages stem largely from its royal castle, built by William of Normandy’s brother following the conquest of England. The castle passed through many royal hands between the 11th and 16th centuries including Henry II, Edward the Black Prince, Henry V, Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Nowadays this picturesque ruin and green space in the centre of Berkhamsted is the ideal location for a picnic. Why not spend some time in a space once occupied by feasting kings and queens?
Read more here: Royal connections to Berkhamsted
The market town of Hitchin in Hertfordshire, at the northern tip of the Chilterns AONB, was frequented by King Henry VIII who enjoyed hunting in the surrounding countryside. In his youth was quite an athlete and it is said that he once tried to pole vault across the River Hiz. However, having become heavier than he realised, the pole snapped from underneath him and he fell into the river, much to the amusement of his servants. This event was, until recently, commemorated on the sign of the Buck's Head pub in nearby Little Wymondley.
Read more here: Royal connections to Hitchin
The Manor of Risborough was owned by royalty for over 600 years. Its most famous royal owner, whose name is now attached to the town, was Edward, the Black Prince. After his death, the Manor was handed down through royal generations until eventually in 1628 Charles I sold the Manor of Princes Risborough to the City of London in part repayment of his large debts.
Read more here: Royal connections to Princes Risborough
Chenies Manor, near Amersham is a Tudor manor house, built around 1460. Henry VIII is said to have been entertained here. Queen Elizabeth I visited several times, and in July 1570, according to an entry in a wardrobe book, she lost some small gold fastenings called aglets from her dress. There is a huge oak tree in the grounds of the Manor, known as Queen Elizabeth’s Oak, under which it is thought she lost the jewellery. You can visit the house and its beautiful gardens which have been restored by the current owners.
Read more here: Royal Connections to Chenies Manor
The beautiful medieval village of Ewelme near Wallingford is known for its historic school (the oldest Church of England primary in the country), almshouses and restored watercress beds. Centuries ago the village contained a royal manor house which was visited by Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. The house is no more but the village is still well worth visiting – the church contains magnificent medieval monuments and the author Jerome K Jerome is buried in the churchyard.
Read more here: Royal connections to Ewelme
Read about lots of other local places connected with royalty:
Royal connections to Aylesbury William I demanded green geese and eels whenever he visited!
Royal connections to Benson Once the wealthiest Royal Manor in Oxfordshire
Royal connections to Bisham Abbey A prison fit for two Queens
Royal connections to Bradenham and Hughenden Homes of Queen Victoria's favourite Prime Minister
Royal connections to the Chequers Estate Did a first century King fight a battle against the Romans here?
Royal connections to Dunstable One of 12 resting places for Queen Eleanor's funeral procession in 1290
Royal connections to Henley on Thames This town and its surrounding country estates have a long association with royalty
Royal connections to Marlow Henry VIII might have courted Jane Seymour in picturesque Marlow