Chepping Wycombe Map

Nominated by: Bob Hill

This is one of a group of photos for a competition run by Chepping Wycombe council, which later became Wycombe District Council, which in turn, has now become part of the Buckinghamshire Council.  The competition was for ideas for a future road/street plan for the town.  This map is one of the entrants, but obviously not the winner as the proposed streets are not as they are now.  The map is held by Wycombe Museum. The competition was in 1913, you can see from the map how small High Wycombe was then.

Having been a driver for a long part of my life, maps have always played a big part in my understanding of places.  I’ve always been fascinated by maps and have often wondered how towns were planned and developed – not even thinking of a competition as the solution.

I think this map is important to Bucks, as it helps to understand the process by which towns grow, and having seen a new town like Milton Keynes develop and grow, from just a village into a new town with a completely different concept, this helps to see how that might have happened.  Perhaps there was a similar competition for Milton Keynes!  We can see because of the terrain here it was a difficult task to plan a suitable road network for such an important town.  At this time, High Wycombe was one of the most important furniture towns in the country producing approximately 4700 chairs per day, from about 150 workshops at its peak.

The Chepping Wycombe Map was nominated by Bob Hill, volunteer for Wycombe Museum.