Little Linford

Little Linford was once a traditional estate village, owned and maintained by the Knapp family until the 1960s. Its name derives from a ford over a brook, ‘Lin’. It was mentioned in the Domesday Book as a Manor and was bought by the Knapp family in 1684.

The last Lord of the Manor to live at Linford Hall died in the 1950s by which time the building had deteriorated both on account of the war and the reduced rental income from 1930 inwards. When the whole estate was inherited in the 1960s by Michael Knapp, Linford Hall had fallen into disrepair. The Hall was demolished and the estate split up and sold. When the estate was split up, several derelict farm cottages were knocked down and in the 1970s six new houses were built in the old wilderness. Bury Court was built on the site of the old Linford Hall. The only old houses that remain are Hall Farm, Walnut and Amen Cottages and East and West Lodges. Importantly the small church of St Leonards, built in the 13th/14th century, has survived.

There has been only limited development in the village since then with the building of Linwood House, the Grange (on the site of the Old Vicarage) and Parc Farm. The land in the Ouse Valley sold for gravel extraction has been reinstated as a series of lakes renowned for their fisheries.

It remains a quiet rural backwater, although rush hour sees Little Linford Lane in fevered use by commuters to Milton Keynes.

One of our special secrets is Little Linford Wood, an ancient woodland which almost certainly dates from the Middle Ages or earlier and which has probably never been cleared for agriculture. The star shape of its main ridings from the centre tree is typical of an ancient wood. It would have been managed without much replanting, with some trees and shrubs being regularly coppiced for firewood, others being allowed to grow tall and eventually felled for timber. Sadly some 100 years ago the wood was felled and replanted, and again about a third was felled in the early 1980s. Since coming under the care of the Bucks, Berks and Oxon Wildlife Trust, there has been some replanting and the wood is making a recovery. For more information go to www.bbowt.org.uk

The principal trees are oak, ash and field maple, and about 130 different varieties of flowering shrubs, woodland flowers and other plants have been recorded, including 23 found only in ancient woodland. Wildlife is also abundant with a rich variety of birds, butterflies and other insects. Spring and early Summer are especially beautiful with a carpet of wildflowers and the sweet smell of the wild honeysuckle and briar roses in the air.