Kiln Yard

An interesting little area across Back Lane from the White Hart. It appears as a named area within Chalfont St Giles on the 1851 census.

Kiln Yard was the area at the corner of Back Lane and Tripps Hill at the top of Deanway, just across Back Lane from the White Hart. It is quite distinctive being an area of a slight depression and having within it a number of small old cottages. I have found exactly where it was by correlating the names on the 1851 Census with the names on the 1840 Tithe Apportionment and map.

The following map is an extract from the Tithe map.

Kiln yard location

There are some curious features about this "Kiln Yard". First the sheer number of people in this small area. Second all bar one of the plots have different owners and none of these owners are significant landholders elsewhere in the parish. There is also an unusually high number (11 out of 13) of heads of households who come from outside the parish.

It is suggested that this is the site of disused brick workings. It is accepted that, in the 16th to 18th C in particular, bricks were often made close to the site of the building they were to be used in. In this case it could be that the bricks were used for the construction of the original house that stood on the site of the White Hart. This was fairly large and was known from land deeds in the 17th C as "Stone House". (Not to be confused with "The Stone" down in the Village.) This name implies it was of brick as opposed to the usual construction of the time of wood framing. I suspect therefore that by the early 19th C Kiln Yard was derelict and useless land and so was liable to be used by squatters or by people who were unable to find any better accommodation.

There is at least one other location of old (believed Medieval) brick working known and that is just to the north east of Hill Farm House in what is now the garden to the house where according to a previous owner there were many clay pits. The major brickworks called Froghall Kiln started in 1783 and only closed in 1978 but they are too far away from Kiln Yard to be related.

(Ref: "Bucks Industrial Heritage" Ed Thorpe, D. BAS papers No 13 2007)

It could be suggested that Kiln Yard was named after a kiln associated with iron working because there was said to be an iron foundry at Three Households. However on investigation this "foundry" was along the road by Sutmers Court and in any case was a late 19th C business. There is a final possibility was that it related to the use by Lowen Tripp the blacksmith who lived close by but then it would be called a forge or a smithy, not a kiln.

JD 2013

REFERENCES. Unless otherwise specified, all references given above refer to catalogue references at the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies at Aylesbury. (County Record Office.)

This print is a section of the Chalfont History website.

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John Dodd ©2012