Date 13/03/2011 West Wycombe and west Wycombe hill & the Hellfire Caves

A Wet sunday again but we decided to have a journey out to West wycombe a small village just outside High Wycombe Buckinghamshire. The Village is next to West Wycombe hall, this is a national trust property and it gets loads of visitors during hot summer months. The village also contains the Mausoleum on West Wycombe Hill and the church that lies behind had an impressive huge Golden ball places on top. We also Visited the Hellfire caves this was a notorious high society club where all sorts of things used to go on have a read

The Hellfire caves is where the infamous Hellfire club used to meet in secret. The club was formed in 1719 and from what i have read about it all sorts of sordid acts used to take place there. It was very secret and rumours of Pagan practices, orgies, Satan worship all used to take place by the high and mighty and politicians. Not much as changed and luckily i found no politicians about taking part in what would be normal daily activities for them. Other rumours at the time saw female ladies of the night dressed as nuns getting up to tricks in the dead of night. There was also drinking, wenching and banqueting. I paid £8 for me & Gail to get it which was not bad . If they included all the above activities then they could charge a fortune . As you come out you have to past a great little tea shop and the Gift shop.

West Wycombe village is a small place and can easily be looked around in a couple of hours. It contains many old buildings as can be seen in the pictures here. There are a few old inns and pubs along the high street and a large sweet shop that we just had to visit. There is a large amount of traffic that passes through this place so watch the roads. There are plenty of parking places throughout the village and they are free (makes a change) however i can see this place full to the brim in the summer season.

West Wycombe Church The Church is mainly 13th Century and sits on top of Wycombe hill. This place was once a large iron age fort. If you move outside the church boundary you will find large embankments that belonged to later roman fort i read somewhere. On top of the Church you will see a large Golden Ball that is big enough to hold six people (a most useless fact). We never went inside the church however its meant to be richly decorated in a roman style.

West Wycombe Mausoleum. This impressive building sits at the top of the steep hill but there are a few paths to take. The building was erected in the 18th century by Sir Francis Dashwood founder of the Hellfire club. It was meant to be a representation of the roman coliseum. You cannot enter inside however it is worth the walk up there and i think they light it at night so it should look impressive.

Red Kites and Buzzards.All around this area is a great place to see Red Kites and Buzzards. Along the M40 near west wycombe are large hills and we must have seen about 100 Red Kites. Gail took this picture as it flew straight over the car, you get the big camera out and the birds sod off to the next hill. I cannot stress how many there are, they are thriving around this area i don't know why it must be the thermals from the hills and rich woodland and countryside.


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The Hellfire Caves
West Wycombe Village Church and Mausoleum