A History of Frieth


[ Snapshots in time ]
The Geographical Setting
The Early History
The Middle Ages
The Growth of a Community
1800 - 1860
1860 - 1900
1900 - 1973
The Name Frieth
Pillow Lace
West & Collier
[ The Colliers of West & Collier ]
West & Collier Catalogues
Notes on The Firm
Notes on Frieth
Further Notes on Frieth
Frieth as I knew it
Memories of bygone years
Frieth 45 years ago
The Posse Comitatus
[ Chisbridge Farm ]

Sections [in square brackets] are additions to the original content

[ "A History of Frieth" was one of two folders (the other being "Your House and Mine") compiled by Joan Barksfield which circulated in the Village. It was first issued in January 1973 and I think amended over time up to January 1984.

The diagrams and photographs in the binder have been removed but I have done my best to replace as many of them as possible from elsewhere in the collection, hopefully restoring the original as near as I can. The Maps under "Geographical Setting" had deteriorated so badly that I have had to substitute new ones from elsewhere.

Some people mentioned in the text as living in certain properties or as having contributed information have now moved or, in some cases I know, passed away.  But I have left those references as I found them, in memory of those people.

Some of the material given to my mother by Peggy West for the folder is also included in Valerie Springett's book "The Firm - Peggy's Memories Revealed" which is nonetheless well worth reading. To obtain a copy please contact Christine Dawson of the FVS:

In some places I have inserted my own comments [ in square brackets ] where I thought I had something to say that might be of interest or to explain a reference which I thought might no longer be clear to present day readers.

The Section now labelled "1900 - 1973" was written as "1900 onwards" in the document but I have changed this detail to remind readers when it was written

The document contained three sections on Parmoor - these have been extracted to a separate section of the website available through the menu bar above.

Otherwise I have left the document exactly as it is in the binder, except for mentally substituting "The Internet" for "loose-leaf style" !  If you have anything to contribute then do please contact me.

Bill Barksfield August 2011

Further research in 2012, with help from Derek Collier, has led me to add two new pages "The Colliers of West & Collier and the "West & Collier Catalogues" - I hope you enjoy them

With the help of members of the Frieth Society, older residents of the Village and others interested in local history, I have collected scraps of information, notes, papers and photographs relating to the history of this area.

Over the past year I have given some thought to the way in which all this valuable material could be presented in a readable form, and have chosen this loose-leaf style for a specific reason. In the past text-book history, so familiar to most of us, was presented as rather dull, indisputable fact; however, history viewed in the light of recent finds and with the help of science and research has altered historians' views on many topics. New interest has been aroused in history and particularly local history. So let us look on the following pages, illustrations and additions as just a beginning; I hope some of you may feel inclined to write about your own house or anything of interest you may have discovered about the area or write up an account of the Village Hall or Church etc. for future inclusion - hence the loose leaf style.

At a later date and when time permits I hope to write the whole much more fully and perhaps in a more permanent form, but to have gone into print at this stage would have been presumptuous. Those of you who came to the two talks I gave on local history in 1968 and 1969 will, no doubt recognise some of the script, one criticism then was that you did not know to which houses or places I was referring. I hope the sketch maps and photographs (most of them inserted as pointers not for artistic merit) help to remedy this.

Attached is a list of books used for reference - some privately printed, others out of print but still obtainable through libraries and those marked with a 'P' can be purchased.

As regards the "History" of the area since 1850 most of what I have written has been gathered over the last twenty-five years I have lived in Frieth by talking to the older people in the Village whose families had lived in the area for several generations. To you I would like to say a very sincere "Thank you" and apologise if I have by mischance left out the particular piece of information you gave me - I still have it in note form and hope to include it in the fuller version.

In conclusion may I take this opportunity on my own behalf and that of the Frieth Society of thanking Miss Glyn-Jones and Dr. Wyatt for the work they have done - Miss Glyn-Jones in starting the whole project and Dr. Wyatt for the time he has spent in libraries helping to collect or check material and the invaluable help he has given me.

Joan Barksfield January 1973

Since this Preface was written eleven years ago, the Frieth Village Society has published "Frieth, a Chiltern Village", a book of photographs of Frieth, as it was, between 1865 and 1939. Because of your wonderful response to my appeal for more information about our village, I was able to write the text for this publication.

Many of you have found out about the history of your own property and have allowed me access to deeds and manuscripts. With your help and research in Libraries, Public Records Offices, Parish Records etc. a wealth of further detail about Frieth has been uncovered.

Joan Barksfield January 1984

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