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High Wycombe is an English town in the county of Buckinghamshire with a population of around 124,475 in 2015 according to ONS official estimates.it is also commonly known as Wycombe. It is the second largest town lies 27 miles southeast of Oxford, 29 miles northwest of London and 23 miles northeast of Reading. The wealth of the town is primarily based on the production of the furniture. The town is considered as a blend of both market and industrial town. The city consists an unparished area lies in the district of Wycombe and not covered by an administrative division of local government. The civil parish area of the town depicts the ancient parish of Chepping Wycombe and had a population of around 14000 in 2001 census. The part of the urban area is not covered under the control of municipal borough of the town. The town is surrounded by various suburbs including Bowerdean, Cressex, Terriers, Booker and Wycombe Marsh.
It has been proposed that the name of Wycombe was first recorded as Wichama in 799-802 meaning the dwellings. Some stated that the name originated from the Wye River and a wooded valley combe. The Roman villa dates back to the 150-170 AD was found during the excavation executed in 1954. The town is the birthplace of the 19th century notable Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. The early settlement of the town was first recorded as Wicumun in 970. The market borough status was granted to the town in the 12th century, and the first moot hall, meeting or assembly building for deciding local issues was first built in 1226.
During the Middle Age and Tudor period, the town was considered as a mill town, focused on the manufacturing of the lace and linen cloth. The town served as a halting point for travellers coming from Oxford to London and travellers used to stay in the lodges and motels. Due to the richness of chalk in the water of River Wye, the paper industry flourished in the 17th and 18th century. Later on, the cloth industry replaced the paper industry. The furniture factories started setting up their base all over the town and most popular furniture industry, Windsor chairs took possession in the 19th century. Large terraced houses were constructed to accommodate the workforce engaged in the furniture factories.
Many locally made chairs and the useful information on the lace industries and local furniture is displayed and restored in the Wycombe Museum. The social and economic condition of the city was completely dependent on the furniture industry. The decline of the furniture industry in 1960 brought significant social problems and unemployment in the town. A large number of housing areas were fallen into slums and even completely demolished under the slum clearance scheme in 1932. The girls’ school of the town became a base for 8th Air Force Bomber Command during the Second World War, later on, the site became their headquarters in 1944.
Recently, many redevelopment projects have planned in the town including the expansion of existing shopping centre, construction of multi-story car parks, redevelopment of the town centre and Buckinghamshire New University and completion of the new Eden Shopping centre. These developments further stimulated the construction of new multimillion-pound hotel and Sainsbury store next to the Eden shopping centre.
The town follows a selective educational system based on the tripartite system of education in England and Northern Ireland. There are several primary, secondary and independent schools in the town. Among those, few are Booker Hill Combined School, Marsh Infants School, Cressex Community School, Wycombe High School, Crown House School and Wycombe Abbey. The town is served by Amersham and Wycombe College and Buckinghamshire New University for further and higher education. The main campus of the new university lies on the former site of College of Art and Technology of High Wycombe.
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