Little Missenden - History
The Village name "Missenden" is Anglo Saxon in origin and some say "den" means a valley where marsh plants grow, "missen" a middle part and so Little Misssenden is the little end of the middle valley; the others being the Chess Valley and the Hughenden Valley. The Doomsday Book recorded as Missedene and is clearly identifiable by two hides owned between three landlords. In 1086 the Parish of Little Missenden, which included Holmer Green, Hazlemere and the Kingshills on one side and Hyde Heath and Ballinger on the other, was over-lorded by The Count of Mortain and Hugh de Bolebec. This indicates how the country was split up after the Norman Invasion of 1066.
Like much of Little Missenden village, the Saxon village church, the Parish Church of St. John the Baptist, was built next to the River Misbourne which runs through the valley. The Church was extended in several stages over at least 1,000 years; the oldest part being built circa 975AD. It is one of the oldest and most picturesque of churches in Buckinghamshire, in an exquisite natural setting, with its stone embattled tower and timbered porch, red tiled gabled roofs and their quaint dormer windows. Inside the building are some remarkable ancient wall paintings which were discovered by accident in the early 1930's. These wall painting are currently undergoing restoration with the aid of The Lottery Fund.
The main London-Aylesbury road used to run through the centre of Little Missenden and past the two public houses - The Red Lion and The Crown. In the early 19th Century a new "by-pass" road was built to the north and this now forms the very busy A413.