Historic time-line of Penn and Common Woods

Ancient tree in Penn Wood (Photo: WTML/Deborah Morris)

43 BC - 410 AD  
Sometime during Roman Britain, Penn Woods was used as a source of fuel wood for an iron industry based near Shardeloes.

500
The Anglo Saxons used Penn Wood to keep deer.

1100 - 1135
During the reign of Henry I the woodland was used as a chase (hunting ground) with hunting rights reserved for the saxon citizens of London.

1200 - 1855 
Wycombe Heath provided commoners from the bordering parishes of High Wycombe, Hughenden, Little Missenden, Wendover, Amersham and Penn with rights to graze pigs and cattle, cut underwood, extract chalk, clays and sand.

1222
Part of Penn Manor’s land was confiscated to provide land for Segraves Manor, cutting what had been one wood into two to become Common Wood and Penn Wood.

1700
Penn Wood was used as a source of beech wood for fuel, furniture, turnery and wheel rims.

Early 1700s
The land confiscated in 1222 to form Segraves Manor was returned to the ownership of Penn Manor.

1800s
The wood was used in the chair-making industry as a source of legs, stretchers, spindles and sticks for Windsor and cane-backed chairs

It was also used as a military training area.

1855
The Enclosures Act put an end to use of Penn Wood as common land.

1938 – 1945
The site was used as a military training area during the 2nd World War when the Tyneside Survey Regiment set up camp on Penn Street common and its adjacent woods.

1993 - 1999
A long-running but ultimately successful campaign was mounted to stop the wood being developed into a golf course.

1999
The site was purchased by the Woodland Trust who restored free public access.

2001
Winter grazing was re-introduced to the site.

2002
Public ownership of Common Wood returned when it was bought by the Penn and Tylers Green Residents' Society with help from the Woodland Trust.

More about Penn and Common Woods