Bassetsbury Manor

Bowls Club

Through the Years.    Our History.

Bassetsbury is named after the Basset family who held the Manor of Wycombe from 1171. The bury part was added afterwards possibly named after a small fortification called a "bury" close to the site. It became a separate estate when King John divided Wycombe Manor into two in 1203 and was named Bassetsbury Manor. Attached to the Manor was a Tithe Barn where tenants paid their taxes in grain. The old mill ground the corn.

mill in 1895
When the last of the Basset family died in 1271 it moved in and out of Royal hands but eventually was granted to the Dean & Chapter of St George's Chapel, Windsor. It was rented out in 1483 to different tenants over subsequent centuries. It became very run down in the 1700s and used as farm buildings. It was rebuilt in the late 1500s and refaced in the 17th century but alas by the early 1900s became derelict again and surrounded by allotments. In 1927 Lord Carrington's Trustees put it up for sale. Winston Churchill became interested but declined to buy because so many repairs were needed.
manor prior to 1925
In 1931 Fred Skull a local antique dealer and furniture manufacturer bought the house and renovated it bringing it back to its former glory. Fred and his wife lived there until Fred died in 1952. He wanted it to go to National Trust but they declined to buy. In 1952 Wycombe Borough Council purchased it for £6100. They used it for meeting rooms and outdoor tennis with the bowling  green being added in 1955.
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Fruit trees back in 1925. Now the playground of Crown House Preparatory School.

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Fred Skull and his wife celebrating their Diamond Wedding Anniversary. Queen Mary attended sat front row centre.

Bassetsbury Manor Bowls Club was formed in 1955. Two rooms on the upper floor were granted to the Club to use as a Club Room and Changing facilities. The Main Banqueting Room was used to entertain visiting Clubs and serving teas after matches.
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Mayor Bunn opens the new Bowling Green in 1955 and bowls the first bowl.

The inauguration took place on 30th April 1955 where Mayor Bunn shown above opened the Green. In front of a large gathering of founder members and future members attending for the occasion. In the early days bowls was predominantly a male sport as some old archival photos show. However this did not remain so for very long and in the early 1960s the ladies started to play a prominent part in the Club. Membership in the early 1990s reached a peak with Bassetsbury Manor Bowls Club able to boast some of the top bowlers in the area and County. Over the years the Club has remained self sufficient and in 2004 moved into its own Clubhouse provided for by a loan and much of its own financies. Since the opening in 1955 lawn bowling has changed in many ways but most noticeably in the manner of the dress code. Gone are the jackets and ties. Clothing has become more casual in a way with Clubs having their own playing strips and colours. Today coloured shoes are permitted, much frowned upon in years gone by.
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Match on 30th April 1955.

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                                                                                                                                                     Men playing a match in 1970.

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                                           The present day Clubhouse and Manor with a well manicured bowling green. The Manor is now a privately run Preparatory School for junior ages.