Buckinghamshire Historic Buildings Trust

The old market
cross at Aylesbury
before its

  • The Wheatsheaf Project: 2/3 High Street, High Wycombe

We know from dendro-dating of the timbers that the building was erected in 1399. What remains is only part of a much larger building since it extends over and under its neighbours in Church Square.

Unfortunately we are never likely to know its original purpose. Located in the centre of the borough, close to the parish church and market place, it may have had some civic function or connection with the market or church.

By the late 1600s we believe that at least part of the building was a coffee house run by a Robert Watson, who issued trade tokens bearing the image of a Turk's or saracen's head. Deeds indicate there may also have been some shops within the structure.

In the 1700s it had become the Wheatsheaf public house, passing from the Squire family to the brewer A E Biddle, then becoming one of the many Wheelers' pubs in the town. After a fire in 1903 the Wheatsheaf was transformed into Butler's pharmacy and stationery shop.

By the 1930s there had been more changes, with two shops on the ground floor and Cyril Roberts' photographic studio upstairs. A succession of shop tenants followed, with the last leaving only in 2020.

ABOVE: Timbers dated to 1399.

YOU CAN FIND OUT MORE about the Trust and our Wheatsheaf project, including the history of the building and how it will look when work is finished, from our our website.

  • Who we are:
  • The Trust has been helping to protect and save historic buildings throughout the county since 1983.
  • Our activities:
  • Our current project to restore numbers 2/3 High Street, High Wycombe (the former Wheatshead pub) is nearing completion. The new Wheatsheaf is due to reopen within the next few months with a cocktail/coffee bar downstairs and a community hub upstairs.
  • Built in 1399, this is the oldest secular building in the town. This project has only been possible thanks to grant-funding from the Architectural Heritage Fund and the support of Wycombe District Council, now Buckinghamshire Council, from whom we hold a long lease. We are also grateful for the support of the High Wycombe Society.
  • Contact:
  • For more information about this project or the Trust in general, please contact our project manager, Dr James Moir, by email at jamesmgmoir@aol.com.
  • See also our website.

Thanks to Marian Miller at the Historic Buildings Trust for providing content for this page.