A historic town with a vibrant shopping and culinary scene

Famous for its appearance in popular films and television shows, from Four Weddings and a Funeral to Midsomer Murders and Cuckoo, Amersham has a rich history.

Comprising two areas—Old Amersham and Amersham-on-the-Hill—the town dates back to pre-Anglo-Saxon times and was featured in the Domesday Book of 1086.

Today, Amersham—crowned RHS Britain in Bloom Overall Winner 2022—is home to two retail areas (with a range of shopping and dining opportunities), the award-winning Gardens of Remembrance, a museum (offering historical tours of the town), art galleries, churches, and more.

Amersham, Past and Present

“A right pretty market [town] of one street well built with timber.”

This is a description of Amersham written by the Tudor historian John Leland (c.1540) which still applies to the High Street today. Thanks to the arrival of the Metropolitan Railway in 1892, the town has two distinct areas: Amersham-on-the-Hill and Old Amersham.

Market Hall and the Crown Hotel, 1899

Following the arrival of the Metropolitan Railway, Amersham-on-the-Hill developed in the 20th century nearly a mile above the existing town. Some of the earliest new buildings were Weller’s Station Hotel and the Temperance Hotel, built opposite the station to cater for every traveller’s needs. The lack of a mains water supply slowed development, but things sped up after a water tower was built in 1915.

Amersham-on-the-Hill has a character of its own, featuring some fine Arts and Crafts buildings (mainly by architect John Harold Kennard) at The Avenue and Oakfield Corner. Elm Close, a conservation area, was built by Kennard in 1920 with government subsidies as part of the Addison Act “Homes for Heroes” policy and is constructed with innovative concrete blocks and cement roof tiles.

1930s architecture, such as the distinctive Chiltern Parade, built by J Sainsbury in 1936 (pictured), the bank at Oakfield Corner and the modernist estate agents on Hill Avenue, help give this area a distinctive Metroland feel. The town even features in the 1973 John Betjeman documentary Metro-Land, chronicling the growth of suburban London in the 20th century. Today, the ‘New Town’ features a civic centre, numerous shops, banks and cafes, as well as the Chilterns Lifestyle Centre which opened in 2021.

Chiltern Parade, Amersham on the Hill, 1930s

Amersham Old Town, or ‘Old Amersham’, has retained its medieval high street and has a wonderful variety of historical buildings including the landmark Grade II* listed Market Hall, built by Sir William Drake in 1682 as a gift for the townsfolk. Much of the old town is a conservation area with over 160 listed buildings.

A significant change occurred in 1939 when a row of cottages on the east side of Market Square, known as the Alley, was demolished.

Following WWII, a new landmark—the Gardens of Remembrance—was created to the north of the site when the town’s War Memorial was relocated from St Mary’s churchyard. Today, the gardens are the flagship of Amersham in Bloom, the overall winner of RHS Britain in Bloom 2022, and play host to the town’s summer band concerts while respecting the gardens’ heritage.

Celebrating the annual Amersham Heritage Day (2022)

Amersham’s rich and varied history is shared in-depth by Amersham Museum at 49 High Street and on their website. They also offer walking tours through the warmer months.

Article credits: Alison Baily

Photo credits: Amersham Museum

Learn More about Amersham

Explore the history of Amersham with the Amersham Museum

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Things to Do

Explore everything from the famous Memorial Gardens to the Museum.



Explore our wide range of shopping opportunities.


Bars & Dining

Eat and drink in one of our exciting bars or restaurants.


Getting Here

We’re easily accessible by car, tube, mainline trains, and busses.