West Wycombe Travel Guide

  • Church of St. Lawrence
    Church of St. Lawrence
    by Gwynethart
  • View of West Wycombe
    View of West Wycombe
    by Gwynethart
  • Town Hall, West Wycombe
    Town Hall, West Wycombe
    by Gwynethart

West Wycombe Things to Do

  • Elodie_Caroline's Profile Photo

    by Elodie_Caroline Updated Feb 22, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness


    These caves were originally excavated in the 1750's on the site of an ancient quarry by the then Sir Francis Dashwood. It seems that he done the caves in order to provide work for the unemployed farm workers at that time, as there was a succession of harvest failures.

    It is thought that his inspiration for the design of the Caves came from his grand tour of Europe and the Ottoman Empire. Once Sir Francis Dashwood returned from his said tour he founded the Hellfire Club and became a leading member of the Dilettanti Society and the Divan Club.
    There is a very large banqueting hall in the caves, which actually happens to be available for hire to the paying public for private aprties, even orgies I guess? hehehe. I reckon that this would be the most wonderful place for a VT meeting!

    The actual caves go three hundred feet underground and half a mile from the entrance. Plus, the caves actually go right under West Wycombe road and come out underneath the church at the bottom of Castle Street, around three miles away from West Wycombe itself.

    Opening times:
    Weekdays
    March - October
    11:00 - 17:30
    Saturdays & Sundays
    All Year
    11:00 - 17:30 (or dusk)
    Bank Holidays and School Holidays
    All Year
    11:00 - 17:30 (or dusk)

    Admission Charges:

    Adults - £4.00 - (£3.00)
    Children & OAPs - £3.00 - (£2.00)
    (Under 3's) - Free
    Families - £12.00

    (Price in brackets is group price for 20 or more people - pre booked only)

    West Wycombe caves by day West Wycombe caves by night
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Elodie_Caroline's Profile Photo

    by Elodie_Caroline Updated Feb 22, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness


    West Wycombe Ball is the notorious place that was graced with the sordid history of 'The Hell Fire Club'. The witchcraft antics started here in the 17th century, around 1745 by the then Sir Francis Dashwood (1708-1781).

    The actual church there is called the 'Church of St lawrence', it was obviously built as a joke, as St Lawrence was/is the patron saint of prostitutes. The Dashwoods still own the mansion to this day, but the West Wycombe Ball, Caves and Mausoleum were sold in 1929 to The National Trust.

    The church of St Lawrence stands on top of a hill that is approx 600 feet tall. On the hill used to be an old village, which is no longer there. And before the old village was there, it used to actually be the site of an iron age fort.

    The church of St Lawrence had it's tower heightened in the 18th century by Sir Francis Dashwood. I guess it was to make it look much grander and imposing to the local people and passers by, or maybe he was like men with their cars these days, and had to have something to compensate for his little dick, who knows?
    The actual Ball sat atop of the church is covered in real Gold. You can walk upto the top of the tower via stairs inside it and you can see over the whole of the Wycombe area from here, not that you'd catch me up there, I dislike heights.

    Church of St Lawrence, West Wycombe The golden ball, West Wycombe
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • West Wycombe Hotels

    0 Hotels in West Wycombe

West Wycombe Off The Beaten Path

  • Elodie_Caroline's Profile Photo

    by Elodie_Caroline Updated Feb 22, 2008


    This is the old Graveyard of the St Lawrence Church. The graves are mostly from around the 19th century and there are very many small children's graves here too, a sad sign of the times back then. These graves were for the everyday villagers of West Wycombe, the higher ups, the participants of the Hellfire club and the rich got to be buried in the mausoleum.

    West Wycombe graveyard
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel

    Was this review helpful?

West Wycombe Favorites

  • Elodie_Caroline's Profile Photo

    by Elodie_Caroline Updated Feb 22, 2008

    Fondest memory:
    Yep, believe it or not? In the Spring of 2002, the Loch Ness Monster came for a Spring break in West Wycombe! Well, he was seen surfing, or should that be surfacing? in a field at the bottom of the West Wycombe Ball.

    I have no idea who made this 'monster' from old Tractor and car wheels? but it was really great, especially when the field was actually flooded and he looked like he was surfacing from a lake......

    Loch Ness monster at West wycombe
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Elodie_Caroline's Profile Photo

    by Elodie_Caroline Updated Feb 22, 2008

    Favorite thing:
    I met these three delightful young ladies on the afternoon that I went to West Wycombe Ball to take these photos.
    They were up near the mausoleum and politely said hello to us whilst I was taking the photos, naturally I replied. Then later on, I saw them again at the bottom of the hill near the caves, they asked me if I was a reporter doing a story on West Wycombe? I told them the truth, no, that I was doing it for a site called Virtualtourist on the internet.

    I asked them if they wanted their photo taken to go on my page too?, they said yes and proceeded to tell me about a couple that were caught shagging up the local cinema! hahaha:)

    Three young ladies at West Wycombe
    Related to:
    • Study Abroad
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Elodie_Caroline's Profile Photo

    by Elodie_Caroline Updated Feb 22, 2008

    Favorite thing:
    My absolute favourite part of West Wycombe has to be the Mausoleum, I just love this place. It is very alluring and it make me imagine loads of images from the olden times of the witchcraft goings on. It sort of reminds me of an old fashioned sitting room moded out of stone.

    This is the Monument to the people that lived and frolicked within 'The Hell Fire Club'. The remains of the 'Witches' are buried and remembered here too. Around the back of the Mausoleum are the graves of the everyday people that also resided in West Wycombe.

    I just could not believe this when I saw it all, it was like stepping into another time, another place! I felt really excited at seeing this, why had I never been here before, even though it's only a few miles down the road from us?

    Back of mausoleum Side of mausoleum Inside of mausoleum Close up of mausoleum carving inside of mausoleum wall
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: West Wycombe

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

97 travelers online now

Comments

West Wycombe Travel Guide
Map of West Wycombe

View all West Wycombe hotels