Although now a picnic area, this spot near Amersham was formerly the site of a Chairmaking factory which ran as a family business for three generations, from the 1850's until the Second World War.
The factory was originally founded by David Hatch and it was passed on to his son Joseph Hatch and then his grandson Joseph David Hatch. Over the years the factory grew from a small workshop with two apprentices to a business supplying chairs to such far-flung locations as Manchester and Yorkshire, with a workforce of around 40. Like most chair factories in the Chilterns at the time, the Whielden Gate factory mainly used local beech.
The business was sold some time after the Second World War to a timber merchants, as small-scale companies became less supportable, and tastes in manufacturing changed. The factory burned to the ground in 1953.
The history of the Whielden Gate factory and the Hatch family has recently been researched by former local resident Richard Ayres, great, great grandson of the original founder. Click the links below to hear him talking about the business and the men who used to run it
Picnic area, walks.
No sealed paths
Buckinghamshire County Council
On minor road towards Amersham from Winchmore Hill