Turville Heath conservation area

This appraisal sets out the key features that contribute to the character of Turville Heath Conservation Area.

Turville Heath is an upland daughter village to Turville. It is one of a string of heathland villages that line the top of the Chiltern Ridge. It differs from many others in two respects. The first is the planned layout and grand planting of the heathland common that runs through the heart of the settlement. The other is the number of grand houses located here - Turville Heath has long been a rural idyll for the landed gentry.

As a settlement Turville Heath grew up in a scattered manner along the edges of heathland pasture. The settlement pattern is widely dispersed around the fringes of the extensive heath. There are pockets of higher density development in places, but generally there is a feel of spaciousness. The heath was once grazed and far more open in character, as scrub and woodland has grown up it has hidden the heathside buildings, most of which are accessed from informal tracks. The road across the centre was planted as a grand avenue and part of the parkland setting for Turville Park.

There are a number of key features of this conservation area: the diversity of housing types is unusual, ranging from mansions to vernacular workers cottages of brick and flint. The larger homes are principally Georgian and Regency in style, although Turville Park and Turville Grange are very different architecturally. Eighteenth century villas and smaller houses built by the well-to-do are dotted around the edges of the heath.

Smaller vernacular cottages dating from the 19th century have stylised decoration characteristic of those built to enhance the great estates. There are also some 20th century infill buildings and conversions. The settlement had a number of farms in the past, these are now mostly in domestic use.

A key feature of the conservation area is the heath, some parts open grassland studded with mature trees, other parts more wooded due to scrub invasion. The heath is being managed to return it to a more open character, being in private ownership it has a very different appearance from other areas of open common land.

There are seven listed buildings in the conservation area.