Little Marlow is mentioned in the Domesday Book, but long before that, there were people dwelling in the area near the river. Bronze Age remains were found when the area was excavated for gravel. Domesday mentions several Manors the boundaries of which are uncertain, but the three most important seem to have centred on the area round Little Marlow Church, the Abbey at Well End and Westhorpe. There was probably a small manor at Monkton Farm which is thought to be the oldest house in the parish. From the 16th century the word estate is used instead of manor.
The Abbey was dissolved 1636 and the site became a farm. At the end of the nineteenth century the area became the Abbotsbrook Estate when Robert Haden-Tebb purchased the old Abbey lands and built a garden estate, selling his houses as country homes to people from the city. It still retains its charm and sylvan setting. The Church of St John the Baptist is the oldest building in the parish. Some of it dates from the 12th century but mostly from the 14th century onwards.
The Borlase family acquired most of what is now Little Marlow Parish in the sixteenth century and started the building of the Manor House. The oldest houses in the village, Coldmoorholm Lane, Well End and Sheepridge date from that time.
Although the economy of Little Marlow has always been mainly based on farming, the woodland and the wharf have been extremely important in the past and in the eighteenth century there was a maltings at Well End.
Westhorpe remained a separate estate until 1818. The house was built by James Chase, who was an MP for Marlow, in 1701. In the nineteenth century the two main landowners were Sir George Nugent, Little Marlow and Lord Lansdowne who owned what is now the Carrington Estate surrounding Little Marlow from the north. Both benefited from the enclosure of the common lands in 1821. In 1917 the Little Marlow Estate was sold and split up into the different landholdings we know today.
The Parish Council was formed on 13th December 1894 with the Rev. A.S. Thompson as Chairman, and Mr. J. Yates as Clerk.
The Parish Council holds several documents of interest to historians.
List of Chairmen and Clerks of Little Marlow Parish Council since 1894.
Thanks to Little Marlow Parish resident Barbara Wallis for this History of Little Marlow.