Although little is known about the early history of these villages, earthworks, ridge and furrow fields are remnants of a mediaeval past and it is possible that settlement in the area had been established prior to Roman occupation in 43AD.
The village name ‘Claydon’ is Anglo Saxon in origin, and derives from the Old English: clægig + dun meaning ‘clay hill’. The affix ‘East’ is used to differentiate the village from nearby Steeple Claydon and Middle Claydon. Botyl means “house” and may be the origin of the hamlet of Botolph Claydon.
Prior to the Norman Conquest in 1066, lands in the parish were held by Suen, a man of “Ansgar the installer” Stallers were royal officials with regional jurisdiction.
The village names of East and Botolph Claydon were established and recorded in the Doomsday Book in 1086. After this date the lands were transferred to those who had supported William during the conquest giving rise to some local familiar names such as Geoffrey de Mandeville and Ralph de Quarrendon.
The Parish became an economically important as a staging point on the main road from Buckingham to Aylesbury and to London beyond. The village pump, coaching inn(now New Farm) a public house (The Phoenix) stood along this busy route. A blacksmith and wheelwright together with other tradesmen also supported the local rural economy. Cattle and sheep were herded hundreds of miles along the Drovers ways, and rested and watered at the village ponds on their way to the London markets.
The White House on the turnpike is an imposing Manor House dating back to 1600 was the first house to be seen on entering East Claydon.
This changed in 1722 when the new turnpike Buckingham to Aylesbury via Winslow and Whitchurch bypassed the village causing the economy of the parish to collapse and by 1740 East Claydon was described as a “poor place.”
In 1620 the Verney family of Claydon House became the primary landowners in the area and owned virtually all the land and buildings in the parish. Click here to read history.
The village houses for agricultural labourers and tenant farmers were timber framed thatched cottages with whattle and daub or brick infill.