Studham is the most southerly village in the county of Bedfordshire situated in woodland on the north-west side of the Chiltern Hills
The village of Studham (an Anglo Saxon name meaning ‘home in the woods’) lies on the wooded south facing Chiltern hills. Recorded as Estodham in the Domesday Book of 1086 as comprising two manor house and several farms.
Today, Studham is a small village with a population of a little over 1,000. Amenities include; two churches, two public houses and a farm shop. The 13th Century parish church of St Mary is the oldest building in Studham. The church has a fine interior and includes an earlier Norman font decorated with dragons.
The village currently has two public houses, the older of which, The Bell, pre-dates the English Civil War. An interesting discovery was made at the Bell in the early 20th century. Whilst undertaking work to make safe the old well in the pub garden, a cache of discarded or hidden civil war weapons was found.
Studham Common - an area of outstanding natural beauty
The centre of the village is dominated by Studham Common, a sizeable open area of around 128 hectares. The extensive Common is divided into three areas, bisected by tracks. The East and Middle Commons are mainly comprised of open grassland, bordered by hedgerows or scrub. The smallest area, West Common, is a mix of woodland and scrub thickets. There is also a small playing field which serves as the village green.
It is a popular area and is widely used by local people. There are two War Memorials on the common , a clock and a brick bus shelter, built as memorials to the first and second World Wars. The common was the location of the 1967 ‘Blue Man’ extraterrestrial sighting.
The unusual geology of the area, a combination of clay soil overlying chalk is home to a wide variety of plants, offering a rich habitat for a broad range of insects, birds and small mammals, the numbers of which have been declining elsewhere. Over 200 plant species, 26 species of butterfly and over 20 species of birds have been recorded on the Common. The 'clay-with-flints' grassland is of particular note. It is one of the last remaining habitats of this type in the county. The meadow grasses and flowers are a wonderful sight in the summer, and provide food and protection to a wide range of butterflies, insects and small animals.
The Skylark, which is in decline nationally, breeds in the grassland area. The air is filled with their beautiful song in spring. The eastern boundary of the Common is an ancient hedgerow dating back at least to medieval times. The Dormouse, a rare and protected species, is found in this area, one of only two sites in the county.
Download local walks - www.chilternsaonb.org/downloads/publications/StudhamCommonleaflet.pdf