Geology and Vernacular Architecture
This is the geology of the Jurassic coast, spanning a period from 145 Million years Ago [MA] to 201.3 MA. An earlier layer of Oxford clay is overlain by the more recent Kimmeridge clay of the Vale of Aylesbury. Fossils, including ammonites, snails and slugs can be found in the Portland and Purbeck stone of the surrounding hills and date from around 185 million years ago, in what was then a tropical seascape. The geology of the limestone hills and clay slopes are evident in the building materials of early Quainton, in the stone and the brick. Over sixty of these buildings are listed by English Heritage as being of special national interest and are under conservation control
The Jeffery's map of 1770 shows very little evidence of woods or commons within the boundary of the parish, by this time. The enclosure map of 1839 allocates 30 acres of Quainton Wood (East) and 52 acres and 31 perches of Quainton Wood (West) to Lord Godolphin. All that remains is Finemere Woods, a remnant of a much larger royal forest, called Bernwood, that and extended across into Oxfordshire.
The Purbeck and Portland stone from the hills of Quainton has been used as a building material in many of the heritage listed buildings, as is evident in the foundations of this c15 Wealden house. The bricks are made of Kimmerage clay, cut, moulded and fired in local kilns.