One of the earliest references to The Mitre is on John Speed’s map of Buckingham from 1610, where it is shown next to Mitre Cottage on the corner of Bonehill Lane (renamed Mitre Street, after the pub, only in the late 19th century) and Hunter Street. The cottage itself dates from much earlier, some time around 1420. The Mitre is also shown on a Rutgers map of 1661. There are also records of the pub attracting rents for the Lord of the Manor of Gawcott and Lenborough, including a Quit Rent that was to exempt them from military service of 8d per annum.
There were at least two other public houses in this area of Buckingham, which was known as Prebend End. This signifies that the area had a priest but not a church, the income for the priest coming from the surrounding area’s farms and other businesses. The area derived some income from the pilgrimages made to St Rumbold’s Well, a holy site with a spring said to have spontaneously generated on the death of the local Saint. This can be found by following the Railway Walk from the pub westwards towards the Tingewick Road.
The pub was originally thatched – fragments of thatch were found in 2012 during renovations to the walls on the top floor. It would have stood as a detached building until it was extended sometime in the late 17th or early 18th century from the centre outwards, with the addition of the stables to the left and the small lounge with fireplace, which butts directly against Mitre Cottage with only a stud wall between them. At the same time the upper floors were also extended, the roof tiled, and the accommodation carried into the loft to make three bedrooms. A new brick frontage was added at the same time. The stables floor was uncovered in 2015, discovered to be of blue brick construction with a central runnel. The hayloft door outline and window are still visible from the ground.
In the Victoria County History of Buckinghamshire, The Mitre is described as ‘a half timber and brick house of two stories and attic, dating from the seventeenth century’.
There is an extensive entry in ‘Buckingham the Loyal and Ancient Borough’ by Douglas J. Elliot, which is now available for download.