Following the Conquest in 1066, a Norman Nobleman, La Vache, selected a gentle slope a mile north of this village in Buckinghamshire as the site for his Manor House. Though altered and rebuilt by numerous successive owners, the house remains "The Vache" to this day.
During the Commonwealth, Thomas Fleetwood, Treasurer of the Mint, lived at "The Vache" with two wives and eighteen children. Fleetwood was one who signed the Execution Warrant of Charles 1. After the Restoration Charles 11 declared Fleetwood's estates forfeit.
In 1771 the Vache was purchased by Sir Hugh Palliser whose memorial stands in the 12th century Norman Church of Chalfont St. Giles.
Palliser had many distinctions, having been a Member of Parliament, Comptroller of the Navy, Lieutenant- General of Marines, Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty, Governor of Newfoundland, Admiral of the White and an Elder Brother of Trinity House. But he is better remembered today as the man who picked out Cook for high command.
"The Vache" is now the property of the National Coal Board, and is used as a training college.
Palliser must have been grief-stricken when he learned of the death of the Cook. Atop the rise, some 300 yards distant from "The Vache", Palliser erected a memorial to his friend. Here he built what appears a miniature Norman castle, or keep. It is of red brick with bands of granite chips. It stands about 20 feet square; in the centre is a four-sided memorial tablet. The inscription reads: