The village name is Anglo Saxon in origin, and means 'priest wood'..
Anciently Prestwood was a piece if common land that stretched across several local parishes. The bulk of the land and the chapel in Prestwood belonged to Stoke Mandeville parish as it was once the property of the Mandeville family. The common also stretched into Hughenden, Great Hampden and Great Missenden, making a study of the history of the area very difficult.
The village has been a parish in its own right since the late Nineteenth century.