Weston Turville

Weston Turville is a small village nestling under the Chiltern Hills, between Wendover and Aylesbury.
At the turn of the century the main occupation for the menfolk of the village was breeding white Aylesbury ducks for the London markets. There were ponds everywhere; the main one being in Main Street, opposite the village shops, where the bus shelter now stands and a house still remains known as 'Pond Farm'. The women and girls were engaged in the making of straw plait for the Luton hat industry.

The church of St Mary, part of it dating back to the 13 th century, has a small fragment of medieval glass including a Madonna and Child, on a brilliant blue background, the rest of the stained glass having been destroyed by Cromwell's soldiers.

Also in the church hangs the 'Will of Widow Turpin' and reads thus:

The Widow Turpin's Gift
She gave all her freehold leasehold arable land and lay ground lying and being within the Parish and Common fields of Weston in the County of Bucks with all Commons and Profit there into belonging to Mary Hockley, for the term of her natural life and no longer and if she hath any children lawfully begotten on her Body, then they too have her land and lay ground aforesaid equally divided betwixt them and for want of such issue then immediately after her decease. She gave all the aforesaid estate to the 'Poor of Weston' aforesaid for ever; and that thepverseerers of the Poor of the said Parish of Weston and their successors shall at the best rate and for the most profit they can, let all the said estate and the rents of the same shall be laid out only two shillings for their trouble, in great loaves of good and wholesome bread to be equally distributed by them to the poorest inhabitants of the aforesaid Parish by equal portions on the feast of St Michael the Arch Angel and the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The gift became due in the year 1736.

Nowadays there are no real poor in the village, but tokens for bread or flour are given to a number of elderly widows.

An epitaph in the churchyard recalls the local tragedy of two brothers: James and Frederick Bates in 1868. They were drowned when they fell through the ice on Mill Pond. It reads :-
'They sank beneath the frozen wave
None to rescue none to save
Tempted to death in a sportive play
These brothers sleep on Jesus Day.'

The Manor House was built in the early part of the 18th century and enlarged in about 1830. There is evidence of Roman occupation, as during 1855 a Roman emphora was excavated from the adjoining rectory and a fine gold Viking ring was found, now in the British Museum. There in the grounds, the motte and bailey can still be seen. The fortifications were dismantled by order of Henry II, after the 1173-1174 rebellion, but the de Turville family continued to live there until the reign of King John. The village of Weston then became known as Weston Turville.

There have been many changes over the years but Weston Turville is still a thriving delightful village to live in.

Article written by members of the Buckinghamshire Federation of Women's Institutes for the publication "The Buckinghamshire Village Book" (1987) and reproduced here with their permission