Great Woolstone

Introduction

Church: Holy Trinity

Hundred: Newport

Poor Law District: Newport Pagnell

Size (acres): 514

Easting & Northing: 487238

Grid Ref SP870380 Click to see map

Names

Names & Places

NameTypeNote
Great Woolstone PARISH Holy Trinity
Ulsiestone NAMES name for Woolstone in Domesday Book in 1086
Wooston NAMES name for Woolstone in 1586
Wulston NAMES name for Woolstone in 1526

 

Population

Population

These population figures are based on the Census results. The boundaries are those used in the particular census which may vary over time..

Note  
1801 113
1811 116
1821 108
1831 120
1841 94
1851 72
1861 71
1871 84
1881 81
1891 80
1901 45
1911 33
1921 39
1931 52
1941 N/A
1951 141
1961 151
1971 143
1981 5441
1991 11484

There was no census in 1941.

Records

Records

Parish  Church  Register  Start
Date  
End
Date  
Online
Search  
E-Mail
Search  
Publication  
Great Woolstone   Holy Trinity   Baptisms   1538   1900   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available
Great Woolstone   Holy Trinity   Marriages   1561   1903   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available
Great Woolstone   Holy Trinity   Burials   1561   1971   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available

 

Surnames

Surnames

These were extracted from our own records and presented as a guide.

PositionBefore 1700  18th Century  19th Century  Overall Surnames  
1 DUDLEY GOODMAN GOODMAN DUDLEY
2 CHEVALL ODELL LEE GOODMAN
3 ORRIS COOK ROGERS LEE
4 GILPIN ROBINSON WEBB ROGERS
5 CHADD DUDLEY MAJOR CHADD
6 PUTTNAM CRICK SMITH WEBB
7 CHEVALE CHADD ABRAHAM CHEVALL
8 CHAD PING DYTHAM GILPIN
9 GLOVER GILPIN CASHMORE SMITH
10 BLOUD OSBORN MARKHAM COOK

Description

Description of Great Woolstone, from J. J. Sheahan, 1861.

The parish of Great Woolston, or Woolston Magna, contains but 760 acres, and about 90 inhabitants. It is bounded by the Ousel rivulet The soil is clayey. The Grand Junction Canal runs through the parish. The two small villages of Great and Little Woolston are situated very near each other, on the road from Fenny Stratford to Newport Pagnell. Great Woolston, Woolstone, or Wolston, is distant 3.25 miles S. from Newport Pagnell, and 3 miles N. of Fenny Stratford. Lace is made here.

The capital Manor here is now held by W.S. Lowndes, Esq., of Whaddon, to whom a small annual quit-rent is payable. The trustees of --- Westcar, Esq., (a minor), and --- Bolding, Esq., of London, are the owners of the two farms into which nearly all the parish is divided.

The Church (Holy Trinity) is a small edifice with a bell-cote on the west gable, in which hangs one bell. It was rebuilt about twenty-five years ago by the parish, at a cost of about £1,100, and consists of a body or nave, small chancel, and south porch. The interior is neatly fitted-up with pews and open seats. The lectern, which is of oak, is finely carved to represent an eagle. The font is of Norman design, and was bought here from the ancient church of St Cuthbert, in the town of Bedford.
The rectory house, a handsome residence in the Elizabethan style of architecture, is situated near the church, and was built about seven years ago, at a cost of about £800. It is of red brick with a high pitched roof, and on the gable end is a cross of beautiful design.

Education

Great Woolstone Parish (Pop. 120)

One Sunday School (commenced 1833), with about 30 children of both sexes, supported by voluntary contributions.

ABSTRACT OF EDUCATION RETURNS, 1833.

Notes on Hardmead

Introduction

Church: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Hundred: Newport

Poor Law District: Newport Pagnell

Size (acres): 1145

Easting & Northing: 493247

Grid Ref SP930470 Click to see map

Names

Names & Places

NameTypeNote
Hardmead PARISH Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Herouldmede NAMES name for Hardmead in Domesday Book in 1086
Herulfmede NAMES name for Hardmead in Domesday Book in 1086
Horelmede NAMES name for Hardmead in Domesday Book in 1086
Astwood PLACE within the parish

 

Population

Population

These population figures are based on the Census results. The boundaries are those used in the particular census which may vary over time..

Note  
1801 45
1811 68
1821 75
1831 83
1841 83
1851 61
1861 91
1871 92
1881 92
1891 79
1901 51
1911 63
1921 66
1931 83
1941 N/A
1951 105
1961 98
1971 85
1981 91
1991 84

There was no census in 1941.

Records

Records

Parish  Church  Register  Start
Date  
End
Date  
Online
Search  
E-Mail
Search  
Publication  
Hardmead   Assumption of the BVM   Baptisms   1556   1901   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
Hardmead   Assumption of the BVM   Marriages   1576   1902   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
Hardmead   Assumption of the BVM   Burials   1556   1903   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here

 

Surnames

Surnames

These were extracted from our own records and presented as a guide.

PositionBefore 1700  18th Century  19th Century  Overall Surnames  
1 CREAKE READ HUCKLE HUCKLE
2 CATESBY ANDREWS PRICKETT ANDREWS
3 COX LORD WILDING PRICKETT
4 BONHAM BASS PRICKET READ
5 FOWLER WRIGHT KNIGHT BASS
6 SOMES HARDWICK FLUTE WILDING
7 CONN ROBERTS BASON LORD
8 CLARKE WILLIAMSON GOODRICH FOWLER
9 TAILER MEAGER FINCH WRIGHT
10 COOPER EATON WAIT COX

 

Description

Description of Hardmead from Sheahan, 1861.

The parish of Hardmead, or Hormead, contains 1,113 acres, and 61 inhabitants; and its rateable value is £1,030. According to the author of "A Treatise on Hor, or Hoar Stones, " the place appears to have derived its name from its situation, both on the verge of the old hundred of Moselai or Moulsho, and on the boundary of the county.
The village is small, and lies 5 miles N.E. from Newport Pagnell, and 4.5 miles S.E. from Olney.
The manor house stood north-west of the church, and was pulled down only a few years ago. There are traces of the moat, and fish-ponds visible. and a portion of the front wall still remains. Foundations of several houses have been discovered in the vicinity of the church. Several neat cottages, in pairs have been recently erected here; and a new road, leading to the Church and Rectory has been formed, through the liberalty of the owners of the property (the Shedden Material).
The Rectory House was erected in 1858, and is of red brick with stone dressings, in the Domestic Gothic style. It is situated near the church. In taking down the old parsonage, the mullions of the chancel windows were discovered, forming a portion of a fire-place.

Education

Hardmead Parish (Pop. 83)

One Sunday School (commenced 1823), consisting of 12 males and 6 females; the master is allowed £3 per annum by the Lord of the Manor and the Rector.

ABSTRACT OF EDUCATION RETURNS, 1833.

Lathbury

Introduction

Church: All Saints

Hundred: Newport

Poor Law District: Newport Pagnell

Size (acres): 1394

Easting & Northing: 487245

Grid Ref SP870450 Click to see map

 

Names

Names & Places

NameTypeNote
Lathbury PARISH All Saints
Late(s)berie NAMES name for Lathbury in Domesday 1086
Ernesdon Wood PLACE within the parish

 

Population

Population

These population figures are based on the Census results. The boundaries are those used in the particular census which may vary over time..

Note  
1801 189
1811 177
1821 164
1831 172
1841 127
1851 147
1861 147
1871 136
1881 121
1891 152
1901 188
1911 128
1921 157
1931 115
1941 N/A
1951 112
1961 109
1971 137
1981 124
1991 146

There was no census in 1941.

records

Records

Parish  Church  Register  Start
Date  
End
Date  
Online
Search  
E-Mail
Search  
Publication  
Lathbury   All Saints   Baptisms   1690   1812   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available
Lathbury   All Saints   Marriages   1694   1839   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available
Lathbury   All Saints   Burials   1690   1812   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available

 

Surnames

Surnames

These were extracted from our own records and presented as a guide.

PositionBefore 1700  18th Century  19th Century  Overall Surnames  
1 FREEMAN GEE ADAMS ADAMS
2 PARKER GARDINER MOBBS GEE
3 DAVIES BARKER HAYNES GARDINER
4 NEALE TARRY NEAL SMITH
5 BARKER SMITH WEST BARKER
6 HOOTON HERBERT ROSE ADKINS
7 HONYBORN PINKARD PUTT MOBBS
8 CARTER PERIAM CLARKE NEAL
9 BENNETT CURTIS ADKINS TARRY
10 SMITH ADAMS TOWNSEND PINKARD

Description

Description of Lathbury from J. J. Sheahan, 1861

Lathbury parish is bounded by the river Ouse on all sides, excepting on the N.W., where it adjoins Gayhurst. Its area is 1,294 acres; population, 147 souls; and its rateable value is £1,913. The soil is chiefly of a gravelly nature, with a limestone bottom. The village is small but neat, and lies about one mile N from Newport Pagnell.

Bunstye, in this parish, was once a place of consequence, and gave name to the ancient hundred of Bonestou.

Mansel Dawkin Mansel, Esq., who succeeded to the possession of one moiety of the manor, on the death of Jane Symes, in 1799, married Elizabeth Brown, in the some year, and was High Sheriff of the county in 1800. He rebuilt the mansion-house, where he resided until the 11th of August, 1823, when, in the 60th year of age he committed suicide, in a fit of temporary derangement. His widow died on the 25th of the same month, and both were buried at Lathbury. They had issue three sons. The chief proprietors of Lathbury at present are Lady Hood (Lady of the Manor), Colonel Long, and Lord Carington.

The manor house (Lathbury House) was rebuilt in the beginning of this century on the site of a mansion which was erected in or about the reign James I., by Sir William Andrews, Knt. It is a handsome building of stone, situated a little to the S.W. of the church, fronting the northern part of the town of Newport Pagnell; and has a handsome lawn, good gardens, shrubberies, &c. The river Ouse flows in a fine stream , and affords a pleasing object from the windows. In the grounds is a famous horse-chestnut tree, under which it was reported, two troops of horse found shelter in a storm. Mr. Andrews, son of Sir H. Andrewes, Bart., is said to have planted this tree with his own hand.

The Living is a Perpetual Curacy in the patronage of the Deans and Canons of Christ Church, Oxford, and the Incumbency of the Rev. Henry Bull. It is valued in the King’s Books at £5. 6s. 8d., and now worth about £300 per annum. The tithes were commuted in 1842. The advowson appears to have been given to the Abbey of Lavendon by the Bidun family. After the Reformation, the King granted the Rectory and advowson of the Curacy to Christ Church, Oxon. The College always grants the Incumbent a beneficial lease of the great tithes, so that the Incumbent is the Rector.

Dr. James Chelsum instituted to this living in 1780, distinguished himself as a defender of Christianity against the attacks of Gibbon, the historian, See Gentleman’s Magazine (vol lxxii.; also vols. xlvi. and lxi).

 

Education

Lathbury Parish (Pop. 172)

One Sunday School of 10 males and 9 females, who receive instruction at the expense of the parish.

ABSTRACT OF EDUCATION RETURNS, 1833.

Bradwell

Introduction

Church: St Lawrence

Hundred: Newport

Poor Law District: Newport Pagnell

Size (acres): 744

Easting & Northing: 483239

Grid Ref SP830390 Click to see map

Names

Names & Places

NameTypeNote
Bradwell PARISH St Lawrence
Bradewelle NAMES name for Bradwell in Domesday Book in 1086
Brodewelle NAMES name for Bradwell in Domesday Book in 1086
Baptist NON-CONFORMIST Bradwell Rd later North Street. First Mentioned: 1859
Independent NON-CONFORMIST First Mentioned: ?. Recorded in 1851 religious census
Methodist NON-CONFORMIST First Mentioned: 1863
Primitive Methodist NON-CONFORMIST Thompson Street. First Mentioned: 1813
Weslyan NON-CONFORMIST First Mentioned: 1839

 

Population

Population

These population figures are based on the Census results. The boundaries are those used in the particular census which may vary over time..

Note  
1801 255
1811 259
1821 271
1831 257
1841 381
1851 381
1861 1658
1871 2409
1881 2460
1891 2899
1901 3946
1911 3938
1921 3906
1931 N/A
1941 N/A
1951 3718
1961 3449
1971 3103
1981 N/A
1991 N/A

There was no census in 1941.

Records

Records

Parish  Church  Register  Start
Date  
End
Date  
Online
Search  
E-Mail
Search  
Publication  
Bradwell   St Laurence   Baptisms   1575   1901   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available
Bradwell (Old)   St Laurence   Marriages   1581   1901   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available
Bradwell   St Laurence   Burials   1578   1901   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available

 

Surnames

Surnames

These were extracted from our own records and presented as a guide.

PositionBefore 1700  18th Century  19th Century  Overall Surnames  
1 NEWMAN WILMIN WALTERS WALTERS
2 COOKE WALKER COLEY NEWMAN
3 HAMPSON COOPER JAMES COLEY
4 EARLE PARISH SEAR SMITH
5 SMITH COLEY SMITH WALKER
6 HARRIS BROWN BALDWIN JAMES
7 WINDMILL DANIEL MARKHAM WILMIN
8 FULLER TILCOCK WALTER WALTER
9 WILMIN BINYON HAWKINS BROWN
10 FOOKES PILGRIM COX SEAR

Notes

The village of Bradwell has not changed much in thel ast thirty years, but that will soon be altered when Milton Keynes gets busy.
Once we had a vicar for the Parish of Bradwell but now he has to look after Loughton and Shenley as well as Bradwell.

There were three public houses but one was closed a few years ago. The village school was filled with over forty children, but about ten years back the number was only eight, so it was closed and the children are taken by coach to New Bradwell. The school is now a very nice house.

There used to be three shops in the village. There is only one now, but luckily it is a post office so we don't have to go far for our pensions.
Our three farm houses are all empty and the land left vacant.

Evelyn Haseldine, Bradwell


How we looked forward to and enjoyed Shrove Tuesday, a half-holiday from school when we all went paper chasing over the fields. Being a church school we had another day's holiday next day, Ash Wednesday. To make sure of a good mark on school register we went to church, but the rest of the day was ours to do as we liked. The next big event in our lives was Whitsuntide, and big athletic sports took place on the Monday. The next highlight of our childhood was the annual pageant. Planning and rehearsing went on for months and every year had a different theme. We had little money and all our fun had to be made by ourselves.

Kathleen Shirley, Bradwell


A very eventful day in our lives was the Sunday School treat and several times we went for it on a barge. We boarded the boat by the bridge up the Old Bradwell road and off the poor horse would start until we got to Great Linford. When we got to our destination, Fenny Stratford, we all disembarked and went into a large field where we ran races, scrambled for sweets and had our tea. Coming back at dusk the men of the party got out and helped pull the rope so that the horse would have it a little easier.

In the winter children learned scripture for a Lord Wharton bible. This gentleman had left money in his will for these bibles for the children who could say passages of scripture by heart.

On Sunday evenings in the spring and summer we went for long walks, sometimes up the fields to Linford Wood where Milton Keynes City Centre is to be, or along the canal and down by Stanton Lane to St Peter's Church, which the Lord Bishop of Oxford has just declared redundant, and then on through the fields to Haversham Mill. I used to wonder where the underground passage was which rumour said ran from the church to Bradwell Abbey. Other times we walked along the towpath to Great Linford past the limestone quarries where parents took children who had whooping cough as it was good for them.

On an Easter Monday my parents sometimes took us to Stony Stratford to watch all the traffic coming back from Towcester Races. This was exciting for us as we never saw so much traffic the rest of the year. Most of it was horse-drawn vehicles.

On a Sunday morning the local baker used to cook the meat and Yorkshire pudding. My mother made her Yorkshire and put it in her tin, then put her meat on a stand and took it to the bake-house. There the baker gave her a metal disc with a number on it and put an identical one on the meat. At one o'clock she went back, and as he pulled them out of the oven he called the numbers out, and my mother would then claim our dinner and hurry home.

When we went to my grandmother's to stay in winter she always warmed our beds with a warming pan. It frightened me when she took the red hot embers from the fire and put them in the pan.

We had a cycling club at school and one of the teachers used to take us to places of interest such as Olney where the poet Cowper once lived. Now the Pancake Race is run there between America and England. Brickhill Woods and Woburn Park, not then open to the public, were among our favourite rides.

E.M. Toddy, Bradwell


Extracted from 'A Pattern Hundreds' (1975) and reproduced with the kind permission of the Buckinghamshire Federation of Women's Institutes

Notes

Notes on Bradwell.

Is a parish on mile south from the Wolverton station on the main line of the London and Scottish Railway, 3.75 miles south-est from Stony Stratford.

Population of Bradwell in 1871 was 2,409

Population of Bradwell in 1881 was 2,460

Population of Bradwell in 1891 was 2,899

Population of Bradwell in 1901 was 3,946

Population of Bradwell in 1921 was 578, and New Bradwell was 3,751

New Bradwell was an ecclesiastical parish formed 31 March 1919, and annexed to Stantonbury.

Education

Bradwell Parish (Pop. 257)

Two Daily Schools, containing 20 males and 4 females, one of which is endowed with £5 per annum by the Rev. James Hume, a former Vicar, for which 6 poor boys receive instruction; all the rest are paid for by their parents.

One Sunday School, in which 15 males and 19 females are gratuitously instructed;

Also a small School, in which about 12 females are taught lace-making.

ABSTRACT OF EDUCATION RETURNS, 1833.

Bow Brickhill

Introduction

Church: All Saints

Hundred: Newport

Poor Law District: Newport Pagnell

Size (acres):

Easting & Northing: 490234

Grid Ref SP900340 Click to see map

Names

Names & Places

NameTypeNote
Bow Brickhill PARISH All Saints
Bobrykehill NAMES name for Bow Brickhill in 1526
Bolebrykehill NAMES name for Bow Brickhill in 1535
Boobrikhill NAMES name for Bow Brickhill in 1542
Bowbrikehill NAMES name for Bow Brickhill in 1535
Brichell(e) NAMES name for Bow Brickhill in Domesday Book in 1086
Independent & Baptist NON-CONFORMIST First Mentioned: 1798
Methodist NON-CONFORMIST First Mentioned: 1840. Rbuilt 1879
Primitive Methodist NON-CONFORMIST First Mentioned: 1861
Caldecot PLACE within the parish
Dropshort PLACE within the parish

 

Records

Records

Parish  Church  Register  Start
Date  
End
Date  
Online
Search  
E-Mail
Search  
Publication  
Bow Brickhill   All Saints   Baptisms   1600   1909   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available
Bow Brickhill   All Saints   Marriages   1604   1911   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available
Bow Brickhill   All Saints   Burials   1600   1903   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available

 

Surnames

Surnames

These were extracted from our own records and presented as a guide.

PositionBefore 1700  18th Century  19th Century  Overall Surnames  
1 COOKE COOK BARDEN COOKE
2 WHITE COOKE KENT COOK
3 CHEVALL SMITH WEST BARDEN
4 WALTON CLARK CLARKE KENT
5 BRIGHTWELL CLARKE YATES CLARKE
6 COOK WALTON COOK SMITH
7 WALTER WHITE HALL CLARK
8 WRIGHT FARR MUNDAY WEST
9 DAVIS HORE CLARK WHITE
10 COLES COWLEY BENBOW WALTON

 

Description

A description from 1931 and other notes

 Bow Brickhill is a scattered village and parish, with a motor halt on the Bletchley and Bedford section of the London, Midland and Scottish railway; it is 2.5 miles from Fenny Stratford station on the same line and 7 south from Newport Pagnell in the Buckingham Division of the county.

The area is 1,843 acres of land and 5 of water; the population in 1861 was 591; and in 1921 422. Both figures including the hamlet of Caldecotte.

Sheahan reports that many of the women and children make lace and plat straw.

Notes

 
'Little Brickhill, Great Brickhill,
Brickhill with a Bow
These three Brickhills
 Stand all in a row.'



As this old rhyme explains, our village straddles a steep hillside and sprawls along three lower roads. At the eastern end, All Saints Church dominates the top of the hill. A mile away westwards, and 500 feet below, a tiny railway halt ends the main road through the village. The railway, between Bedford and Bletchley, opened in 1846 and brought employment for many villagers. Names on ancient maps  Sheep Lane, Hogstye End, Back Woods, Blind Pond Field, depict a mainly rural area. Other employment was in the extensive woodlands bordering the church and owned by the Duke of Bedford. Nowadays areas of these woodlands have been cleared and are used for golf, including important events such as we Dunhill Masters.

Dick Turpin is supposed to have galloped in the area, and an old legend tells of a phantom horse near the river, in the valley. Another colourful legend involves the Blind Pond on the north side of the village. As children we were told a richly-jewelled lady with coach-and-four had galloped down to the pond, and such were the depths she was still travelling downwards! It certainly ensured we children never ventured near the pond although we often passed it to walk in the beautiful bluebell woods.

Visitors who brought great pleasure, earlier this century during the summer months, were the Westminster Choir Boys. They came to camp in old railway carriages placed on the south side of the hill. Dr Sidney Nicholson, a village resident who founded the Royal School of Music in 1927, was responsible for these visits. On fine summer evenings we would listen with delight as they sang around their camp fire, the voices floating around the village with a purity of sound not normally heard from the village church choir! An earlier choir was made famous in 1847 when the artist Thomas Webster, staying in nearby Little Brickhill with his sisters, exhibited A Village Choir at the Royal Academy. It depicts 16 adults and 5 children singing in the choir gallery (since demolished) of our church and dominated by a central figure conducting the singers and instrumentalists. Descendants of the choir still live in the village. The picture is now in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

The hill is at the end of a greensand escarpment where stone was once quarried for building. An old document exists which confirms permission for 'stone to be dug from these stone pits at l/6d per yard'. A recent botanical survey of Buckinghamshire churchyards showed ours to be one of the most interesting. This is mainly due to the light sandy soils allowing unusual plants to grow. The lovely wild daffodil is one of the most choice species. It is known locally as the Lent Lily, because, despite the changing date of Easter, it always flowers then. At the bottom of the hill the sands mingle with the stiff clays of the vale.

The Domesday Survey of 1086 records the village as a small rural settlement which the Normans gave to Walter Giffard. 900 years later, while still enjoying rural life, we can savour the technical advantages of an expanding city on our doorstep. Such a promising future built on a rich heritage of the past, augurs well for Bow Brickhill.

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

Education

Bow Brickhill Parish (Pop. 475)

One Daily School, containing from 8 to 12 children; the mistress of which is paid £5 per annum by the minister and churchwardens, arising from Mr. Perrott's bequest.

Two Sunday Schools, respectively consisting of 70 and 46 children; attached to Wesleyan Methodists and other Dissenters, by whom they are supported.

ABSTRACT OF EDUCATION RETURNS, 1833.

 

 

Bletchley

Introduction

Church: St Mary

Hundred: Newport

Poor Law District: Newport Pagnell

Size (acres):

Easting & Northing: 486234

Grid Ref SP860340 Click to see map

Names

Names & Places

NameTypeNote
Bletchley PARISH St Mary
Methodist NON-CONFORMIST Water Eaton. First Mentioned: 1840
Weslyan NON-CONFORMIST Mill Road, Water Eaton. First Mentioned: 1830
Bletchley Park PLACE within the parish

Population

Population

These population figures are based on the Census results. The boundaries are those used in the particular census which may vary over time..

Note Inc Fenny Stratford
1801 824
1811 916
1821 884
1831 1011
1841 1183
1851 1303
1861 1416
1871 1619
1881 2184
1891 3070
1901 4068
1911 4542
1921 4912
1931 5468
1941 N/A
1951 10919
1961 17095
1971 30627
1981 N/A
1991 N/A

There was no census in 1941.

Records

Records

Parish  Church  Register  Start
Date  
End
Date  
Online
Search  
E-Mail
Search  
Publication  
Bletchley   St Mary   Baptisms   1575   1901   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available
Bletchley   St Mary   Marriages   1577   1901   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available
Bletchley   St Mary   Burials   1575   1901   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available

 

Surnames

Surnames

These were extracted from our own records and presented as a guide.

PositionBefore 1700  18th Century  19th Century  Overall Surnames  
1 NORMAN DANIEL GOODMAN GOODMAN
2 KINGE GOODMAN SEAR SMITH
3 UNDERWOOD EMERSON BOWLER SEAR
4 PHILLIPS BILLINGTON PERRY COOKE
5 PURSILL COOKE JONES NORMAN
6 FELLOW LANE JAMES BOWLER
7 WALDUCK UNDERWOOD TOOTH UNDERWOOD
8 LANE SMITH SMITH LANE
9 PHILLIP GRACE CLARKE DANIEL
10 CHAPMAN ALLEN COOKE KING

 

Notes

Water Eaton village has seen many changes over the past 50 years. It stood apart from both Bletchley and Fenny Stratford and was only approached by Water Eaton Road and Manor Road which were mere country lanes with high hedges and trees on either side.


Water Eaton still only boasts one public house - the Plough. The original Plough was a small slated building together with several outbuildings. Alongside was the village pond, now vanished. Opposite was the village green, which still remains, but is no longer encircled by a hedge.

Coronation Hall, adjacent to the green was built on the site of the old village school which stood until the 1920s. The school house still remains joining the hall. Coronation Hall too has seen many changes. It served as a billet for the Army in the Second World War. Today it plays host to many social functions.
There are still old cottages remaining in Mill Road. Four of them are elegantly thatched and preserved, and are listed buildings. The village pump was situated in Mill Road and standing proudly on the corner was the big old hollow oak tree. Oh! what a delight that was for the children. Sadly both the oak tree and the pump have gone.

The canal still continues its course. Once it was a hive of activity. Barges regularly used the wharf for loading and unloading their cargo. Modern bungalows with gardens stretching to the canal occupy this site. Boats are moored alongside, signs of a more affluent age. Pleasure cruises are now a feature of the canal, as are pleasant walks along the tow path where the fishermen wait patiently for the fish to bite.

Over the canal bridge is Water Eaton Mill. Years ago this was in regular use with water flowing into the mill stream. It served as the local pleasure and leisure area. Children happily paddled and bathed and many took their first swimming lessons there. Alas! It has been allowed to dry up and weeds and undergrowth have taken over.

Since the Second World War housing estates have been erected. The largest is the Lakes Estate covering a wide area of what was once lush green fields with cows quietly grazing. With more housing there has been an increase in population and in volume of traffic. There still remains a part of Water Eaton very much akin to a village, its identity not lost, although it now joins Bletchley and Fenny Stratford and is incorporated within the designated area of the new city of Milton Keynes.

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

Description

Description of Bletchley, from J. J. Sheahan, 1861.

Bletchley parish contains 3,150 acres whereof 1,180 form the township of Bletchley, and 1,040 the hamlet of Water Eaton. The population of the township in 1851 was 443; and that of the hamlet 241 souls. The soil is clay or loam. The parish is intersected by the London and Northern Western Railway, of the Bletchley and Fenny Stratford station is situated here.

The village, which stands 1.5 mile W, by S. from Fenny Stratford, is scattered and mean looking - consisting of poor thatched cottages. It is in two sections, called "the green," and "the town," which are nearly half a mile apart. The parish is remarkable for the longevity of inhabitants. Pillow lace is made here. Bletchley is a polling place at the country elections.

Notes

By far the best known family in Bletchley when we Bletchley were young was the Leon family.

Herbert Samuel Leon came from Hamburg where he was a banker. He bought a farm not far from the railway station and gradually built it up into a fine estate of several hundred acres. It was called Bletchley Park and the farmstead was replaced by a magnificent mansion. This still stands and houses the Post Office Training School. The size of the place can be judged by the fact that he employed two hundred men, forty of whom were gardeners. Eight men were employed solely in attending the two orchid houses, two men being always 'on the wheel' which meant that two men were on duty all night all the year round to ensure the exact temperatures being maintained. I know this is correct because I was once courted by one of these young men.

Mr Leon stood for Parliament as a Liberal and for many years represented this constituency. For his services he was knighted and dropped his familiar name of Sammy to become Sir Herbert Leon. With Lady Leon he did a great deal of social work in Bletchley, visiting the sick and needy, donating playing fields and recreation grounds, housing their employees and generally looking after their welfare.

One year there was a huge Liberal demonstration at Bletchley Park with speakers of national repute, sports of all kinds, horse-jumping and fireworks. This was the forerunner of the Bletchley August Show on Bank Holiday Monday which became nationally famous. Special trains were run and people came in by foot, bicycle, pony trap and on horseback. My uncle came from Shrewsbury every year to join forces with my father in showing fruit and vegetables of all kinds, for which they gained many prizes. There were a tennis tournament, flower show, sheep-dog trials, horse-jumping, a fun-fair, athletics of all kinds, tugs-of-war, cycling, floodlit dancing, a brass band playing throughout the day and finally a gigantic firework display.

There were two main entrances to the Park, both guarded by lodges. The lower drive wound around the grounds, passed the sports pavilion, cricket pitch and tennis courts and coppices before joining the main drive. Sometimes one could see through the wrought-iron gates in the distance in front of the mansion, a landau driven by a coachman in a top hat and drawn by magnificent horses, bearing inside a dignified handsome couple, Sir Herbert and Lady Leon.

One thing Sir Herbert hated was the sound of the church bells. He tried many times to get the ringing stopped but the rector, a strong character, formidable even to those of his flock who absented themselves from church, was adamant: the church had been there over seven hundred years before Sir Herbert. Only as he lay on his death bed did the rector grant him his request.

My father was shepherd and butcher to Sir Herbert and I had a happy childhood on this estate. Now all that is recognizable from the old days is the mansion itself, the lake in front of it, the sports pavilion now used as a Music Centre and the upper lodge. Everything else has gone.

Amy Constance Knill, Ethel Houldridge and Eliza Gladwin,


In 1884 I started school. I had to take twopence a week while I was in the infants' room and fourpence a week when older.
There were only two rooms, one for the infants and one for the rest where two teachers taught at the same time.
In the infants' room we sat on a gallery—a tiered platform—the new children on the bottom tier, the others sitting higher up, according to their age. When you reached the highest tier of the gallery you were ready to go into the big room.

Amy Constance Knill

I am 97 years old but I remember vividly my grandfather refusing to leave the Old Swan which he had kept for sixty years. The thatched roof was being pulled down about him before he was finally persuaded to quit. He had never had a case in court the whole time he'd been there. He was a gentle man, whilst my grandmother was a fierce woman, quite able to carry on while my grandfather was away for days at a time with his drill sowing the farmers' seeds.

During Bletchley Feast the Swan was open day and night and though the fairground people were often rowdy, my grandparents were always able to cope.

Railway men coming off the night shift would call for a drink before going home to breakfast. Often my grandfather was still trying, at 2 pm, to persuade them to go home to sleep for a few hours before their next turn of duty. There were no set opening hours in .those days. Whenever someone demanded drink or food it had to be served.

The Swan was pulled down and a red brick monstrosity erected in its place.
The rival public house, a wattle and daub thatched cottage, the Shoulder of Mutton, was situated at the village crossroads. and managed to survive until ten years ago. This house being on the main highway from Buckingham to Fenny Stratford had more casual travellers than the Swan which was set back round the corner from the crossroads.

Eliza Gladwin

 

Bletchley always had an abundance of water. Almost every field had its pond, every cottage its well and the presence of springs could be detected by the streams of water ever running out of banks. This plentiful supply often caused severe flooding in the rainy season. One man's death is partly attributable to excess of water. Being a farmer, he went to market once a week at Fenny Stratford by pony and trap. One particularly wet and stormy night the pony took the last bend in the road at the bottom of a long steady hill too sharply. The trap tipped over, throwing its occupant into the full ditch. By the time he was found, he was drowned. Ever since the spot has been known as 'Mobb's corner'.
Duck Lane was always flooded regularly as it was in the lowest lying part of the village. As the name suggests ducks were to be found on the pond there. School Lane also boasted a pond on which the scholars used to skate and slide on their way to school. High hedges along this narrow lane made ideal courting territory.
Church Lane was the only other road in the parish apart from the narrow road which led out of the village at the cross roads to Newton Longville and another to Shenley.

The hedgerows were alive with bird life, small mammals and insects of every kind. The verges contained every species of wild flower imaginable. Today—hundreds and hundreds of council estate houses! No yellowhammers flitting about, no nightingales filling the air with sweetness.

Ivy Fisher, Amy Constance Knill and Laura May Morris,



Bletchley Station has always been of great importance since it was constructed. It was the junction for the Oxford and Cambridge branch lines as well as being the main through line from Euston to Scotland. This was not always so for at one time it was the end of the line. Passengers had to alight at Denbigh bridge just beyond the station, board the stage coach at the Denbigh Inn and proceed along Watling Street to the next railway station—Rugby. There is a plaque on the side of the bridge to commemorate this phemom-enon.

The actual approach to the station covered a large area, with livery stables at one side nearest the main road. Huge horses were used to shunt trucks and carriages about, as almost all goods were transported by rail, and the horses used for drawing the wagons were also kept here. One could hire a horse and carriage from these stables, too. Bricks from Newton Longville were brought by horse and cart and stacked into trucks standing in the sidings at the goods yard.

Bletchley, being in the heart of the Whaddon Chase Hunt country, was the station to which hunters and horses travelled. Two huge mounting blocks stood at the main entrance to the station and were there until the recent electrification of the line and structural alteration of the station approach. Stabling on a large scale was provided by Deacon's stables opposite the station. Horses were left here for the season and tended by resident grooms. This system remained in operation until the 1914-18 war when the stables were requisitioned as a timber supply yard and manned by prisoners of war.

Sir Herbert Leon had a horse trough erected at the entrance to the station approach and it was there for many years after horses had disappeared from the general scene.
Ivy Fisher and Gertrude Collins, Old Bletchley

Bletchley Feast was always held on the first Saturday after the seventh of September. The village came alive for this very important social occasion for everyone went for the fun.

It was held on the village green, Three Tree Square as it was called because of the three large elms which grew there. Stalls of all kinds were put up around the green while the funfair had the centre site. The stall I liked best was the brandy snap stall—never were such delicious brandy snaps!

Amy Constance Knill


One of the highlights of our childhood was when the hunters and hounds met at Three Tree Square. Around the green small thatched cottages stood, a public house called the Shoulder of Mutton and a farm known as Manor Farm.
The pink coats, white breeches of the men, the long black side-saddle skirts of the women, the highly polished boots, the shiny top hats, the well-groomed beautiful horses, the friendly but eager-to-be-away hounds, all made a never-to-be forgotten picture. Everyone who possibly could followed as long as they were able, on foot or on bicycles.
My brothers ran miles, opening and shutting gates to earn some money.

Ethel Houldridge

Sunday really was a day of rest and worship. No work was done except the bare essentials. Every member of the household went to church and chapel at least once a day and some went three times.

A certain amount of slackness was creeping into this strict custom by the time I was old enough to be taken to church, possibly because the First World War was drawing to its conclusion and many things never returned to what they had been before 1914. My grandmother used to relate how the rector would be sure to visit during the week any member of his flock who had failed to appear at church on Sunday—and woe betide him or her if no valid excuse was forthcoming. There was no backsliding in his day.

He was able to keep this paternal eye upon his children because Bletchley was a small village of one hundred houses until about sixty-five to seventy years ago. So the rector's task of knowing everyone would not have been difficult.

Ivy Fisher


My father came to Bletchley to be cowman to Lord Dalmeny, now Lord Rosebery, who was then living at the Grange. After years of hard work, one day Lord Dalmeny accused my father of not looking after the cows properly and said that the quality of the milk was very much below standard. My father was a very conscientious worker and this riled him so much that he said he'd leave as he wasn't giving satisfaction. Of course, we had to come out of the farm cottage and he got a job at the brickworks, digging clay for the bricks which were all hand made in those days. For this he was paid sixpence an hour.

Not long after he started this new job, Lord Dalmeny came and begged him to go back as cowman because he had found out that the cook was skimming the milk, making butter and sending it home to her relatives in Ireland. But my father refused, saying that if Lord Dalmeny could not take his word, then he was not the boss for him!!

Monica Savage, Old Bletchley

In 1880 there was only one tiny shop in the village. In fact it was really the front parlour of a thatched cottage used as a general store. Mrs Chandler looked after the customers while her husband was away doing his job as postman. Although Bletchley was such a small village at that time, this was a full time job for him because he had to walk to Whaddon and Newton Longville if there were mail for these places. Each is a good three miles distant in opposite directions from each other, and the only means of transport then was on foot. If fine and dry he could walk across the fields to Whaddon, thus shortening his journey by a mile.

The cobbler lived in Yew Tree Cottage in Church Lane. As there was no shoe shop we had our shoes made for us—and we had to take good care of them.
In Duck Lane lived a candle-maker. His trade used to stink to high heaven. On Sundays he preached in the little chapel, next door to his cottage. It held twenty people.

A chimney sweep lived in the same row of cottages. He was nearly always drunk and one never knew whether he would turn up to sweep the chimney on the day arranged—or next day, or a week after. He worked in his spare time as odd job man at the two public houses.

Amy Constance Knill, Gertrude Collins and George Chandler, Old Bletchley

My father, John Meager, and my grandfather and great-grandfather all followed a trade which has completely disappeared—that of wheelwright. Even before my father's early death in 1936 things were changing drastically and he was fast becoming a builder of houses instead of farm carts and implements.

But I can remember quite clearly the lay-out of all the buildings. The massive barn with its great timbered beams was the wheelwright's shop. All along one side were windows underneath which were the wheelwrights' benches; racks of tools at eye-level above the benches were kept in perfect order, everything in its proper place. Each man had his own tools, and no-one dared to touch them. Across the shop was the turning lathe with its deep pit beneath for shavings.
A door out of this barn led into a long dark shed which housed the timber, great long planks of various woods, and this in turn led into another barn which had a loft above where hay was kept for the horses beneath.

At the top end of the wheelwright's shop another door led into the blacksmith's shop. The floor of the working end was cobbled but the end where the horses were tethered to be shod was made of long, well-worn wooden planks.

Besides horse-shoes the blacksmith had to make tyres for the wheels made in the main shop. When a wheel was ready for its tyre six or seven men were pressed into action to 'shut' the tyre into place. Great speed and skill was needed for this vital operation for tyres had to fit and not be liable to 'open'.
Besides these larger things, the blacksmith could make small objects such as door-hinges, window fasteners and gate catches; and besides wheels and carts, the wheelwrights made barrows, gates, candlesticks, stools, tables, cupboards, wooden toys, in fact almost anything that was made of wood. When completed all these things were transferred to the paint shops.

Beyond all these buildings stretched the fields and the main orchard with its massive walnut tree which gave its name to the new house, built in 1919, Walnut Tree Cottage.

The skills which were in such great demand a hundred years ago and for which the 'Meagers' were famed, have been lost along the road of progress.

Ivy Fisher

Extracted from 'A Pattern Hundreds' (1975) and reproduced with the kind permission of the Buckinghamshire Federation of Women's Institutes

Education

Bletchley Parish (Pop. 376)

One Sunday School, consisting of about 20 children, supported by the Rector and P. P. Duncombe, Esquire.

Fenny Stratford Chapelry (Pop. 635)

One Daily National School (lately re-commenced), containing about 60 children, partly supported by subscription, and partly by small payments from the children.

One Boarding School, in which about 15 children are educated at the expense of their parents.

Two Sunday Schools, appertaining to Baptists and Methodists, wherein 95 males and 115 females receive gratuitous instruction.

Also several small Schools, in which children are taught to make lace.

Water Eaton Township (Pop. 243.)

One Sunday School (commenced 1832), consisting of 11 males and 12 females, supported by a dissenting congregation.

ABSTRACT OF EDUCATION RETURNS, 1833.

Notes on Lavendon

Description

Description of Lavendon from J. J. Sheahan, 1861

The parish of Lavendon is situated in the extreme N.E. angle of the county, and is bounded on the north of Northamptonshire, and on the east by Bedfordshire. Its area is 2.320 acres; population, 769; and rateable value, £3,642 The soil is clay and loam; the subsoil gravel and limestone.

The village is large, and lies on low ground, 3 miles N.E. from Olney. It was formerly a market town; and a small fair is still held here on the second Tuesday before Easter. Pillow lace is made here.

Lavendon Abbey. This house of Premonstration Canons was founded in the reign of King Henry II., by John de Bidun, a Baron, who endowed it with lands in Lavendon, etc. The charter of foundation is preserved in the Monasticon. The monastery was dedicated in honour of St. John Baptist, and the seal of the Abbey exhibited a representation of the Baptism of Our Saviour by the Baptist. Amongst the early benefactors of the Abbey was Randulph, Earl of Chester. King Henry III. confirmed the charter, benefactions, and privileges of the house. At the Dissolution, in the time of King Henry VIII., the convent possessed lands, rents, &c., in various parishes, valued at £91 8s. 3.5d., and in clear receipts to £79 13s. 8d. When the Abbey was suppressed, the community consisted of 11 canons, whereof 9 were priests, and 2 novices. The whole was then in a decayed state. No vestige of the conventual buildings remain. Grange, or Manor House of the Abbey Manor, situated about half a mile from the parish church, occupies their site. The following names of the Abbots only have been preserved: - Augustin, in 1236; Jordan, in 1254 and 1271; John de Lathbury, elected in 1312; Robert Helmeden, occurs in 1478 and 1488; and William Curlew, who governed until 1500. 

The living is a Rectory, with that of Cold Brayfield annexed, valued in the King’s Books at £6, and now worth about £270. The church belonged to the Abbey of Lavendon until that establishment was suppressed. The patronage was purchased of the Earl of Gainsborough by the present Rector, the Rev. William Tomkins.

According to the Registers, the plague raged here with great violence, in 1665; the number of burials in that year being 66, whilst in 1664 no burial took place, and the average of the seven preceding years was only ten. 

The Rectory House, a good stone building, was erected in 1839 by the present Rector. It is in a pleasant situation on the south side of the church, in tastefully laid out grounds. The schools is a neat and commodious building erected in 1853.

The rents of about nine acres of “Church Lands” are applied to the repairs to the church. This is the benefaction of some person or persons at present unknown.

Education

Lavendon Parish (Pop. 664)

One Daily School (commenced 1833), towards the support of which the parish allows the master 2 s. per week; this School is attended by about 60 children of both sexes.

Two Sunday Schools, supported by voluntary contributions; in one are 80 children, who attend the Established Church; the other appertains to Dissenters, and consists of about 60 children.

ABSTRACT OF EDUCATION RETURNS, 1833.

 

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