Walton (North Bucks)


Description of Walton Parish from J.J. Sheahan, 1861.

This is a small parish of 757 acres, of the rateable value of £1,032. The number of its inhabitants is about 90. It is watered by the Lovat. The village, situated about 2 miles N.N.E. From Fenny Stratford, and 3.5 miles S. from Newport Pagnell, is small, but remarkably pretty. It contains two farm-houses of superior class, and a few neat cottages. The place is famous for the growth of walnuts, of which there are many hundreds of trees in a flourishing condition.

Walton Hall, the seat of Miss Pinfold, is a spacious and elegant structure, of brick, stuccoed, with a fine stone portico at the south front. After Sir Thomas Pinfold's purchase, the greater part of the Manor-house was pulled down, and the house of Mr. Gilpin's was fitted up and made the dwelling-house of the Pinfold family. In 1830, Charles Pinfold, Esq. Built the present mansion, which is surrounded by upwards of 60 acres of well wooded grounds.

The farm-house in the village, now occupied by Mr Thomas Wilson, is a large ancient building, which, in 1855, underwent a thorough restoration. It was formerly the Manor-house. The house how now a modern aspect. The gardens attached to it are planted with choice shrubs and flowers.

The Benefice is a Rectory in the patronage of the Lord Chancellor and John Green Esq. The church was divided between two Rectors; but it was agreed that there should be only one Incumbent, and that the different patrons should present alternately. The living is rated in the King's Books at £8 9s. 7d, and is worth about £250 per annum. The Rector is the Rev. George Wingate Pearse.


Notes on Wavendon


Description of Wavendon parish from J.J. Sheahan, 1861.

The parish of Wavendon includes the hamlet of Woburn Sands, and lies on the verge of the county adjoining Bedfordshire. Its area is 2,665 acres, and the population in 1851 was 935 souls. There are about 500 acres of woodland. The soil generally is a strong clay of loam; towards the hills it is sandy. The Bedford branch of the London and North Western Railway passes through a portion of the parish.

The village is on the road between Woburn and Newport Pagnell 3.75 miles N.W., and 5 miles S.S.E. From the former town. Many of the women and children are employed in the making of bone lace, and some in platting straw.

The mansion, Wavendon House, was partly rebuilt and considerably improved, after the acquisition of it by H.H. Hoare, Esq., It is now a handsome red brick structure, containing several spacious and elegant apartments. The situation is rural and retired. The approach is by a neat lodge and a carriage drive through an avenue of trees nearly half a mile in length. The pleasure grounds and shubberies are tastefully arranged. Wavendon House is now the residence of Frederick Woodbridge Esq.

The Living is a Rectory, valued in the King's Books at £26 6s 10.5d. And in the gift of H.A. Hoare, Esq., In the Clergy List its annual value is given as £843. The Rector is the Rev. Henry Burney. The advowson was severed from the manor and passed through many hands before it was purchased by the family of Hoare. The tithes were commuted in 1846.

The Rectory house was erected in 1848, at the cost of about £3,000, and is a handsome edifice in the Gothic style. The situation is delightful, and the extensive grounds are planted with the choicest shrubs and evergreens.

The school is a short distance from the church, was rebuilt in 1851 to accommodate 120 children, and is a neat building of red brick, with Bath stone finishings. About 60 children attend – eight of whom are educated and clothed for free. Here is a free library of about 350 volumes for the use of the poor. The books are chiefly of a religious character, and have been mostly contributed by the Hoare family. There is another school at Woburn Sands, at which about 80 children attend daily. IT, too, is held in a neat edifice, in which Divine Service is performed every Sunday evening. There are likewise platting schools in the parish.

The Wesleyans and the Primitive Methodists have each a chapel at Wavendon, and the former body have another chapel at Woburn Sands. At the latter place is a Friends' Meeting House, a neat but plain building erected in 1673. According to Lipscomb, one of the earliest congregations of Quakers in England, seems to have assembled in this locality - “long before a purchase was effected of the site of the present meeting house”.

There are Almshouses for four poor widows, situated near the school at Wavendon. They were erected by Sir Henry Hugh Hoare, and are neat brick buildings.


Wavendon Parish (Pop. 802)

One Daily School, endowed with lands, &c, for educating 10 boys; the master has the privilege of taking pay scholars, of which he at present has 12.

Three Sunday Schools, supported oy voluntary contributions, in one of which are 60 children, who attend the Established Church. The other two appertain to Wesleyan Methodists, and consists of about 100 children of both sexes.


Weston Underwood


'We dwell in a neat and comfortable abode, in one of the prettiest villages in the kingdom', wrote William Cowper, the poet, in 1786 having moved to the Lodge at Weston Underwood from Olney.

In the Domesday Book it is recorded as Westone and was then in the hands of the Bishop of Constance, the Earl of Morton and the Countess Judith, niece of the Conqueror, passing on to the Biduns, Peyvres and Bosuns and thence to the Olney family. Weston House belonged to the Throckmortons, a Roman Catholic family who acquired the estate through the marriage of Sir Thomas Throckmorton to Margaret, daughter and heir of Sir Robert Olney of Weston Underwood in 1446. The estate remained in the possession of the Throckmorton family until 1898 when it was bought by Lieut. Col. W. G. Bowyer. Sir Charles Throckmorton had previously acceded to the principal seat of the family at Coughton in Warwickshire and Weston House, dilapidated and decayed was pulled down in 1827. The old stables crowned with clock tower and cupola still remain and have long since been converted into living accommodation.

The wilderness through which Cowper and Mrs Unwin were able to walk, by permission of the Throckmortons is now owned and used by Mr Christopher Marler for breeding and rearing exotic birds and animals threatened in the wild. The grounds still contain the small temple, statues and pedestals with urns inscribed with lines by Cowper.

The large barn opposite the Elm Grove through which Cowper saw 'the thresher at his task' is now converted into two houses. At the entrance to the park and grounds from the village side is a large stone 17th century gateway, with piers surmounted by vases with pines, known locally as the 'Knobs', through which the road now runs to Olney.

Weston Lodge, the 17th century house where William Cowper lived from 1786-1795 looks as elegant as it did in his day. It is stone-built with 13 sash windows and three dormers in the tiled roof. It was on one of the bedroom shutters at the back of the house that he wrote the following words before leaving for East Dereham in 1795:
'Farewell, dear scenes, for ever closed to me,
Oh, for what sorrows must I now exchange ye!

In Cowper's time and all through the 19th century lacemaking was a cottage industry as in all Buckinghamshire villages. The women and children worked very long hours for little money. As the children worked at their pillows in the lace schools they chanted in sing-song voices the lace tells which helped them count the number of pins placed in an hour. Their proficiency was measured in this way. One tell sung at Weston Underwood was:
'A lad down at Weston looked over a wall,
And saw nineteen little golden girls playing at ball.
Golden girls, golden girls, will you be mine,
You shall neither wash dishes nor wait on the swine,
But sit on a cushion and sew a fine seam,
Eat white bread and butter and strawberries and cream.'

The 'golden girls' were the gold-headed pins that marked the footside of the lace. The word nineteen runs in many of the tells being the number at which counting often commenced. Bobbins too were often inscribed with names and sayings.
When the wives and children were lacemaking most of the men would be working in the fields or at the large houses in the village. Others would be working at their trades as a butcher, baker, shoemaker, carpenter, blacksmith, tailor or shopkeeper. Most villages were self-sufficient at this time.

In 1864 the population of Weston Underwood was 398, to-day it is around 190. Families are much smaller and very few people work on the land compared with a hundred years ago. Many of the smaller cottages have been enlarged by knocking two or even three into one. Twenty years ago the village consisted of many elderly people and very few children. To-day a generation later very few of the old village families remain but younger families are now moving in bringing new life to the village.

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


Available on Google Books is the full version of a book Cowper Illustrated by a series of views in or near Weston Underwood published in 1804


Weston Underwood Parish (Pop. 441)

Three Infant Schools, in which 12 boys and 18 girls are instructed at the expense of their parents.
One Daily School, containing 29 males and 7 females, endowed in 1826 by Robert Throckmorton, Esq., for educating 24 of the above number, the rest are paid for by their parents.

Two Sunday Schools, one consists of 20 males and 40 females, who attend the Established Church, the other (a Roman Catholic School), 22 males and 13 females; in both of which the children are gratuitously instructed.



Willen Parish (Pop. 98)

One Sunday School, supported by voluntary contributions, with 14 males and 8 females.




There are some interesting photographs and maps of the Wolverton Carriage Works, originally constructed for the London & North Eastern Railway.

Take a look at http://thetimechamber.co.uk/beta/sites/everything-else/wolverton-railway-works-buckinghamshire


I was born in 1894 in Wolverton where I lived until 1942.
When three years old I started school in Wolverton Infants' School. This school was then in the building which is now the Market Hall. The playground is now occupied by the Church Institute.

Very soon we were all celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria and a gentleman gave all the children in the Infants' School a silver threepenny piece.
The first moving picture I ever saw was of the funeral procession of Queen Victoria. It was shown at the August Fair at Stony Stratford.

Mabel Brown, Bradwell

In Wolverton, just before the First World War, carol singers still used to come round early on May Day morning. Small groups of children, carrying a May garland and a collecting box, called at the houses and sang,

'A bunch of May I have brought you
And at your door it stands
It's well set out and well spread about
By the work of our Lord's hands.'

The garland was often a small hoop, covered with coloured tissue paper and flowers but sometimes the carol singers pushed a decorated wooden pushchair. Even the baby in it was covered in daisy chains!
The flowers used were often cowslips and bluebells. The bunch of May was usually only in bud, as on this cold clay soil it was hardly ever in flower by 1 May.

M.G. Knight, Dunsmore

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


Wolverton Parish (Pop, 417)

One Sunday School, with 15 males and 20 females supported by Mrs. Featherstone, (commenced since 1818);

and a School in which females are taught to make lace.


Notes about Woughton on the Green


Description of Woughton-on-the-Green from Sheahan, 1861.

Area, according to local estimation, 1,191 acres; rateable value, £2,253; population, 337 souls. The soil is clay, with a gravelly sub-soil, and the surface is varied. The Grand Junction Canal, and the Bedford Branch (from Bletchley Junction) of the London and North-Western Railway, intersect the parish.

The village is large, and built in the form of an oblong square, with a " green " in the centre, in the middle of the east end of which stands the church. It is on the road between Fenny Stratford and Newport Pagnell, 2.5 miles N. of the former, and 4 miles S. from the latter town. The parish was enclosed in 1769. The river Ouse bounds the parish to the east.

The National School, erected by subscription in 1856, is a neat red brick structure, near the church. About 30 boys and girls attend.


Woughton-on-the-Green Parish (Pop. 303)

One Sunday School (commenced 1819), held in the Parish Church, and attended by 25 males and 36 females; supported by subscriptions, and collections after an annual sermon.

There are five small daily Schools, wherein 4 males and 37 females are taught to make lace and to read.


Additional information