Dorney

Introduction

Dorney Parish

Church: St James

Hundred: Burnham

Poor Law District: Eton

Size (acres): 1560

Easting & Northing: 493179

Grid Ref SU930790 Click to see map

Names

Name & Places

NameTypeNote
Dorney PARISH St James
Dornei NAMES name for Dorney in Domesday Book in 1086
Jekingham NAMES name for Hicknaham in 1826
Primitive Methodist NON-CONFORMIST First Mentioned: ?. Recorded in 1851 religious census
Hicknaham 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 190
1811 247
1821 279
1831 268
1841 324
1851 355
1861 367
1871 374
1881 319
1891 401
1901 358
1911 262
1921 273
1931 398
1941 N/A
1951 660
1961 805
1971 835
1981 766
1991 734

There was no census in 1941.

Records

Records

Parish  Church  Register  Start
Date  
End
Date  
Online
Search  
E-Mail
Search  
Publication  
Dorney   St James   Baptisms   1760   1903   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available
Dorney   St James   Marriages   1540   1837   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available
Dorney   St James   Marriages   1837   1909   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
click here
 
Not available
Dorney   St James   Burials   1726   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 CARTER SEDDING BUNCE BUNCE
2 NORRIS WEBB WHITE WHITE
3 FEILD STEVENS MIDDLETON MIDDLETON
4 FINCH PALMER HAWKINS DELL
5 GOLDWYN COX NORTH SEDDING
6 FOSTER DELL NEWELL MARTIN
7 WEBBE MASON MARTIN WALKER
8 WEBB MIDDLETON WALKER PALMER
9 HOW WALKER TARRANT PERRYMAN
10 COXE GIRDEN SHRIMPTON HAWKINS

 

Description

Description of Dorney from Sheahan, 1861.

Dorney parish contains 1,550 acres, and 266 inhabitants. Its rateable value is £2,306. The parish is separated from Berkshire by the river Thames. The scenery is generally pleasing, and in many parts picturesque. The village is small and scattered, and stands 3 miles N.W. from Windsor, and 7 miles W.N.W. from Colnbrook.

Sir James Palmer, Knt. bought 1,600 acres of land and the Manor of Dorney Court, or Doveny-cum-Boveney, The maonor has been in the Palmer Family ever since, the Rev. Henry Palmer is the present Lord of Dorney. The manor is held by a fee-farm rent of £3 14s. 6d, payable annually to the Crown. The first manorial Court-Roll bears the date of 1515, the Lord of the Manor at the time being Richard Hyll or Hill.

Dorney Court is the seat of Rev. Henry Palmer. By whom, or when the house was erected is not known. At Strawberry Hill there is an original picture, of what appears to be the east front of the mansion about 1670, representing King Charles II. receiving the first pineapple cultivated in England, from Rose, the gardener at Dorney Court.

The Church (St James) stands close to the back of the mansion, and appears to have been much altered. It is a small building, consisting of a nave and chancel, with a small aisle on the north side of the latter, and a handsome quadrangular tower of brick, with stone parapets, the west end containing four bells. The windows, for a country church, are handsome: they were inserted at the cost of the late John Palmer, Esq., about 1840. The Vicarage House has been enlarged at various periods. In the time of James I. it is described in an old terrier as &quot:two bays vaulted over." Since then it has been much improved, and it is now a commodious residence. The school, which is supported by Mrs. Palmer, is held in a house belonging to the manorial estate.

 

Notes

In the very south of the county lies the village of Dorney, bounded by the river Thames, which used to flood the surrounding farmlands, turing it into an island. The manor of Dorney is named in the Domesday Book and was famous for its honey — hence the derivation of its name from the Saxon 'Island of Bees'.


Dorney is three miles from Eton, and approaching from that direction you must first cross Dorney Common, carefully avoiding the cows, whose grazing rights go back to feudal times. The Common is now enclosed by cattle grids, but in the 1920s there were gates, opened for passing traffic by Mr Tugwood, resplendent in a cutaway coat and gaiters. He received a small wage, but made it clear that tips were welcome. There is a tradition that Queen Victoria's carriage once became stuck in a deep pool known as Lot's Hole, and she had to shelter in a cottage.

At the end of the village street is the main entrance to Dorney Court, the beautifully-preserved Tudor manor house, opened to the public in 1981, which receives visitors from all over the world. There has been a house here since before the Conquest, and the present building dates from 1510. It was acquired by Sir James Palmer in 1600, and handed down from father to son ever since. The Great Hall, where the Manor Court was held, contains portraits of twelve generations. Sir James was Chancellor of the Garter to Charles I, and his son Sir Philip was a Colonel in the Royalist army, and cupbearer to Charles II. Philip's brother Roger was the husband of the notorious Lady Barbara Palmer, Countess of Castlemaine, the favourite of the King.

One of the bedrooms at Dorney Court was said to be haunted by a 'Grey Lady', but she has since been exorcised and is seen no more. Today the family still farm the surrounding area, and have developed a new breed of sheep.

Behind the house stands the parish church of St James the Less with its red brick tower. The church is 13 th century, but traces of an earlier Saxon window and door can be seen. The large vicarage nearby is now used by the Eton-Dorney Project, begun when the popular Roger Royle was vicar, to provide holidays for underprivileged children, with Eton boys and local people as helpers.

Across the motorway, a winding old road leads to Huntercombe Manor and Burnham Abbey, both ancient sites still in use today. The nuns were turned out of the Abbey by Henry VIII, but the building survived and was re-consecrated in 1915 to become the home of an Anglican order. The farmhouse of the Abbey became a private house named The Chauntry, and was the scene of a horrifying murder in 1853. The owner came home one night to find bloodstains in the hall and the mangled remains of his housekeeper upstairs. She had been battered to death by the groom, Hatto, after a disagreement, and the murderer was duly tried and hanged. Not surprisingly, this house is also said to be haunted.

The old road, known as Marsh Lane, winds the other way towards Dorney Reach. One of the bends, called Climo's Corner, was the site of the forge where the village blacksmith carried on his trade. At Dorney Reach many new houses were built this century leading down to a beautiful stretch of the river. The school and Village Hall are the centre of activity here.
The building of the M4 brought this area with a jolt into the second half of the 20th century, but has made it an attractive base for television personalities and many commuters to London. As the traffic roars past, how many travellers realise the wealth of history hidden among the leafy lanes of Dorney?

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


Dorney Parish (Pop. 268)

Two Daily Schools,
one (commenced 1826) contains 20 males and 30 females ;
the other (commenced 1827), 17 of both sexes; supported by subscription and small payments from the children.

Two Sunday Schools,
one with 22 males and 25 females (commenced 1831), who attend the Established Church;
the other appertains to Dissenters (commenced 1832), and consists of 10 males and 33 females; in the Sunday Schools the children are gratuitously instructed, and include nearly all that attend the Day Schools.

ABSTRACT OF EDUCATION RETURNS, 1833.