Church: St James the Great

Hundred: Newport

Poor Law District: Newport Pagnell

Size (acres): 5801

Easting & Northing: 480246

Grid Ref SP800460 Click to see map


Names & Places

Hanslope PARISH St James the Great
Hammescle NAMES name for Hanslope in Domesday Book 1086
Hans(e)loppe NAMES name of Hanslope in 1566
Hanslapp NAMES name of Hanslope in 1626
Tatnalle NAMES name of Tathall End in 1535
Tattle End NAMES name of Tathall End in 1766
Totnall NAMES name of Tathall End in 1539
Tottnall End NAMES name of Tathall End in 1616
Baptist NON-CONFORMIST Gold Street. First Mentioned: 1809. Later used by Brethren
Baptist NON-CONFORMIST Long Street. First Mentioned: 1845
Weslyan NON-CONFORMIST First Mentioned: 1828
Blaney PLACE within the parish
Bullington End PLACE within the parish
Hungate End PLACE within the parish
Lincoln Lodge PLACE within the parish
Pindon End PLACE within the parish
Stocking Green PLACE within the parish
Tathall End PLACE within the parish




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

1801 1289
1811 1345
1821 1479
1831 1623
1841 1553
1851 1604
1861 1792
1871 1726
1881 1584
1891 1489
1901 1424
1911 1398
1921 1292
1931 1161
1941 N/A
1951 1092
1961 1032
1971 1435
1981 2245
1991 2197

There was no census in 1941.



Parish  Church  Register  Start
Hanslope   St James the Great   Baptisms   1893   1909   Yes,
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Not available
Hanslope   St James the Great   Baptisms   1663   1799   Yes,
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Not available
Hanslope   St James the Great   Baptisms   1800   1816   Yes,
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Not available
Hanslope   St James the Great   Marriages   1575   1909   Yes,
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Not available
Hanslope   St James the Great   Burials   1663   1910   Yes,
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Not available




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

PositionBefore 1700  18th Century  19th Century  Overall Surnames  



Hanslope is situated in the north of the county bordering Northamptonshire on three sides. It is sandwiched between the Ml motorway and the main line railway from London to Scotland. The Grand Union Canal is just outside the parish.
The church is a noted landmark having one of the finest steeples in Bucks. Built in 1250 on a high ridge, it is said that seven surrounding counties can be seen from the battlements.

The beautiful octagonal spire of Ketton Stone is 186 feet high, although the original was some 205 feet. This was destroyed by lightning in 1804. The weathervane on top is a model of a whippet type dog with an arrow through its paw. It was given to the village by a member of the Watts family, formerly squires of the Manor, whose life was saved by such a dog while serving in India.

Buried in the churchyard is a prize fighter named Alexander McKay, a native of Glasgow who died in 1830 aged 26 years after fighting Simon Bryne in Salcey Forest. These fights were illegal and when McKay was knocked unconscious he was carried to the Watts Arms in the village where he later died. Bryne was arrested at Liverpool three days later when he boarded a boat bound for Ireland. He was tried for murder at Buckingham but was acquitted and died some years later after another fight.
Although the vicar objected, a stone was erected on his grave under cover of darkness bearing the following epitaph:-

Strong and athletic was my frame,
Far from my native home I came,
And bravely fought with Simon Bryne
Alas but never to return.
Stranger take warning from my fate
Lest you should rue your case too late
If you have ever fought before
Determine now to fight no more.

A member of the great clock-making family Joseph Knibbs came to live at Hanslope in the late 17th century. He began clock making in Oxford where he worked with his brother John for many years. He then started a business in London and later moved to Hanslope where he continued making clocks, some of which are to be seen in the British Museum.

On 21st July 1912 the squire of the parish Edward Hanslope Watts was shot by his gamekeeper William Farrow as he returned home from church with his wife. The gamekeeper then turned the gun on himself. The Watts family had the road diverted and to this day the entrance to Hanslope Park, now owned by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and used as a communications centre, is set at an angle and the spot where the murder took place is fenced off.

Hanslope was the centre of the lace making industry in the 19th century. As many as 500 women and children were employed in this trade, working long hours often by candlelight in order to produce lace for the buyer who called weekly and paid them about 6 pence a yard.

Most of the men worked on the land until the coming of the railways when many found employment at Wolverton Works five miles away.
With the development of the new city of Milton Keynes the population of Hanslope has doubled in recent years and a survey shows that many residents travel long distances to their employment, some journeying the 50 miles to London daily.

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



I was born in Hanslope and I remember so well the Hanslope growing of corn by all the allotment holders. My father worked in the Railway Works at Wolverton. About the month of August when the corn was ready, he used to have to go straight from work to the allotments where my two sisters and I met him with his tea so that he could start right away to cut the corn with a sickle. This was a slow job, and we children used to have to help tie up the corn. But the event that pleased us was when the corn was thrashed on a Saturday with the old thrashing engine. All the children gathered in the field and we had an exciting day with all our fathers, finishing the day with their own sacks of corn.

As my father worked in the Railway Works he had a railway pass, so we could afford to visit relatives in Derbyshire. But the exciting start to the holiday was riding to Castlethorpe station in an open landau, hired from a man in the village.

Emily Mary Reeves, Hanslope

I remember the celebrations that took place on Empire Day, 24 May, at school. After the calling of the register we assembled in the playground where the Union Jack was hoisted. We then had a good singsong of patriotic songs such as 'British Grenadiers', 'Hearts of Oak', 'Rule Britannia', 'God Bless the Prince of Wales'.
Lessons would continue. After dinner we went to school dressed in our second-best clothes. The school choir gave a special recital and we had country dancing. The high light of the day was the presentation of the Empire Day medals.
A 'Nobility' of the village was asked to make the presentations and these medals were given to the boys and girls who had come top in their classroom exams. These medals were made of what looked like aluminium, slotted at the top to hold a ribbon of red, white and blue colour. For Class 6 there was a bronze medal.
Children who had won medals in previous years wore them with great pride.

Evelyn Cadwell, Hanslope

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


Description of Hanslope from Sheahan, 1861.

Hanslope lies on the borders of Northamptonshire, and formerly included within its limits the parish of Castle Thorpe, where was situated the ancient Castle of the Barony of Hanslope. Its present area is 5,290 acres, and in 1851 it contained 1,604 inhabitants. The soil is a stiff loam, and clay, with a little gravel. The London and North-western Railway traverses the parish to the extent of 2 miles, 2 furlongs and 119 yards. The rateable value of the parish is £8,629.

The village is situated 6.5 miles N.W. from Newport Pagnell, 5 N.N.E. from Stone Stratford, and 4 N. from the railway station at Wolverton. The principle part of it, in the vicinity of the church and called Church End, consists of a long broad street in which are some good modern houses of brick; and some very old thatched houses. A detached portion of the village is called Long Street is about a mile in length, formed by small farm houses and cottages each side of the road. Hanslope had a market and fairs, and appears to have been of mush greater importance than in modern days. Efforts are now being made it revive the weekly market on Tuesdays; and a fair for cattle is still held every Holy Thursday. Lace making was formerly carried on here to a great extent, and about 500 women and children are still employed in making pillow-lace. Besides Church End and Long Street, other portions of the parish are known as Tattle End, Green End, Pinder End, Bullington End, Hungate End, Salcey Forest, or Green, and Stockling Green.

Hanslope Park is now the seat of Reginald Walpole, Esq., who married the relict of the late Lord of the Manor, William Watts, Esq. The mansion, which is large, handsome, and of stone, with north and south fronts, is approached by a noble avenue of trees. The park contains up to 200 acres.



Hanslope Parish (Pop. 1,623)

One Daily School, containing 10 scholars, endowed with the interest of £200 , bequeathed many years since by Lady Lucy Pierrepont.

Two Sunday Schools, one with 50 children of both sexes, who attend the Established Church, the other appertains to Baptists, and consists of 70, in both of which the children are gratuitously instructed.