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.