Church: St Mary and Holy Cross

Hundred: Ashendon

Poor Law District: Aylesbury

Size (acres): 1541

Easting & Northing: 474220

Grid Ref SP740200 Click to see map


Names & Places

Quainton PARISH St Mary and Holy Cross
Benwells NAMES name for Binwell Lane Farm in 1826
Binnol Lane NAMES name for Binwell Lane Farm in 1570
Chentone NAMES name for Quainton in Domesday Book in 1086
Daddersill NAMES name for Doddershall House in 1539
Dadersyl Laund NAMES name for Doddershall House in 1570
Denham Hill NAMES name for Denham in 1825
Dundham NAMES name for Denham in 1766
Quaynton NAMES name for Quainton in 1569
Shipdon NAMES name for Shipton Lee in 1718
Sibdone NAMES name for Shipton Lee in Domesday Book in 1086
Sortelai NAMES name for Sortele in Domesday Book in 1086
Baptist NON-CONFORMIST First Mentioned: 1816. Built 1894
Methodist NON-CONFORMIST First Mentioned: 1872. Rebuilt 1892
Binwell Lane Farm PLACE within the parish
Denham PLACE within the parish
Doddershall House PLACE within the parish
Finemere Wood PLACE within the parish
Lower Blackgrove PLACE within the parish
Shipton Lee PLACE within the parish
Sortele (lost) PLACE within the parish
Woad Hill 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..

Note Shipton Lee
1801 120
1811 94
1821 106
1831 104
1841 115
1851 91
1861 65
1871 63
1881 61
1891 78
1901 51
1911 ab
1921 ab
1931 ab
1941 N/A
1951 N/A
1961 N/A
1971 N/A
1981 N/A
1991 N/A

There was no census in 1941.



Parish  Church  Register  Start
Quainton   St Mary & Holy Cross   Baptisms   1599   1901   Yes,
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Not available
Quainton   Baptisms   Baptisms   1817   1845   Yes,
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Not available
Quainton   St Mary & Holy Cross   Marriages   1599   1881   Yes,
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Not available
Quainton   St Mary & Holy Cross   Marriages   1881   1909   Yes,
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Not available
Quainton   St Mary & Holy Cross   Burials   1599   1901   Yes,
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Not available
Quainton   Baptist   Burials   1822   1859   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



Situated on the southern flank of hills, the centre of the village is the green with its stone cross which is thought was a preaching cross erected in Saxon times before the church was built. A prominent feature is the windmill designed and built by a local man, James Anstiss, in 1830—2. It was built without scaffolding from the inside, floor by floor, with clay bricks baked nearby, and the sails were driven by an engine. It has been unused since 1881, but is now gradually being restored.

The local historian, George Lipscomb, was born in Quainton in 1773 and lived at Magpie Cottage on the west side of the green. After studying medicine in London, he moved back to the village and began his History of Antiquities of the County of Buckingham. At first he had a long list of subscribers backing him but gradually the cost of collating the material and travelling round the county used up his money. After the publication of the first volume, he continued writing in poverty and sadly his life ended in 1846 in the debtors' prison.

On Christmas Eve 1752 the villagers gathered on the lawn to witness the budding of the hawthorn which was said to have grown from a shoot off the famous Glastonbury thorn. This holy thorn was reputed to bud each year on Christmas Eve and to bloom on Christmas Day. Earlier in that year Parliament adopted the Gregorian reform of the Julian calendar and the villagers sought proof that Parliament had no power to remove 11 days. The thorn showed no sign of budding, proving the next day was not Christmas Day. So they shunned the festivities and church events were held on the old Christmas Day, January 5th.

Today there is a choice of 4 pubs in the village in which to discuss the day's events. Before the Second World War there were seven pubs and the population was a lot less then! In those days too there were five grocers shops, a drapers and three bakers. On Sundays villagers would take their joints to the bakers in a baking tin with the Yorkshire pudding in a jug to be poured round the meat, and a tin of dripping for the roast potatoes. On Saturdays their cakes would be baked for them and they could buy raw dough, take it home and work fruit, sugar and an egg into it to make dough cake.

One of the greatest attractions for enthusiasts is the Bucks Steam Railway Centre, situated at Quainton Station. They now have a large collection of restored engines and carriages and at weekends short rides can be undertaken in these, complete with hooting engines and the reminiscent smell of wafting steam.
In earlier times, horse racing in the meadows adjacent to The Strand (so named because the bustle of people was likened to the London Strand) was a local feature and a report of the races in August 1706 describes the large crowds arriving in every sort of conveyance. The green was covered with booths and there was a man in the stocks, covered with slime after a ducking in the nearby pond, having tried to cheat a farmworker of his change. Many of England's nobility were amongst the thousands gathered and Petty Constables were on the look-out for known pickpockets and troublemakers. It was hoped that Queen Anne would visit the races one day as she was rumoured to be interested in establishing a course at 'a place called Ascot'. The Winchendon Mile was the first race and the prize was a plate worth 50 guineas.

Today most of the villagers work either in Aylesbury or in and around the village, with a few commuting to London.

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 of Quainton from J.J. Sheahan, 1861

The parish of Quainton, including the hamlets of Denham, Doddershall, and Shipton Lee, which is separately rated, is £4,821.

The village is situated about 6 miles N.W. from Aylesbury, and about 5  S.W. Of Winslow, at the southern base of a lofty hill on the N.E. border of the Vale of Aylesbury. From the S.E. It appears to be embosomed among trees, but the church is very conspicuous from a great distance, with a slope in the foreground.  It is a large scattered village, and about its centre is a vacant piece of ground of nearly triangular form called The Green.

Near the centre of the upper end of this green, stand the remains of an old Stone Cross, consisting of about 3½ feet of the octagon shaft elevated on three grades. Its fabric is of hard sand or grit stone, similar to that of which the church is built, and is perhaps coeval with it. “Tradition,” writes Lipscomb, “says that the dedication of the church was to the Holy Cross, and this erection (the stone cross) being similar to many others set up by Knights Hospitallers in places belonging to their Order, seems to support that notion, especially as the village feast is annually celebrated here in September, the period observed in the Romish Church for keeping that festival. The family of Mallet, reputed founders of the church, and great benefactors to the Preceptory of that Order at Hogshaw, were lords of Quainton; and it is quite consistent, with probability, that it (the cross) might be designed to mark their possessions here, as in other places, as that it had any relation to a market here, of which no authentic record has been discovered.”

The cross stands opposite to a substantially-built brick house, erected in 1723, as appears by that date on a stone above the door (with the arms of Dormer quartering Collinridge, and an escutcheon of pretence for Blake) by the Hon. Mr Justice Dormer, and as tradition says, intended for one of his daughters & co-heirs. The house is now occupied by a farmer. Westward from this spot about a furlong, on the road to Doddershall and Shipton Lee (termed Upper Street), is a raised causeway on which is a cross or boundary mark, to which it was an ancient custom for the officiating clergyman to go and meet funeral processions form these hamlets, and thence conduct them to the parish church.

Quainton is well supplied with water from springs issuing from the hills at the back or north side of it, and flowing into conduits in the village. At the foot of the hill, near the village, extensive brick and tile works have been recently established, for which the clay is well adapted. In 1854 a new Police Station was erected at the extreme eastern part of the village. Petty Sessions for the  “Quainton Division of the Three Hundreds of Ashendon” are held alternately at the White Hart Inn, Quainton, and the Marlborough Arms Inn, Waddesdon, once a month. The railway from Aylesbury to Buckingham, now in course of construction, will pass through this parish, and give the inhabitants the advantage of a Station within half-a-mile of the village.



Quainton Parish, including Doddershall and Dereham (Pop. 952)

One Daily School, containing from 30 to 80 males, varying according to the season of the year, and the demand for labour; endowed with a small yearly sum, which, with some aid from the parish funds, all poor boys receive gratuitous instruction; the sons of farmers and tradesmen are paid for by their parents.-

Two Sunday Schools; one with 200 children of both sexes, who attend the Established Church; the other appertains to Dissenters, and consists of about 30 ; both Schools supported by voluntary contributions.

Shipton-Lee Hamlet (Pop. 104)

No School in the hamlet.