Westbury

Introduction

Church: St Augustine of Canterbury

Hundred: Buckingham

Poor Law District: Brackley

Size (acres): 2530

Easting & Northing: 462235

Grid Ref SP620650 Click to see map

Names

Names & Places

NameTypeNote
Westbury PARISH St Augustine of Canterbury
Westberie NAMES name for Westbury in Domesday Book in 1086

 

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 308
1811 320
1821 345
1831 391
1841 471
1851 458
1861 379
1871 419
1881 417
1891 357
1901 302
1911 287
1921 236
1931 213
1941 N/A
1951 245
1961 287
1971 303
1981 307
1991 318

There was no census in 1941.

Records

Records

Parish  Church  Register  Start
Date  
End
Date  
Online
Search  
E-Mail
Search  
Publication  
Westbury   St Augustine of Canterbury   Baptisms   1558   1901   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
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Yes,
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Westbury   St Augustine of Canterbury   Marriages   1558   1903   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
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Yes,
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Westbury   St Augustine of Canterbury   Burials   1558   1901   Yes,
click here
 
Yes,
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Yes,
click here

 

Surnames

Surnames

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

PositionBefore 1700  18th Century  19th Century  Overall Surnames  
1 SHOWLER FRANKLIN BEDDEN FRANKLIN
2 JAKEMAN WALKER FRANKLIN BEDDEN
3 HARRIS GIBBS RUSSELL MAKEPEACE
4 WATTS POLLARD MAKEPEACE RUSSELL
5 PRICE KING WHITEHEAD WALKER
6 POLLARD PRICE JOHNSON WHITEHEAD
7 CHAPMAN MAY COLLIN GIBBS
8 CROW HARRIS WHITTON JOHNSON
9 MINN GOLBY WALKER COLLIN
10 TURNER ARIS GIBBS WHITTON

 

Memories

The village of Westbury, situated between the market towns of Brackley and Buckingham, saw a new squire installed just before Christmas 1902 when Sir Samuel Scott, MP for Marylebone, moved into Beachborough House. To celebrate the occasion Sir Samuel gave a house warming party for many of his friends which  later became a regular event during the Christmas holiday when many of the inhabitants of the village helped in the house and at the table.

Although Westbury was quite small, it was a completely self-contained unit with its own abbattoir, butcher's shop, laundry and dairy, all of which provided work for the men and women of the village. At the end of 1902 Sir Samuel Scott signed on Mr Steven Ward as his head cowman and Mr Ward, his wife and eight children moved from Brackley into Westbury where two tied cottages were knocked into one to provide a home large enough for ten people. The rent was one shilling a year, and the wage was sixteen shillings a week, plus as much separated milk as the family needed from the dairy at ½d a gallon. For sixpence the family could fill a large dinner plate with liver at the local butcher's shop.
At the age of nine years Mrs Bedden was taught the traditional art of Buckingham lace-making by Mrs Johnson, who was herself a maker of high-class lace. Mrs Bedden took her lace pillow and bobbins wherever she went, making lace for her own clothes and household trimmings and teaching her own daughter and grand-daughter. Lace parchments were made in the nearby village of Finmere by an old lady.
One of the most interesting commissions which Mrs Johnson received was to supply twelve lace table mats for an American client. These were despatched on completion, two at a time, for ten shillings each. The last pair crossed the Atlantic in the Titanic, and went to the bottom of the sea when this ship struck an iceberg. Eventually Mrs Johnson received compensation from the post office for the loss of her registered parcel.
In 1922 Mrs Bedden married and moved into the cottage in Westbury in which she still lives. In those days the rent and rates were 1s 8d a year and in 1974, still without mains water and drainage her rates are £23 a year. To fetch her water Mrs Bedden has to walk across the road to the village pump which is kept in use just for her.
The village had various events, most important of these were the May Day celebrations and the Westbury Feast.
On May Day the children were given the day off from school to dance the Maypole. The King and Queen, Prince and Princess, Duke and Duchess were chosen, and after dancing the children went in procession round the village carrying the May garland. The garland was made from three sticks tied at the top, and joined to a hoop at the bottom. Two more hoops were placed in the centre to hold the May dolls, and the whole thing decorated with flowers and green foliage.
The other big date in the village calendar was the Westbury Feast which took place two weeks after Whitsun. This lasted from Sunday until the following Saturday. The main food was pork and ham as most households kept two pigs, killing one for the feast and selling the other to the local butcher. The money from the sale helped to buy two more weaners and food to keep them until the next feast. On the opening Sunday the ham was served to the friends and relations who came to the village. Other attractions were provided by two separate fairs, one in the playing fields, and the other in the Reindeer field.

Pauline Meads, Westbury & Shalstone


Miss Collins remembers the mill where her father worked before the First World War. It was powered mainly by water from the Ouse which drove the big wheel at the back end of the present building, and the present sluice was to divert surplus water. If water was short the machinery was powered by a steam boiler. The only lighting was tallow candles. The corn was first crushed by rollers, then ground on a stone wheel and finally brushed through fine silk stretched on revolving drums. In addition to fine flour the mill made semolina from the kernel of the wheat and the 'toppings' were made into bran and meal for pigs. Locust beans' were also ground by millstones for cattle food. If Mr Collins wanted his dinner taken down to him, he signalled by stoking up the boiler to emit a puff of smoke—Miss Collins at a set time looked out of the back bedroom window to observe his signal!
At the top of the village there was another mill which made fertilisers from bones, rags, locust beans and other very smelly waste.
Lady Sophie Scott hunted, kept racehorses and entertained, and the Grafton Hunt met at the Lodge gates. The Scotts kept a fine herd of Jersey cows and one could get lovely butter and Jersey milk from the Manor.
They also installed main water, pumped from a spring in the spinney on the Billesden Road and the householders drew this water from standpipes in the street—there is still one outside the school—but before that all water came from wells.
Annually after Christmas the Scotts held a very grand Servants' Ball. Most of the guests were servants from the other great houses, but a few villagers who worked for the Manor were invited. Lady Sophie also gave an annual Christmas Party in the school for the children.
The District Nurse, Mrs Ernest Turner, a very popular figure, went around in a donkey cart. There was also Mr Law who lived in Brackley Road and made and repaired boots, a blacksmith and a butcher. "The Barracks' were old thatched cottages on the site of Orchard Place.
The October Ox-Roast in Buckingham was a feature of their lives.

Alice Collins,   Westbury & Shalstone

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

Description

Westbury is on the south side of the ridge between Brackley and Buckingham, above the river Great Ouse. There are about 350 people and 110 houses, stone cottages and farm houses, some fine stone barns, and modern houses. The church, built in the 12th and 13th centuries, is surrounded by a pleasant graveyard, shaded by fine yew trees.


Until 1930, all the village, except the church and Reindeer public house, belonged to the Manor. Now the Manor House is a boys preparatory school, and most of the houses are owner-occupied.

The Reindeer public house is a pleasant old building, on the main road, where it attracts lunchtime trade from passing cars, but is a meeting place for villagers in the evening, as is the Working Men's Club close by.

At the lower end of the village is the mill, now used as a craft centre with rooms rented by various small enterprises. Nearby are two factories, one making adhesives, the other plastic coatings. These provide some villagers with employment. Although Westbury is surrounded by farm land, very few people are now farm workers. Most work in the neighbouring towns.

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


Westbury Parish (Pop. 391)

Two small Daily Schools, in which about 16 children of both sexes are instructed at the expense of their parents; and One Sunday School, in which 18 females receive instruction at the expense of Benjamin Price, Esq.

ABSTRACT OF EDUCATION RETURNS, 1833.