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Adstock

"Largely Victorian village of brick, partly colour-washed, with some older timber-and-thatch cottages. Some very poor new (post Hitler-war) council houses disfigure one street. There is a pleasant Victorian atmosphere in the church..."
[Murray's Buckinghamshire Guide, John Betjeman & John Piper, 1948]

Map showing the location of the parish


Bibliography Church History Maps
Biography Church Records Names, Geographical
Cemeteries Descriptions and Travel Photographs
Census History Probate Records

Bibliography

The following reference sources have been used in the construction of this page, and may be referred to for further detail. All of these volumes are available in the Reference section of the County Library in Aylesbury.

All Buckinghamshire sources

"The Buildings of England, Buckinghamshire", Pevsner N. and Williamson E., 1994, p 128, ISBN 0 14 071062 0.
"The History and Antiquities of the County of Buckingham", Lipscomb G., 1847, Vol.2, pp 513-517.
"The Place-Names of Buckinghamshire", Mawer A. and Stenton F.M., 1925, p 52.
"The Victoria History of the Counties of England: Buckinghamshire, Page W. ed., 1905-1928, Vol.4, pp 140-144.
"Magna Britannia: Buckinghamshire", Lysons S. and Lysons D., 1806, Vol. 3, p 495.
"Topographical Dictionary of England", Lewis S., 1831, Vol. 1, p 11.
"Highways and Byways in Buckinghamshire", Shorter C., 1910, p 83.
"Buckinghamshire Returns of the Census of Religious Worship 1851", Legg E. ed., 1991, p 1, ISBN 0 901198 27 7.
"Buckinghamshire Contributions for Ireland 1642", Wilson J., 1983, p 103.
"War Memorials and War Graves, Volume 4, North Central Bucks", Quick P., 1995, , p 2.

Adstock local sources

"The Egerton family of Adstock in the County of Buckingham", Harington D.W., 1975, Family History Vol. 9, pp 93-128.

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Biography

The well-known natives and residents of Adstock include:

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Cemeteries

War memorials in Adstock have been transcribed by Peter Quick and published by the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society.

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Census

In 1798 the Posse Comitatus listed 65 men between the ages of 16 and 60 in Adstock. Their occupations were mainly based on agriculture, but included occupations such as blacksmith, carpenters, and shoemakers to support the rural economy.

In the earliest government census of 1801, there were 289 inhabitants in 61 families living in 56 houses recorded in Adstock.

Census Year Population
1801* 289
1811* 314
1821* 393
1831* 445
1841 419
1851 393
1861 385
1871 383
1881 352
1891 330
1901 329
1911** 286
1921** 247
1931** 222
1951** 261
1961** 261
1971** 345
1981** 346
1991** 329

* = No names were recorded in census documents from 1801 to 1831.
** = Census documents from 1911 to 2001 are only available in summary form. Names are witheld under the 100 year rule.

Microfilm copies of all census enumerators' notebooks for 1841 to 1891 are held at the Local Studies Libraries at Aylesbury and Milton Keynes, as well as centrally at the PRO. A table of 19th century census headcount by parish is printed in the VCH of Bucks, Vol.2, pp 96-101.

Availability of census transcripts and indexes.

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Church History

St. Cecilia

The oldest parts of the church, in the nave and some doorways, date from the 12th century. The chancel was added in the 14th century and the whole church re-roofed at the end of the 16th century.

Major restorations took place from 1855 onwards, including most of the windows, which account for its mostly Victorian feeling inside

When visiting the church, before entering, the first item of interest to note is a small sundial, on which is the date 1581.

On entering the porch, which was a 15th century addition to the church, one can see the ancient and beautifully carved doorposts or jams, which are on either side of the main door. They are probably Norman although they support an arch of a later date.

Once inside, the nave is the oldest part of the church. In earlier times, there would have been no seating for the congregation. The church pews were added in the 19th century.

In the ceiling above, most of the wood used is modern, but the date 1599 appears on one of the trusses. The corbels, or stone supports, are carved in the form of four heads and may date from the 15th century.

There is a large victorian stained glass window (1892), near to the pulpit. It depicts Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane.

The chancel dates from between 1325 and 1350 and stands on an earlier Norman site. There is a medieval piscena in the south wall. In the north wall there is a small blocked door, probably originally used by the priest. The choir stalls are victorian. The Communion Table was made in the early 17th century and was renovated in 1968.

On the north wall of the nave, beside the organ, is a memorial to Alexander Burrell, his wife and daughter, and beside the list of rectors is a monument to Thomas Egerton, erected in 1720. There are also pictures of some of the rectors of Adstock in the bottom of the tower.

In the late 15th century, when the upper walls of the nave were erected, the tower was built. The west wall of the tower has stained glass windows which were added in the 19th century, they depict St. Peter and St. Paul, and are a memorial to John Hart, rector who died 1n 1867

The font dates from about 1490, is octagonal and made from stone, and lined with lead. The lead has carved in it, "graffiti", some of the lettering is in a gothic style. The font cover is modern.

Within the belfry, which is on the floor of the tower above the church clock, hangs three bells, two large bells and a Sanctus bell. The oaken bell frame dates from 1618 and carries the inscription "JOHNIELTS". Treble bell dates from the 15th century and was made by John Sturdy, it bears the inscription "SANCTA ANNA ORA PRO NOBIS". The tenor bell was made by Richard Chandler at Drayton Parslow, and bears the inscription "RICHARD CHANDLER MADE ME 1676". The Sanctus bell dates from 1826 and has the name Thomas Mears. This is the only bell which is rung now.

Details of the stained glass in the church can be found on the following web sites (the site includes many photos):

Other churches

Wesleyan Methodist worship was held in Adstock in a converted barn from 1834, until a chapel was constructed here in 1889.

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Church Records

The original copies of the Adstock parish registers have been deposited in the Buckinghamshire Record Office in Aylesbury, and they hold the following years:

Event Dates covered
Christenings 1541 - 1860
Marriages 1558 - 1837
Banns 1755 - 1978
Burials 1538 - 1926

Copies or indexes to the parish registers are available from societies as follows:

Event
Dates covered
Society
Marriages
1538 - 1837
Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society

* = material held in a Society library is generally available for loan to all members either via post, or by collection at a meeting

An ecclesiastical census was carried out throughout England on 30 March 1851 to record the attendance at all places of worship. These returns are in the Buckinghamshire Record Office and have been published by the Buckinghamshire Record Society (vol 27). The returns for Adstock showed the following numbers:

Church Attendance
Parish Church 74 - Morning Total

135 - Afternoon Total

Weleyan Methodist Chapel 130 - Evening General Congregation

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Descriptions and Travel

Adstock was described in 1806 in "Magna Britannia" as follows:

ADSTOCK, in the hundred and deanery of Buckingham, lies nearly three miles to the north-west of Winslow, on the north side of the road leading from Aylesbury to Buckingham. The manor of Adstock was given by the Conqueror to his illegitimate son, William Peverell; and on the attainder of William Peverell the younger, was granted by King Henry II to William Avenell, from whose family it has passed by marriage to the Vernons and the Bassets: it was afterwards, as Brown Willis supposes, divided into two manors, one of which passed by marriage to the Fortescues. Sir Francis Fortescue sold the demesnes of this estate in the early part of the 17th century, reserving the manor which his son conveyed to Thomas Egerton, rector of Adstock; from his family it passed by purchase to the Verneys. Lord Fermanagh was in possession of this manor in 1735: it is probable that they have been purchased, since Browne Willis's publication, by some proprietor of the other manor, formerly called Hansted manor, in Adstock, which that writer traces from the Bassets, either by purchase or alliance, through the families of Hansted, Newenham, Cope, Smith, Tomlins, and Greaves. The family of Greaves were in possession in 1677; soon after which it passed by marriage to the Whitehalls. It is now the property of J.C. Turney esq.

The advowson of the rectory of Adstock was given in the reign of Henry II by William Avenell, to the abbey of Leicester; but about the year 1443, was again (probably in consequence of some exchange) annexed to the manor. Sir John Fortescue, about the year 1635, sold it to Robert Sharrock, rector of Drayton Passelew, whose grandson bequeathed it to the Bishop of Lincoln and his successors for ever, recommending them to appoint a resident rector. This parish has been inclosed by act of parliament, passed in 1797, when an allotment of land was given to the rector, in lieu of tithes; the parish is described in the act, as consisting of 47 yard lands.

Samuel Lewis's 1831 "Topographical Dictionary of England" describes the village of Adstock as:

ADSTOCK, a parish in the hundred and county of BUCKINGHAM, 3 miles (N.W.) from Winslow, containing 393 inhabitants. The living is a rectory, in the archdeaconry of Buckingham, and diocese of Lincoln, rated in the king's books at £13. 16. 3., and in the patronage of the Bishop of Lincoln. The church is dedicated to St. Cecilia. In the time of the plague, in 1665, the contagion having extended to Buckingham and Winslow, a market was held at this place.

Writing in 1910 in "Highways and Byways of Buckinghamshire", Clement Shorter commented on Adstock.

To the right, a little further north, is Adstock, with a pretty church and some picturesque thatched cottages. Here we come across two names in Sir Walter Scott's novels: "Peverel" and "Avenal". The former, William Peverel or Peverell (Scott spells it "Peveril"), a natural son of the Conqueror, had large estates in Buckinghamshire. He assisted in poisoning Randolph, Earl of Chester, in the reign of King Stephen, and had to flee the country. Henry the Second gave his lands, including Adstock, and large estates in Derbyshire, to William Avenal. The church, dedicated to St. Cecilia, is partly Norman. The chancel roof bears the date of 1597.

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History

There are no written histories specific for such a small village, other than its mentions in larger county histories of the descent of the manor and incumbents in the church.

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Maps

A street map of Adstock and a County map of Buckinghamshire can be found on the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society pages.

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Names, Geographical

It is probable that the name was derived from Adda or Æddi an early Saxon owner, and means "Æddi's farm". This may well be the same person whose name is used in the nearby parish of Addington.

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Photographs

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Probate

Adstock is in the Archdeaconry of Buckingham in the Diocese of Lincoln. Wills before 1858 will be found in the Buckinghamshire Record Office, Aylesbury, where there are card indexes for wills (1483-1857) and admons (1632-1857).

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