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Ashendon (including the hamlets of Upper & Lower Pollicott)

"Ashendon, in the hundred of that name, and the deanery of Waddesdon, lies about 9 miles west of Aylesbury, and about 7 north of Thame in Oxfordshire. The manor has belonged from time immemorial to the Grenville family, and is now the property of the Marquis of Buckingham."
[Magna Britannia: Buckinghamshire, Lysons S. and Lysons D., 1806]

Map showing the location of the parish


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

Bibliography

The following reference sources have been used in the construction of this page, and may be referred to for further detail. Most if not all of these volumes are available in the Reference section of the County Library in Aylesbury.

"Buckinghamshire Contributions for Ireland 1642", Wilson J., 1983
"Buckinghamshire Returns of the Census of Religious Worship 1851", Legg E. ed., 1991, ISBN 0 901198 27 7.
"Magna Britannia: Buckinghamshire", Lysons S. and Lysons D., 1806, Vol. 3
"Royal Commission on Historical Monuments - An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Buckinghamshire", H.M.S.O, 1912/3.
"The History and Antiquities of the County of Buckingham", Lipscomb G., 1847
"The Place-Names of Buckinghamshire", Mawer A. and Stenton F.M., 1925
"The Victoria History of the Counties of England: Buckinghamshire, Page W. ed., 1905-1928.
"War Memorials and War Graves, Volume 5, Ashendon hundred", Quick P., 1995

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Cemeteries

The following Monumental Inscriptions are available as publications or as part of a Society library:

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

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Census

In 1642 there were 60 people named in the tax returns for contributions for Ireland. Between them they were assessed at £4.14.5 of which sum Mr. Edward Greenvile contributed £1.

In 1798 the Posse Comitatus listed 50 men between the ages of 16 and 60 in Ashendon.

In the earliest government census of 1801, there were 248 inhabitants in 48 families living in 48 houses recorded in Ashendon.

Census Year Population
1801* 248
1811* 319
1821* 339
1831* 368
1841 312
1851 290
1861 325
1871 274
1881 237
1891 199
1901 212

* = 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. Mary

St. Mary's stands on high ground to the south-west of the village, and is built of stone rubble. The earliest part of the church is the Nave built early in the 12th century. Since then however there have been several alterations and restorations, including at the end of the 15th century the West Tower was built and the Clerestory was added to the Nave.

There are three bells and a sanctus, the first by Robert Atton 1633, the other two and sactus by Henry Bagley 1658. There is an ancient plain, long oak chest with three locks probably of the 17th century, also a carved high backed chair and communion table both of the 17th century. The font has a circular tapering bowl, of hard limestone with a large roll moulding around the bottom and is probably 12th century. The wooden font cover is 17th century and is hexagonal in design, with a central pendant.

In the chancel in a recess on the north side is a recumbent effigy of a knight, possibly of the Cheyndutt family, in chain mail, surcoat to knee, with sword, shield bearing arms, a chevron, legscrossed, feet on lion of Purbeck marble, probably late 13th century, defaced, neck patched with cement, left foot broken, traces of colour on sword belt.

There are two piscinae, one in the chancel of the 13th century with chamfered trefoiled head, the east jamb probably modern. The second is in the south aisle with trefoiled two-centred head, chamfered jambs, and is early 14th century. The pulpit is five sided with raised panels, moulded rails and cornice circa 1700.

In the churchyard east of the south aisle is a gravestone to Thomas, son of Adrian and Mary Eagleton, 1661.

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Church Records

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

Event Dates covered
Christenings 1732 - 1906
Marriages 1734 - 1979
Burials 1732 - 1979

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

Event
Society Library*
Dates covered
Society Publications
Dates covered
Society
Christenings
1590 - 1840
Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society
Christenings
1590 - 1901
Buckinghamshire Family History Society
Marriages
1590 - 1840
Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society
Marriages
1590 - 1901
Buckinghamshire Family History Society
Burials
1590 - 1840
Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society
Burials
1590 - 1901
Buckinghamshire Family History 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 Ashendon showed the following numbers:

Church Attendance
Ashendon, St. Mary's 60 - Afternoon General Congregation
39 - Afternoon Sunday Scholars
99 - Afternoon Total
Ashendon, Wesleyan Methodist 40 - Afternoon General Congregation
40 - Afternoon Total

70 - Evening General Congregation
70 - Evening Total

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Descriptions and Travel

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

Ashendon, in the hundred of that name, and the deanery of Waddesdon, lies about 9 miles west of Aylesbury, and about 7 north of Thame in Oxfordshire. The manor has belonged from time immemorial to the Grenville family, and is now the propery of the Marquis of Buckingham.

The manor of Great-Policote, in this parish, was anciently in the noble family of Valence, Earls of Pembroke, passed by a female heir to the Talbots, and was afterwards in the Staffords. At a later period it belonged to the family of Palmer, of whom it was purchased by the Grenvilles, and is now the property of the Marquis of Buckingham, who holds the manor, or reputed manor, of Little-Policote in this parish, as lessee under Lincoln College in Oxford. This estate is said to have been given to Lincoln College, before the year 1479 (Bishop Rotheram's statutes, which bear that date, direct mass to be said for John Bucktot, as one of the benefactors of the college), by John Bucktot, a priest: the manor-house was a retiring place for the college in the time of the plague.

In the parish church of Ashendon is an ancient figure of a crusader, under a flat arch rudely ornamented with foliage, which tradition calls the tomb of Sir John Bugden, of Policote. Browne Willis says, that the minister told him it was that of John Bucktot, who gave the manor of Little-Policote to Lincoln College; but it is evidently the tomb of a layman, and seems by the chevron on the shield to have been one of the Stafford family, who were anciently Lords of Great Policote.

The great tithes of this parish were given by Walter Giffard, Earl of Buckingham, to the abbey of Nutley. Since the reformation they have been vested in Christ-Church College in Oxford; the Marquis of Buckingham is lessee under the college. The benefice is a donative, in the patronage of the dean and chapter. The parish has been inclosed by an act of parliament, passed in 1737.

In 1927 "The Victoria History of the Counties of England: Buckinghamshire" states as follows:

This parish includes more than 2127 acres, of which about one eight is arable, while the rest, except 11 acres of woodland, is pasture. The soil is loam and clay on a subsoil of Kimmeridge Clay and Corallian. The land rises from 300ft above the ordnance datum in the north-west to 500ft near the village, whence it sinks to about 300ft at Lower Pollicott.

The village, which is small and consists of farm houses and thatched or tiled cottages grouped irregularly on high ground, lies in the west of the parish on a road which enters it from Westcott on the north. The church stands on a hill at the south-west extremity of the village. East Farm, about 250 yards in a north-easterly direction from the church, and the farm 50 yards further on, are both of late 17th century origin but much altered and restored. About a quarter of a mile south-west of the church is the hamlet of Upper Pollicott, south of which Lower Pollicott lies in a hollow a little distance from the main road. Lower Pollicott farm-house, about three quarters of a mile south of the church, was built late in the 16th or early in the 17th century. It was originally timber-framed, but as been partly refaced in later times with stone rubble and brick-work. Three of the original chimney stacks survive, and some original oak panelling remains internally.

An early inclosure of 60 acres in this parish made by the Abbot of Nutley before 1503 rendered 20 persons homeless. Towards the end of that century Thomas Palmer, lord of the manor, was accused by his tennants of taking in the better half of the manor and inclosing it in his own demesnes. In 1738 1700 acres were enclosed by act of parliament. Some place-names of that date were Launders Mead, Barkham Hill, Mollets Haynes Hill, Overgoose Bath, and Neither Landhurst. [© copyright of the editors of The Victoria Histories of the Counties of England]

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History

The name Ashendon is a reminder, as are those of other parishes in this area, such as Oakley and Boarstall, that this was once the ancient Berwood forest which was once the hunting grounds of the Saxon and Norman kings. Some Anglo-Saxon remains have been found in Ashendon e.g. two saucer brooches.

Before the Norman Conquest (1066) three brothers held the manor of Ashendon, but in 1086 it belonged to Walter Giffard and was held of the honour of Giffard until the second half of the 13th century.

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Maps

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

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Names, Geographical

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Photographs

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