Stewkley

 (including Littlecote)

"The boundary line of this parish extends to 10 1/2 miles; its area is 4330 acres (including Littlecote); population 1454 souls; rateable value £4455. The parish was inclosed in 1812. Lipscomb says, "The soil is a clayey loam, with sand in the northern part: the summit of the hill is covered with an intermixture of water-worn pebbles and broken flints, in a considerable depth of alluvial soil; the substratum, blue clay and marl, with a thin bed of lime-stone on the south-east, belonging to the Portland stratum; and the extreme limit hitherto discovered of that formation in this direction. In this stratum are found stones of the usual character, in similar beds, about Quainton and Brill, are ammonites of very large size [Sheahan's Footnote: Fossil remains have frequently been found in a limestone quarry belonging to Messrs. Hedges and Grace, at Rowditch Furlong, about 1 1/2 miles from the church. These are chiefly Ammonites (Cornu ammonis), and they are met with in the lower strata of the pit. The earth in the vicinity is famous for brick and tile making, and there are three kilns here for their manufacture]". The same writer tell us that the name of the place (Stiuclai, in Domesday) "is popularly supposed" to be derived "from the stiff clay of the soil in its vicinity" The Village is seated on a subordinate series of hills about 500 feet above the level of the sea, and consists of detached houses forming an irregular street about two miles in length - the church, parsonage, schools, post-office, and principal inns being about its centre. The latter portion of the village is distant 5 miles W.N.W. from Leighton Buzzard, and 6 miles E. by S. from Winslow. The making of straw-plait is carried on here to a considerable extent." [History and Topography of Buckinghamshire, by James Joseph Sheahan, 1862]

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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.
"History and Topography of Buckinghamshire", Sheahan, James Joseph, 1862
"Magna Britannia: Buckinghamshire", Lysons S. and Lysons D., 1806.
"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: Cottesloe Hundred, Bucks, Volume 2", Peter Quick.

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Cemeteries

War Memorials

War memorials in Stewkley have been transcribed by Peter Quick, and published in a booklet entitled "War Memorials and War Graves: Cottesloe Hundred, Bucks, Volume 2", available from the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society.

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Census

In 1642 there were 202 people named in the tax returns for contributions for Ireland. Between them they were assessed at £12.1.3 of which sum Thomas Miller, George Tharpe and Richard Conley each contributed £0.10.0

In 1798 the Posse Comitatus listed 168 men between the ages of 16 and 60 in Stewkley.

In the earliest government census of 1801, there were 680 inhabitants in 148 families living in 118 houses recorded in Stewkley.

Census Year Population of Stewkley
1801* 680
1811* 802
1821* 933
1831* 1053
1841 1262
1851 1432
1861 1453
1871 1431
1881 1361
1891 1328
1901 1159

* = 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.

  • 1851 - Full transcripts and indexes for Buckinghamshire are available on CD-ROM, hard copy and microfiche from the Buckinghamshire Family History Society.
  • 1861 - Available on CD-ROM with advanced search and mapping capabilities etc. from the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society.
  • 1881
    • Available on CD-ROM from the Church of the Latter Day Saints, as part of the National 1881 Census Index.
    • Available on CD-ROM for Buckinghamshire, with advanced search and mapping capabilities etc. from Drake Software.
  • 1891 - Available on CD-ROM with advanced search and mapping capabilities etc. from the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society.

Churches

You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Stewkley area or see them printed on a map.

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Church History

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

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Church Records

The original copies of the parish registers for St Michael & All Angels, Stewkley have been deposited in the Buckinghamshire Record Office in Aylesbury, and they hold the following years:

Event Dates covered
Christenings 1545 - 1868
Marriages 1598 - 1990
Burials 1598 - 1846

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

Event
Society Library*
Dates covered
Society
Christenings
1545 - 1673
Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society
Marriages
1575 - 1646
1654 - 1837
Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society
Burials
1575 - 1653
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 Stewkley showed the following numbers:

Church Attendance
Stewkley,
St Michael & All Angels
70 - Morning General Congregation
40 - Morning Sunday Scholars

150 - Afternoon General Congregation
40 - Afternoon Sunday Scholars

Stewkley,
Primitive Methodist
138 - Morning General Congregation
115 - Morning Sunday Scholars
253 - Morning Total

165 - Afternoon General Congregation
119 - Afternoon Sunday Scholars
284 - Afternoon Total

290 - Evening General Congregation
290 - Evening Total

Stewkley,
Centenary Chapel
Wesleyan Methodist
112 - Morning General Congregation
132 - Morning Sunday Scholars
244 - Morning Total

204 - Afternoon General Congregation
146 - Afternoon Sunday Scholars
350 - Afternoon Total

250 - Evening General Congregation
250 - Evening Total

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Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Stewkley which are provided by:

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Gazetteers

Ask for a calculation of the distance from Stewkley to another place.

Click here for a list of nearby places.

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Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Stewkley has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.

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History

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

STEWKLEY, in the hundred of Cotslow and deanery of Muresley, lies about six miles to the east of Winslow, about seven miles south of Fenny-Stratford, and about five miles from Leighton-Busard, in Bedfordshire. Browne Willis makes mention of four manors in this parish: the principal one was anciently in the Clares and Burghersts: the heiress of the last mentioned family married Thomas Chaucer, son of the poet; whose only daughter Alice was the wife of William De la Pole, Duke of Suffolk. John Duke of Suffolk gave this manor, in 1480, to the dean and chapter of Windsor, under whom it has been held for many years by the family of Leigh: the present lessee is the Hon. Mary Leigh, of Stonely, in Warwickshire.

Another manor called Vauxes, alias Fowlers, was successively in the families of Molins and Chastillon. Having been forfeited to the crown, in 1467, by the attainder of Sir William Vaux, it was granted to Richard Fowler esq. being then described as a moiety of the manor of Stewkley. Browne Willis speaks of it as belonging in his time to the family of Hopper. It is now the property of the Rev. Mr. Wodley of Cublington, who purchased it of Mr. Foster.

Stewkley-grange was, in the reign of King Henry VIII. in the Duncombe family. From the year 1690, or thereabout, till 1760, it was in the family of Wigg : and is now the property of Mr. Ward.

At Littlecote or Litcote, a hamlet of this parish, was formerly a chapel of ease dedicated to St. Giles. The manor was at a remote period in the families of Molins and Pigot: in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, it was purchased by an ancestor of the present proprietor, Thomas Sheppard esq. of Thornton. The Sheppards were settled at Littlecote, in the reign of King Henry VIII.

In the parish church, which affords a very curious specimen of Saxon architecture is the tomb of the late Thomas Sheppard esq. who married the heiress of the Tourneys of Cublington.

The great tithes of Stewkley which were appropriated to the priory of Kenilworth are now annexed to the See of Oxford. The bishop of that diocese is patron of the vicarage.

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Names, Geographical

  • Stewkley - the name derives from the old english words styfic + leah, and means 'Stump-clearing'.
  • Littlecote - the meaning of this name is 'little cottage'.