(which includes Old Bradwell and Bradwell Abbey)


"Bradwell is a parish S. of Wolverton, divided by the Ouse. The church, rather over-restored (Wolverton Stat. 2 m.) was originally EE., having been founded some time in the 13th cent., the S. arcade being of about 1210. It has fairly good Dec. windows, and extremely interesting remains of 13th-cent. inscriptions on chancel arch. The tower contains two of the earliest bells in the county (c. 1300), by Michael de Wymbis. New Bradwell, with a modern church, is a new ecclesiastical district NE. of Bradwell, and chiefly inhabited by the men of the London Midland and Scottish Railway. To the S. of Bradwell Church once stood the small Benedictine Priory of St. Mary, founded about 1155 by Manfelin, Baron of Wolverton. There are considerable remains of the chapel, which forms part of a farm building, a three-light W. window, and a S. door with ball-flower ornament, which is blocked up, and a few other details." [Buckinghamshire, by E. S. Roscoe]



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", E.S. Roscoe, London Methuen & Co Ltd, 1935.
"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.
"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: Milton Keynes & Wolverton area, Volume 6", Peter Quick.



  • War memorials in Old Bradwell have been transcribed by Peter Quick, and published in a booklet titled "War Memorials and War Graves: Milton Keynes & Wolverton area, Volume 6", available from the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society.
  • War memorial details are also available online on the Roll of Honour web site.


In 1642 there were 25 people named in the tax returns for contributions for Ireland for Bradwell. Between them they were assessed at £1.14.10 of which sum Jn. Fuller contributed £0.10.0

In 1798 the Posse Comitatus listed 52 men between the ages of 16 and 60 in Old Bradwell, and 5 in Bradwell Abbey.

In the earliest government census of 1801, there were 255 inhabitants in 76 families living in 52 houses recorded in Bradwell.

Census YearPopulation of
Population of
Bradwell Abbey

* = 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.

Church History

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


Church Records

The original copies of the parish registers for St. Laurence, Old Bradwell have been deposited in the Buckinghamshire Record Office in Aylesbury, and they hold the following years:

EventDates covered
Christenings1577 - 1945
Marriages1582 - 1979
Burials1578 - 1914

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 Bradwell showed the following numbers:

Bradwell, St. Laurence35 - Morning General Congregation
50 - Morning Sunday Scholars
85 - Morning Total

87 - Afternoon General Congregation
50 - Afternoon Sunday Scholars
137 - Afternoon Total

Bradwell, Independent60 - Afternoon General Congregation
60 - Evening General Congregation

Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Bradwell which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



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

BRADWELL, in the hundred and deanery of Newport, lies about three miles to the east of Stony-Stratford. The manor was given in1165, by King Henry II. to the family of Keynes, from whom it passed by female heirs to the Aylesburys and Staffords: Sir Humphrey Stafford sold it in 1570 to Michael Coles, who soon afterwards conveyed it to Roger Fuller. From Mr. Fuller's family it passed by marriage to that of Mercer, and is now the property of William Bailey esq. who purchased it of the Mercers.

In the parish church is a monument for Sir Joseph Alston, of Bradwell Abbey, (in the adjoining parish of Wolverton,) who died in 1688: an ancient inscription, between the nave and chancel, shews that the church was dedicated to St. Lawrence. The church of Bradwell was given, in 1275, to the priory of Tickford; the vicarage, which has been endowed with the great tithes, is now in the gift of the crown. This parish has been enclosed by an act of parliament, passed in 1788: the lands were not exonerated from tithes.

Bradwell Abbey was also described in 1806 in "Magna Britannia" in the section on Wolverton as follows:

The priory of Bradwell adjoining to this parish, the site of which is now deemed extraparochial, was founded in the reign of King Stephen, for black monks, by Manfelin, Baron of Wolverton: it was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and was originally a cell to Luffield. In 1526 it was given with other small monasteries to Cardinal Wolsey; after his attainder, the king granted it with the manor, in the year 1531, to the prior and convent of Sheen: the site was granted after the reformation, to Arthur Longueville esq. From the Longuevilles it passed by purchase to the Lawrences, in 1647; and from them, in 1664, to Sir Joseph Alston bart. then of Chelsea, who made Bradwell Abbey his residence: after his death it was successively in the families of Fuller and Owen. About the year 1730 the Bradwell Abbey estate was purchased by Sir Charles Gunter Nicholl, K.B. whose only daughter and heir married the late Earl of Dartmouth: it is now vested in their son, the present earl. The site of the abbey, of which there are no remains, is occupied as a farm-house.



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SP832395 (Lat/Lon: 52.047658, -0.788202), Bradwell which are provided by:


Names, Geographical

The name Bradwell is believed to mean 'Broad spring', i.e. brad, wielle.