Cold Brayfield

"Brayfield, Brafield, or more commonly Cold-Brayfield, on the north-eastern verge of Newport Hundred, might not improbably have obtained its name from its bleak and exposed situation, on a ridge of land on the verge of the County, near the course of the Ouse, about three miles east of Olney. This Parish is bounded, on the North, by Lavendon; on the East and part of the South, by Bedfordshire; and on the remainder of the South and on the West, by Newton-Blossomville." [The History and Antiquities of the County of Buckingham, by George Lipscomb, 1847]


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.
"Dictionary of English Place-Names", A.D. Mills, Oxford University Press, 1997, ISBN 0 19 28131 3
"Magna Britannia: Buckinghamshire", Lysons S. and Lysons D., 1806.
"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: Newport Hundred, Volume 1", Peter Quick.



  • War memorials in Cold Brayfield have been transcribed by Peter Quick, and published in a booklet entitled "War Memorials and War Graves: Newport Hundred, Volume 1", available from the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society.
  • War memorial details are also available online on the Roll of Honour web site.



In 1642 there were 30 people named in the tax returns for contributions for Ireland. Between them they were assessed at £1.13.9 of which sum Thos. Mason curate contributed £0.10.0

In 1798 the Posse Comitatus listed 19 men between the ages of 16 and 60 in Cold Brayfield.

In the earliest government census of 1801, there were 82 inhabitants in 23 families living in 20 houses recorded in Cold Brayfield.

Census Year Population of Cold Brayfield
1801* 82
1811* 75
1821* 80
1831* 93
1841 83
1851 80
1861 99
1871 86
1881 85
1891 80
1901 79

* = 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 Mary, Cold Brayfield have been deposited in the Buckinghamshire Record Office in Aylesbury, and they hold the following years:

Event Dates covered
Christenings 1693 - 1812
Marriages 1693 - 1836
Burials 1693 - 1812

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

Society Library*
Dates covered
1606 - 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 Cold Brayfield showed the following numbers:

Church Attendance
Cold Brayfield, St Mary 20 - Morning General Congregation


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Cold Brayfield which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



Cold Brayfield was described in 1806 in "Magna Britannia" as follows:

BRAYFIELD, or COLD-BRAYFIELD, in the hundred and deanery of Newport, lies on the borders of Bedfordshire, about three miles east of Olney. The manor belonged anciently to the Blossomvilles, and afterwards to the Staffords. In Queen Elizabeth's reign it was in the Mordaunts: Henry Mordaunt, Earl of Peterborough, sold it about 1669 to the Boddingtons, from whom it passed by marriage to the Dymocks. It was purchased of the latter by the Farrers, about the year 1714. William Farrer esq. of Brayfield, who died in 1737, was many years chairman of the committee of ways and means, in the House of Commons. The manor of Brayfield is now the property of Farrer Grove Spurgeon Farrer esq. son of the Rev.Mr Spurgeon, by a daughter of the late Mr. Farrer. Brayfield-house is at present in the occupation of R. Orlebar esq.

Brayfield has a parochial chapel, dependant on the church of Lavendon: both parishes have been inclosed by an act of parliament, passed in 1801, when allotments of land were assigned to Mr. F.G.S. Farrer, as impropriator of the great tithes, which belonged formerly to the priory of Harold. Gerard Noel esq. nephew of the late Earl of Gainsborough, is patron of the donative of Brayfield.



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SP929523 (Lat/Lon: 52.161166, -0.643312), Cold Brayfield which are provided by:


Names, Geographical

The name Brayfield may well derive from Bragenfelda, meaning 'Open land by higher ground'. The addition of the word 'Cold' to Brayfield may well have been used to distinguish it from Brayfield-on-the-Green, not far away in Northamptonshire. As Lipscomb suggests the word Cold may have been chosen to describe its bleak exposed position.