WOLVERTON, in the hundred and deanery of Newport, lies about a mile north-east of Stony-Stratford: it was the seat of the barony of Maigno Brito, a powerful Norman, whose descendants took the name of Wolverton: the family became extinct in the male line, in the reign of Edward III. John Longueville, who died in 1439, was possessed of this manor by marriage with Joan, daughter and heir of John Hunt, by his wife Margaret, daughter and sole heir of Sir John de Wolverton. The manor of Wolverton continued in the family of Longueville nearly 300 years. Sir John Longueville, who was the owner of Wolverton in Leland's time, lived to the age of 103: his descendant Sir Edward Longueville, was created a baronet of Nova Scotia in 1638, being described of this place: the title is now extinct. Sir Edward Longueville, the last baronet but one, broke his neck by a fall from his horse at Bicester races in 1718, and it is remarkable, that his father Sir Thomas, met with his death by a similar accident in 1685. About six years before his death, Sir Edward Longueville abovementioned, sold Wolverton to the celebrated physician, Dr. Radcliffe, who bequeathed it with other large estates in trust for the university of Oxford.
The keep of Maigno Brito's castle remains near the vicarage. The seat of the Longuevilles, which was re-built in 1586, has been pulled down: Browne Willis describes it as a magnificent mansion.
In the parish church is the monument of Sir Thomas Longueville above mentioned, who died in 1685: numerous entries of births and burials of this family occur in the parish register.
The great tithes which were appropriated to the Priory of Bradwell, were granted by Queen Elizabeth to Sir John Spencer, whose grandson, Spencer Compton, Earl of Northampton, sold them about the year 1650 to the Longuevilles: having been included in Dr. Radcliffe's purchase, and in his bequest to the university, they are now vested in the trustees under his will, who are patrons of the vicarage.
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.