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HISTORY OF BOW BRICKHILL

Bow Brickhill History Society
Henry Mundy
  .  The Bardens  . The Woodwards  .  The Cookes War Memorial  .  Old Photos  .  WWII  .  de Havilland 108  .  The School  .  The Parish Council  .  A Village Choir  .  1889 Poster  .  Bow Brickhill Feast

Historical information about the village, its people and its places, is sprinkled throughout this web site.  Here you will find links to documents and photographs. Read how the village got its name here.  Other interesting historical facts can be found here.  If you are searching for your ancestors check out the genealogy page.

Bow Brickhill now falls within the unitary authority of Milton Keynes and this site is partnered with the Milton Keynes Heritage Gateway project - click here to reach the MK Heritage web site.

 Situated at the south east corner of the new city the village nestles into the hillside, adjacent to large areas of woodland.  

"There stand the three Brickhills, all in a row, 
Great Brickhill, Little Brickhill, 
and Brickhill with the Bow."

Over the past forty years the views from Church Road have changed beyond all recognition as the new city, the last in a series of new towns, developed from rural pastures into a tree-lined urban area.

Caldecotte Lake during construction The civil parish boundary of Bow Brickhill traditionally followed the line of Caldecotte Brook.  It was redefined in April 2001 and now stops at the railway line which divides the village from urban Milton Keynes

When Milton Keynes was developed some of the land within the parish was excavated to form Caldecotte Lake, seen here during early excavations in the seventies.

Much earlier excavations at the top of Bow Brickhill hill, at the site of earthworks known by the name of Danesborough, indicate construction of a much earlier period, a hill-fort dating back over 2000 years.

Watling Street, an ancient Roman road, passes nearby through the village of Little Brickhill and the Domesday Survey of 1086 showed two manors in Bow Brickhill belonging to Walter Gifard.

The parish was inclosed in 1790 when the allotment of land was assigned to the rector in lieu of tithes. Under the same act an area known as the Black Ground was awarded to the parish "for use of the poor for firing". In 1844 an Act of Parliament was passed to enable the Rector, Churchwardens and Overseers - Trustees of this land - to sell part of it.

There was a great deal of discontent in the village such that the event was commemorated in stone-work on April Cottage, Church Road, and the inscription reads:

"Bow Brickhill Healt was awarded to the Poor of this parish, 1793; 
an Act of Parliament was obtained to sell it by the Trustees, 1844."

Then follow some exclamation marks and the names of the trustees.

Bow Brickhill, Buckinghamshire - A Brief History of The Village and Church 
compiled by Rev R Conyers Morrell, Ecclesiastical Patron - published in 1834 (originally priced threepence),  is now available on disk as a scanned document in Word format. 

This small booklet contains history of the area in general, the railway and the village and contains several illustrations of Bow Brickhill in the 1930s. 

Please email for further details.

Some extracts of a first-hand account of Bow Brickhill in the nineteenth century are in the extract from Henry Mundy's manuscript. For details of how to purchase the book visit the Munday pages.   The  Woodward and Barden pages contain pictures of earlier residents of the village.

An account of the Bow Brickhill Feast including a recipe for steamed pudding can be found here. 

Old photographs of buildings in the village (some that are no longer there), sports teams and school photographs can be found in the Photo Library.

Photographs of all inscriptions on the war memorial are here  and Ian Chambers' research into those listed on the memorial is available are a Word document here

Lt Gerald Featherstone Knight MC escaped from Germany in WWI came home only to die at the tragically young age of 25 from cancer.  Read the book that he wrote about his escape here.

Bletchley Park workers were billeted in Bow Brickhill during World War II - here one of the girls tells about it.

When Bow Brickhill school celebrated its centenary in 1978 some extracts from the school log were published and you can read these here.  They provide some insight into the special events which affected life in Bow Brickhill including illnesses, national celebrations and seasonal activities.

1994 saw the Parish Council celebrating its centenary and to mark this occasion the council published extracts from the minutes over the previous 100 years.  Click here.

In 1950 a secret plane - a de Havilland 108 VW 120 crashed over Little Brickhill scattering debris over Bow Brickhill and neighbouring villages. Read more ..

There are two paintings in the Victoria & Albert Museum relating to Bow Brickhill - photoprints of each can be obtained from the V&A.  Click here for more details.

In March 2006 a drawing of the cottage and chapel, now demolished, which once stood on Station Road was obtained and you can see an image of the drawing here.

 

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