It is recorded that on the 23rd of July 1552, Cublington Parish church was one of only two churches in the county to have a clock, the other being at Haddenham. Regretfully there are no records of it’s design, but it would not have had an external clock face, they were introduced at a much later date.

The present day clock was made by Smith’s of Derby and is dated 1927, its mechanism is in a separate place from the clock face this design is known as a Turret clock, considering the linkage to the clock  face must be some twenty feet; it is incredibly accurate.

What else is not generally known is that for many years Colin Antosiewicz has kindly wound the clock up for us,

We are often asked for information regarding relatives who have lived in Cublington, we are unique in having the transcribed archives from Aylesbury.

Volume 1 of the Parish records, baptism’s marriages and burials from 1566 to1812, a hard copy is held in the Church and Roy Shons, Church Warden  them on a laptop, both are available on request.
Note: The records were painstakingly  transcribed by Mr Roy Smith,

A fascinating book Cublington In Pictures Old and New.
Hopefully you will have all seen the amazing photographic record of Cublington which has been put together by Roy Smith in his book – Cublington In Pictures Old and New.
It is a fascinating pictorial history of the village which Roy has compiled and must have taken hours of time and research to complete. Huge thanks to Roy who not only has done the work but has also donated over £630 to Friends of St Nicholas from the proceeds of the book.

Copies have sold very quickly, if you haven’t had the chance to purchase one a second print has gone ahead, it is a must for anyone who has any interest in Cublington.

Only 12 left – please contact us via the website if you would like a copy priced £15 + p&p with £10 from every sale going to St Nicholas Church.
December 2018

Below is a downloadable article on the old medieval village collated from earlier research by Andrew Pike and updated  by Gary Brazier. We hope it makes interesting reading.

Cublington – The Old village article as a pdf

Part One
There cannot be many villages in England that have actually moved, but Cublington has!

The earliest mention of Cublington is in the Domesday Book, that great volume produced by William the Conqueror in 1086 so that he could find out how much his new territory of England was worth. In it “Coblincote” is described as being of 10 hides (a hide is an old measurement of land which was, in effect, as much land as would support a family, a generally about 100 acres). There was land for nine ploughs. On the demesne (the land attached to the manor house) were five ploughs, with sixteen people. There were also five serfs (or slaves) and meadow lands. It was worth £6 a year and was the property of one Gozelin from Brittany, a follower of King William.

The Domesday Book was the first of a number of accounts of towns and villages which were drawn up to estimate the amounts of tax payable to the king and to the pope in Rome. These various accounts give us a good idea of the changing fortunes of individual places and show how some villages grew, whilst others vanished into oblivion. In the 1400’s and 1500’s especially, several villages disappeared, for a variety of reasons. The inhabitants of Burston, near Aston Abbotts – all sixty of them were evicted from their homes by the lord of the manor in 1488 because it was more valuable to turn the land over to sheep grazing; the wool trade was at its zenith. In other words, sheep were worth more than people! You only have to visit some of the grand churches of East Anglia or the West Country, many of which were built form the profits of the wool trade to realist how valuable it was. There was also the Black Death or Plague, which decimated the population of England in the 1300’s and 1400’s.

Part One first published Cublington Crier number 2. October 1984
Copyright © Andrew Pike 1984

Part Two
In 1283 one of these periodic tax assessments was made. For Cublington it reported that thirty-nine households were wealthy enough to pay taxes. In 1325 the village was rated at 42 shillings (£2.10), which was about the local average. In 1322, sixteen households in the village were wealthy enough to pay taxes. But in 1341, when King Edward III imposed new rates on country parishes it was reported that “two carucates [about 100 acres] of land in the parish of Cublington lie fallow and uncultivated and thirteen houses stand empty. Their tenants have gone away because of their poverty. Sheep and lambs are few, and there is no one in the parish substantial enough to be Taxed”. A sad picture of a dying village! What caused this decline we do not know but by 1400 the village had been reborn on a new site.

The old village site is still visible after all these years. ( It might even have looked like the artists impression at the top of the page!). It lies in the field at the end of Ridings Way and has a footpath running through it. The old village is dominated by a mound called the Beacon, but actually the site of a small castle, probably built about 1100. No records of this castle survive, but it was of a type called a motte (or mound) and bailey. The motte would originally have been higher with a wooden tower on top. The bailey was an enclosure where cattle could be herded in times of war. Similar castles of this type remain at Whitchurch and Wing and further away, at Berkhamsted. Near the castle was the parish church, the graveyard of which was partly excavated by a former rector in the last century. He is said to have uncovered about thirty skeletons. The hollow ways mark the site of the old village streets. The manor house may have been near the present Manor Farm in ridings Way. Fortunately the whole site is now classed as an Ancient Monument and cannot be interfered with.

Part two first published Cublington Crier number 3. November 1984
Copyright © Andrew Pike 1984

Part Three
Why the village moved we do not know. Was it because of the Black Death, or was it that the old site was rather cramped and prone to damp on its windswept hill slope? Perhaps it was a combination of the two. In any case, by about 1400 the village had moved up to its present site and a new church – the present building – built in its centre. Many of the materials of the old church, stone and timber were re-used in the new one and some of the fittings like the old parish chest brought up. This old parish chest, the oldest in Buckinghamshire, is still in use today. Furthermore a brass table in the chancel of the present church records the death of one John Dervyle who died in 1410 as ’the first rector of this church’, his predecessors being rectors of the old church down the hill.

The old village site was fairly soon forgotten. In 1519 the Bishop of Lincoln (Cublington was then in the Diocese of Lincoln) visited the parish and was, we are told scandalized to find the graveyard of the former church desecrated and ordered. “that the graveyard where the parish church of this place formerly stood should be fenced off from animals and perambulated with the church lands on Rogation Days”. The old village was not quite forgotten, however. Even in the early years of the last century the cottages in Ridings Way were known as East End. This is not so illogical as it sounds since they are the East End – not of the present village, but of the one that vanished six hundred years ago.

Part three first published Cublington Crier number 4. December 1984
Copyright © Andrew Pike 1984

Decades In Cublington by Tommy Beckett

After reading last month’s (Feb 94) article about Cublington, I thought I would compose some memorabilia of my own.

In my young days, the bakehouse was a thriving business employing several people, the owner was also the village Chapel Minister. The cottage opposite the Rectory contained a small dairy where one could buy butter and milk. On the opposite wall was a large yellow disc with the AA emblem at the top. CUBLINGTON in large letters across the middle and LONDON 40 miles, on the lower half. All place names and signposts were taken down after the war started in 1939 and this yellow sign was never replaced.

Mr Read, then farming at Neale’s Farm had a milk round in the village later to be taken over by the farm on the Stewkley Road. The old Post Office opposite the Church was also a store, owned by a Mrs Whitiker – her husband was killed during the first World War. I can remember buying sweets for one farthing! The post box was in the wall of the house, the telephone box was in the front garden, and on the roadside fence used to be two bill boards for the Odeon and Pavilion cinemas in Aylesbury. The Pavilion was later named the Granada. For a couple of years in the 1940s and Irishman kept this same establishment, he was previously a butler at the Rectory.

The Biggs’ farming at Manor Farm in Ridings Way, were also butchers, delivering meat to outside villages with a horse drawn butcher’s cart – the Bakehouse also delivered outside the village. A Mr Sternham used to live in a house that is now incorporated into Mr R. Smith’s dwelling, he used to sell lemonade and loose chocolates.

Cublington was very active with farm machinery and animals through the street, at times far more noisy than these days. Children were also about making their own entertainment and people walking to their allotments – one in the walled garden off Reads Lane by the Old Manor and another just this side of the Chicken Farm on the Aston Abbotts Road.

Travelling salesmen used to come round selling their wares. One Asian man with a turban walked for miles with a large case, full of things like tea towels and silk scarves. Another man had a horse and cart selling fire logs, ironically he had a wooden peg leg, visible from the knee down.

Fish and chip vans used to come round and the Walls ice-cream icebox on a three wheel bicycle pedalled from Aylesbury. During the second world war most of these travellers became extinct, but Cublington became even more active, the bomber base was built on our doorstep and the Army were often here on manoeuvres. Could Cublington have ever been a sleepy village? I don’t think so – at least not until the age of the computer !!

First published Cublington Crier number 106 March 1994
Copyright © T Beckett 1994

Wartime Wing
The current site of Wing Airfield was acquired by the authorities for operational use in 1940 and opened as an airfield on November the 17th 1941. It was March 1942 before runways were ready and the first aircraft to land ( on the 18th) was a Tiger Moth.

The airfield was home for 26 Operational Training Unit equipped largely with Wellingtons. Raids against Dusseldorf, Bremen and Essen were flown from Wing in September 1942 and in July 1943, 260TU undertook six nickel sorties over France ( i.e leaflet dropping over enemy occupied territory). A serious accident involving Wing occurred in June 1944. A Wellington X collided with a parked similar aircraft, two low loaders and a hangar. Three WAAFs with the lorries and the Wellington’s co-pilot were killed.

The end of the war saw Wing’s selection, because of its central location for the reception of returning POWs. The first came on April the 9th 1945 in 33 Dakotas, and in that month alone almost 15000 arrived. On May 15th, 132 Lancasters landed with POWs. Only five days after a Lancaster carrying 31 crashed with tragic consequences. Maintenance Command took control of Wing after the war, on May the 4 1946, and in 1960 the site had passed out of the authorities’ hands and into history as an operational airfield.

First published Cublington Crier number 98 June 1993
Copyright © Ainsleys 1993

London’s Third Airport and the Roskill Commission
Wing Airport Resistance Association (WARA)

Cublington’s most traumatic period in recent times was in 1969-1971 when it became the centre of national attention. The biggest, most expensive and most painstaking exercise in future planning ever in Britain recommended that the village, and two others, should be totally demolished to make way for London’s Third Airport, more than three times the size of Heathrow.

The Roskill Commission, established in 1968 by the Labour Government, spent two years making its decision. It never actually came up with one name for the place,  so it called its recommended site Wing (Cublington). Wing is a nearby village which had a small wartime airfield.  Roskill’s report was published just before Christmas 1970 and for the following four months the word CUBLINGTON was never far from national newspaper headlines.

The whole area was bedecked with signs and Cublington villagers joined others from neighbouring communities to stage happening after happening, grabbing national newspaper headlines and featuring prominently on tv news. The two and a half year campaign to oppose the proposal was headed by Wing Airport Resistance Association (WARA), led by Desmond Fennell, a barrister living in Winslow, and Bill Manning, an Aston Abbotts farmer. At its height, the Association claimed 61,000 signed-up members and raised £50,000 (nearly £300,000 at to-day’s prices), with activities co-ordinated from an office in Leighton Buzzard. The battle was later acknowledged as the first major campaign for the environment.

Cublington Parish Council led the village fight, and presented evidence at Roskill’s public inquiry. The last few months of the campaign saw the lighting of bonfires on all hilltops to warn of the approaching threat, a giant “Roll-On” of 300 farm vehicles through the threatened villages, a rally of 12,000 people on the airport site, a pancake race, ladies’ soccer matches involving folk from all the villages, and a mass lobby of Parliament. There was also an underground movement that threatened trouble if the airport plan went through. Villagers were briefed on arming themselves, and making petrol bombs, and during a ministerial visit to the area, a fake bomb stopped the motorcade.

Finally, the Commission’s recommendation was rejected by Government, and the community celebrated with a torchlight procession and dancing outside the Unicorn public house until the small hours.

A recently published DVD tells the story of the campaign through the eyes of local amateur  filmmakers, and the BBC. Full details: http://www.stewkleyfilms.org

Republished Courtesy of John Flewin

Historic Buildings
You may remember a few years ago that two days before the ‘Art -Nouveau’ style Firestone tyre factory in London was due to be officially ‘Listed’ as a historic building it was demolished. This caused quite a furore amongst architects and conservationists and led to the then Minister for the Enviroment, Michael Heseltine, insisting on a complete revision and updating of the lists of buildings of architecural and historic interest which had been compiled piecemeal from the 1940s. Such lists are designed to afford protection against demolition or alteration for these buildings.

The revised list for Cublington was published in Summer 1984, along with a number of adjacent parishes. Copies of the list, which contains a full description of each building, can be seen in the Aylesbury Reference Library and in the County Council’s Planning Department in Aylesbury. A photocopy of the Cublington list is being put in the rack at the back of the church if you are interested. Buildings are graded according to their importance, II II* or I. (Grade I is reserved for a relatively few outstanding buildings). The grading reflects the degree of protection – the higher the grade, the less amount of alteration or addition will be allowed. Thirteen buildings in Cublington are listed and are all with one exception, Grade II.

Not surprisingly, the oldest building and the only one listed Grade II* is the Parish Church built in the 15th Century, with some good architectural features such as the windows, chancel and tower arches and the exterior bell-openings in the tower, all of that date. The fine Turney family monument in the chancel and the coat of arms above the south door are also mentioned.

The other listed buildings, in order of road are:
Southend Farmhouse ( Aston Abbotts Road) Built in the 17th Century with 18th Century additions.

The Old House (High Street) 17th Century, altered in the 19th Century . Good timber-framing with ’herringbone style’ brickwork. The Unicorn Unicorn Pub ( High Street) Built orginally, perhaps in the 16th Century but much altered in the 18th. The 17th Century beams inside( the low ones you hit your head on!) are mentioned.

Dairy Farmhouse (High Street) Dated by a brick by the front door which has the date 1800. The cast-iron bootscraper and the fire insurance plaque are mentioned.

The Olde Manor (Now renamed The Old Stables ) (Reads Lane) Now two houses it was once the stable block to the Manor House which stood between it and the Stewkley Road. The Manor was apparently burnt down in about 1800. The stately stable block was built in the early 18th Century in brick.

The Granary (Reads Lane) Of similar date and style to the Olde Manor it was the granary of the Manor House. Three blocked arches in the basement originally provided ventilation for the grain.

Old Manor Farmhouse (Reads Lane) A large 17th Century farmhouse, partly timber-framed. Altered and extended in the 19th Century.

Neale’s Farmhouse (Reads Lane) A fine late 16th Century timber-framed house. The 17th Century oak staircase is mentioned.

Manor Farmhouse (Ridings Way) Probably the farmhouse to the original medieval manor. Mid 18th Century altered in the 19th. Attractive lozenge-shape patterns in the brickwork.

Rose Cottage (Silver Street) 18th Century, partly timber-framed and thatched. 27 Silver Street 17th Century timber-framed and thatched cottage. An interesting fireplace inside is mentioned.

Old Manor Cottage (Wing Road) Probably late 17th Century and subsequently altered. Timber-framed.

The lists are revised and added to from time to time. If you think your home should be listed, why not get in touch with the County Council’s Historic Buildings Officer? Meanwhile it is encouraging to know that some protection is now given to our historic buildings and a part of our heritage, at least, is likely to be available for future generations.

 First published Cublington Crier number 7. March 1985
Copyright © Andrew Pike 19

The Cublingon Feast
Try running this through your spellchecker !

A. “Ah Cubbeltun Feeast aint what it used to be. We did a some good uns yeeurs agoo – we did a some feeastes then. It tooks us all the waik to to ett ivvery-thing up. In th’ole days waiks afuur it come we writ fur subscriptions to the gentry all around, and in ur lehhur we allus invited em to dinner, an tis wonderful what we got. A coourse we didn’t want em to come to dinnnur, fur some an us woont a knowed how to goo an at the teeable if they’d bid thaiur. Any reeate, we allus got plenty a money to git plenty a mait and ivverything else we wanted. We had the big faid the fust day and kep an ivvery day artur till it was all finished. They were some times! Peepul come from all ovur the wurrld to Cubbeltun feeast a fuur the war; the pleeace was filled. In ivvery yard carts and waggonetes wur stored, besides ivverywhere else wheer one could be put. That was afuur the war, but now things bd down and thaiur aint th’ interest took in it as thaiur was then; but still, it aint a bad un this yeeur.”

B. “Cam an! Let’s git up to th’ Unicorn afuur the crowd comes up. We can have a table togither fur a little while; If we dooant, we shant git in fur the peepul when the band stops a ’playin’ (To new-comer) “Hullo! How be ye a-gittin an ? What do ye think a the feeast?”

C “Well, taint a bad un, but we had behher feeastes in Cubbelton yeeurs agoo”.

B “We did; but taint a bad un this yeeur, an I be glad an it. I dooant like to see the ole feeast goo down. A ye heeurd the band?”

C. “Yis.”

B. “I ruckun tis a jolly good band. I ruckun they play well. We had the Old Un this arurnoon”.

C. “What old un?”

B. “Why, the real old un uv all – ‘The farmer’s Boy’. They played it arly in the arurnnon, and some an us as were standin by a ’listenin to it did give it bains. We did let hur have it. Talk about music, did ye ivver heeur sich music? Thaiur nivver was sich music. Thaiur’s moour music in ’The Farmer’s Boy’ than in all the music as a ivver bin played put togither. We ull goo down and aks fur it to be played agen, that we wull! And we ull sing it togither. We ull ask fur it to be played by special request.”

Reprinted from Cublington Crier no. 5 January 1995

History of the Buckinghamshire Hundreds
Hundreds were first mentioned in the Laws of Edgar in 970, and by the time of Ethelred the term referred to an area of one hundred hides for the purpose of taxation. For many centuries after this the Hundreds were used as a fiscal, judicial and sometimes a military district. These units were thus used for the collection of Danegeld (later subsidies), and the holding of courts for both civil and criminal matters, originally these were held every month, then every fortnight and eventually after 1234 every three weeks. In addition, a sheriff would tour the county twice a year to hear special complaints. The meetings were usually held in the ’open’ and at a well known local landmark, such as an earthwork, tumulus, or tree, e.g. in the Cottesloe Hundred it was at a barrow, or, ’low’ from which it takes its name, and for the Risborough Hundred was at the ancient earthwork of that name. Later hundreds usually met in a town or village.

In 1086 at the time of the Domesday Survey there were 18 hundreds in Buckinghamshire, and possibly even as early as that they had become grouped into threes. By the beginning of the forteenth century, with one exception each had become a complete Hundred, thus reducing the total to eight. In 1086 the Hundreds were Stone, Risborough and Aylesbury (which became Aylesbury Hundred), Burnham, Desborough and Stoke (continued three separate Hundreds known as the The Three Hundreds of Chiltern), Ixhill, Ashendon and Waddesdon (which became Ashendon Hundred), Yardley, Cottesloe and Mursley (which became Cottesloe Hundred), Stodfold, Rowley and Lamua (which became Buckingham Hundred), and Bunsty, Seckloe and Moulsoe (which became Newport Hundred).

Area covered by the Post 14th Century Hundreds
Abbotts Hardwick, Slapton, Cheddington, Hawridge, Soulbury, Cholesbury, Hoggeston, Stewkley, Creslow, Ivinghoe, Swanbourne, Cublington, Linslade, Tattenhoe, Drayton Beauchamp, Little Horwood, Weedon, Drayton Parslow, Marsworth, Whaddon, Dunton, Mentmore, Whitchurch, Edlesborough, Mursley, Wing, Great Horwood, Nash, Wingrave, Grove, Pitstone, Winslow.