Padbury Parish

Church: St Mary the Virgin

Hundred: Buckingham

Poor Law District: Buckingham

Size (acres): 2029

Easting & Northing: 472230

Grid Ref SP720300 Click to see map


Names & Places

Padbury PARISH St Mary the Virgin
Pateberie NAMES name for Padbury in Domesday Book in 1086
Methodist NON-CONFORMIST First Mentioned: 1815
Primitive Methodist NON-CONFORMIST First Mentioned: 1843




These population figures are based on the Census results. The boundaries are those used in the particular census which may vary over time..

1801 459
1811 510
1821 618
1831 708
1841 696
1851 660
1861 550
1871 601
1881 530
1891 490
1901 439
1911 442
1921 377
1931 382
1941 N/A
1951 426
1961 467
1971 505
1981 628
1991 702

There was no census in 1941.



Parish  Church  Register  Start
Padbury   St Mary the Virgin   Baptisms   1671   1905   Yes,
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Not available
Padbury   St Mary the Virgin   Marriages   1538   1837   Yes,
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Not available
Padbury   St Mary the Virgin   Burials   1671   1878   Yes,
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Not available




These were extracted from our own records and presented as a guide.

PositionBefore 1700  18th Century  19th Century  Overall Surnames  



The coming of the railways made Padbury important. London could be reached by train via Bletchley in an hour and a half, this comparing very favourably with present day services.
A Mr Ambler was Station Master for over 50 years, presiding over his kingdom with great dignity. One wonders what he would have thought now that 'his station' has been demolished and a pleasant housing estate built there. Each morning milk-floats from the surrounding farms gathered at the station, bringing churns of milk which were put on the 'milk train' en route for London. The drivers of the floats were the link between the village and the outlying farms, taking back all the local news, papers and even shopping.

A local carrier, Mr Albert Morris, went to Buckingham weekly with his horse and cart and brought back necessaries for the village folk. Mr Madkins went daily round the local villages also with his horse and cart taking household goods, needles, cottons, laces, etc. while his sister, Miss Mary Ann Madkins made boiled sweets which she sold from their thatched cottage near the station. These were the only sweets obtainable in the village and so were very popular.

As the railways declined Padbury still retained its position of importance as the road at the other end of the village started to carry more traffic, including the local bus service from Aylesbury through Buckingham to Northampton. In recent years the traffic has increased considerably, carrying traffic between London and the Midlands. The main road through the village itself has also become very busy partly because of the building of the new city of Milton Keynes only twelve miles away.

In common with many other villages the occupation of the residents has changed over recent years. Agriculture formerly provided most of the work, there being at least fifteen farms of which most of the houses and cottages belonged to All Soul's College, Oxford. Farms have now been amalgamated and the farm houses sold off. Farm buildings such as barns and even cow sheds have been sold and turned into houses. As a result very few people work on the land, now commuting to places like Milton Keynes, Buckingham University and even going daily to London.

Even with these changes the continuity of village life goes on. Padbury Benefit Society has been in being for many years and in spite of social security and the National Health Service seems to go from strength to strength. The sight of a local band led by the Society Banner proudly held aloft by its Standard Bearer on its way to the special church service on a Sunday evening in May and parading the village on the Monday, before culminating in a very well-attended dinner held in the Village Hall is surely a sign of the continuity of village life in Padbury.

Article written by members of the Buckinghamshire Federation of Women's Institutes for the publication "The Buckinghamshire Village Book" (1987) and reproduced here with their permission


My great-uncle Rees Rees lived in Padbury one hundred years ago. Rees Rees emigrated to Bucks from Wales, living for a little while at Piltch Farm, Adstock, before moving to become a tenant of All Soul's College, Oxford, at Manor Farm, Padbury.


At the age of seven my father, James James, came to live with him and luckily the housekeeper at Manor Farm was a kindly Welsh lady known to all as Margaret. It must have been very bewildering for a small boy to start life afresh and to learn a new language, as the only language he could speak was Welsh.
As he grew older he soon became immersed in the life at Manor Farm and under the tutelage of his uncle learned all about the ways of a dealer because that was the chief interest of Rees Rees.
Rees Rees purchased horses and cattle from small farms in Wales and these would be brought up by road to Padbury by drovers; incidentally, these drovers were put up at the New Inn at a charge of threepence per night but had to wash under the pump in the yard. The horses were unbroken and were shod by the Padbury blacksmith, Mr Sam Kirtland, and then were taken to the various horse fairs all over the country at Barnet, Stow-on-the-Wold, Banbury and Deddington.
Rees Rees did not have a bank account until he was quite an old man with failing eyesight, all the deals being made in gold sovereigns.
He was noted for his horses and was an accomplished driver. His ability to drive fact stood him in good stead when, in addition to farming at Padbury, he also became tenant of land at Stowe Park and on the Claydon Estate.
In those days none of the products of harvest were wasted, even the chaff being used with chopped mangolds to feed the cows. The mangolds were put through a machine which was turned by a handle. The cows were of course milked by hand in buildings surrounding the yard. After the milk had been strained, cooled and put into churns it was taken by horse-drawn float to Padbury station where it was put on the eight o'clock train to London.
The activities at the station were conducted under the watchful eye of the stationmaster, a notable character called Mr Ambler who was later to be presented by the residents with a gold watch for fifty years' service to the village. When the leading citizens of Padbury, Mr and Mrs Gore Langton from the Lodge, used the station on their journeys to London, on arrival in their resplendent carriage they were met by Mr Ambler who always wore a top hat on these occasions.
Rees Rees also brought sheep up from Wales. These were small and long tailed and were a constant source of friction among the neighbouring farmers as they could get through very small gaps in hedges. In early summer the sheep were taken to Thornborough Mill to be washed in the river, in order to enhance the value of the wool. Then came the sheepshearing which always took place in hot weather, it being easier to shear them when the grease from their body was present in the wool.
After shearing, the sheep were taken to a sheep dip situated by a pond adjoining some buildings called 'Dog Kennel' a little way down the Thornborough road.
The most important animals on the farm were the horses as they were involved in most of the activities.
Pig-killing days were events of importance. After the pig had been killed by a local slaughterer who journeyed round the various farms, it was immersed in a wooden tank filled with boiling water and all the hair was scraped off by means of an implement like a candlestick. The carcass was hung up for a day before being cut up into sides and hams, the immediate products being pork pies, faggots, brawn and chitterlings. The 'leaf and spare fat were rendered down into lard. The bladder was eagerly sought after by the local boys as, blown up and dried, it made a splendid football. The main part of the pig and the hams were placed in leads in the cellar and were immersed in brine for some weeks before being hung up to dry.
Later, when I was living at Manor Farm, I found candle-making equipment up in the attic.

Margaret Crook, Padbury

In August 1924 I left Padbury School at the age of fourteen and started work at Manor Farm for Mr James James. I began as general odd job boy.
Hours at Manor Farm were from 7 am to 5 pm six days a week. My wages were seven shillings a week with any overtime at threepence an hour. For the first two weeks my mother let me keep the seven shillings to buy a pair of strong boots, for ten shillings. After this I gave my mother half my wages each week.
When the harvest  was  finished muck carting started, clearing all the muck from the yards to the fields. When this job was done ploughing began. I was then 'plough boy', driving a team of four horses for the ploughman. My ploughman, Jim Picketts, was a good-tempered man and I loved working with horses. We were at plough from 8.30 am to 2.15 pm with fifteen minutes lunch break. This was because Jim was also a milker.
With ploughing and drilling finished, the next job was mangold-pulling for winter feed for the cattle. When winter came I was set to work with the cowman, Will Salmons, who was a wonderful man with cows.
In my second year I was promoted to milk cart driver, and after my morning jobs round the cows were finished I was set to collect the eggs, clean the hen houses, get in wood and coal for the Missus and any other odd jobs around the house. Eventually I became a regular milker which meant starting at 6 am seven days a week, three hundred and sixty-five days a year as there were no paid holidays in those days. Still, even without holidays we were happy in our work.
I was a regular milker until I was eighteen and then I began to get annoyed when my mates were all dressed up on Sunday afternoons, so I left the farm.

Member's husband, Padbury

Extracted from 'A Pattern Hundreds' (1975) and reproduced with the kind permission of the Buckinghamshire Federation of Women's Institutes



Description of Padbury from J.J. Sheahan, 1861.

The area of Padbury is 1,900 acres; population 550; rateable value, £2,893. The parish is intersected by the Buckinghamshire Railway, and the river Ouse, which separates it from the parish of Buckingham, is here crossed by a neat stone bridge of three arches, erected in 1828, instead of the old one, built in 1742. The valley is here very pleasant. The soil is clay and gravel.

The village is pleasingly situated on an eminence on the direct turnpike road from London, through Aylesbury, nearly 3 miles S.E. of Buckingham. It is about half a mile of length. Lipscomb says that it is "situated at the junction of two ancient British pad or track ways; one leading from Winslow and Aylesbury, towards Buckingham; and the other from Brill, through Grendon and Edgcott, towards Fenny Stratford; and the line of the old Roman Road, called Watling Street." The same historian tells us that Padbury, anciently Padenbyry, "is said to derive its name from Path Bury (the Saxon letter d being the same as th), the former signifying a road or path, and the latter a borough or burgh.  

The Manor House, now occupied by William Henley Handsomb, Esq., is a large plain well built edifice of brick, situated near the church.

There are two Dissenting Chapels; one a plain structure, covered with thatch, used by the Wesleyans; and the other small building used by both Primitive Methodists and Independents.

The National School is a neat edifice of red brick with some dressings, erected in 1840 by subscription, at a cost of about £300, on a site given by the Society of All Souls' College. The learned body also contributed £45 towards the building; and the National Society, the Bucks' Diocesan Board of Education, &c., granted donations for the same purpose. About 50 children attend. Libscomb gives a plate of this pretty and commodious school building.


Padbury Parish (Pop. 708)

One Daily School (commenced 1826) containing from 30 to 45 boys, according to the season of the year, who are instructed at the expense of their parents.

One Sunday School, consisting of 74 males and 91 females, supported by collections after an annual sermon, appertaining to Wesleyan Methodists.



Additional information