Newport Pagnell was part of the Newport Hundred and the Newport Pagnell Poor Law Union. The parish was located within the Newport Pagnell Rural District 1894-1897 when it was removed to form the Newport Pagnell Urban District. From 1897 until 1974 the civil parish of Newport Pagnell was the only parish in the urban district of that name.
Newport Pagnell is now a town in the Borough of Milton Keynes, in the ceremonial county of Buckinghamshire. It is the part of the unitary authority closest to the M1 motorway which is its modern civil parish boundary to the east.
The town was first mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Neuport, which is Old English meaning New Market Town, but by that time the old Anglo-Saxon town was dominated by the Norman invaders. The suffix "Pagnell" came later when the manor passed into the hands of the Pagnell (Paynel) family. It was the principal town of the "Three Hundreds of Newport", a district that had almost the same boundary as the modern Borough.
At one time, Newport Pagnell was one of the largest towns in the County of Buckinghamshire (the assizes of the County were occasionally held there) though today, despite its own substantial expansion, it has been completely dwarfed by the growth of Milton Keynes. There were also at one time two hospitals in Newport Pagnell and six fairs were held for the townsfolk throughout the year.
Newport Pagnell became the headquarters of Newport Pagnell Rural District under the Local Government Act 1894. In 1897 Newport Pagnell became the sole civil parish comprising the newly created Newport Pagnell Urban District.
Tickford Bridge, over the River Ouzel (or Lovat), was built in 1810 and is the only iron bridge in Britain that still carries main road traffic and is the oldest iron bridge in the world that is still in constant use. There is a plaque near the footbridge at the side that gives details of its history and construction placed there by Newport Pagnell Historical Society.
From 1954, until recently, Tickford Street in the town was the home to the prestigious sports car manufacturer Aston Martin. The Newport Pagnell factory was considered outdated and a new production facility was built near Gaydon, in Warwickshire. There is still a service facility in Newport Pagnell, but the factory on the north side of Tickford St has since been demolished apart from the engine shop, board room and offices that are listed buildings. The land behind these has been purchased by Tesco and the supermarket giant is going to build an outlet on the site, preserving the original remaining buildings for use by the townspeople. In 2012 the service facility was completely modernised and now also houses a bespoke sales department. The town is also home to the only remaining vellum manufacturer in the United Kingdom, William Cowley, located at Parchment Works, 97 Caldecote Street.
Population and growth
Although Newport Pagnell is outside the designated area of Milton Keynes, its growth has been at a similar level to that of the constituent towns of the latter; the two now join at the M1 and there is little distinction between them. The Office for National Statistics regards Newport Pagnell as part of the Milton Keynes Urban Area. Its population in 1971 was 6,000: by 2001 it had reached 15,020. The Borough Council projects that the population will remain broadly stable at this level. However, in its comments on the expansion plans for Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire County Council challenges this assumption, calling for any further expansion to be to the east of the M1 rather than south across the border into Aylesbury Vale.
The people of Newport Pagnell are known as Pagnellions.
Birth, marriage and death certificates can now be ordered online from Buckinghamshire County Council. The full postal address is Buckinghamshire Register Office, County Hall, Walton Street, Aylesbury, HP20 1YU.
The Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies (County Hall, Walton Street, Aylesbury, HP20 1UU) holds
In Buckinghamshire, as with other counties in England and Wales, the location of offices where Births, Marriages and Deaths were registered has altered with other changes in local government. A list of the location of Registration Offices since civil registration began in 1837 has been prepared by GENUKI (Genealogy: United Kingdom and Ireland). The table also gives details of when each Registration Office was in existence. In the case of Buckinghamshire, the same registration offices were used for the censuses since 1851.
Nineteenth Century Local Administration
English Jurisdictions is a webpage provided by FamilySearch which analyses every ecclesiastical parish in England at the year 1851. It provides, with the aid of outline maps, the date at which parish records and bishops transcripts begin, non-conformist denominations with a chapel within the parish, the names of the jurisdictions in charge: county, civil registration district, probate court, diocese, rural deanery, poor law union, hundred, church province; and links to FamilySearch historical records, FamilySearch Catalog and the FamilySearch Wiki. Two limitations: only England, and at the year 1851.
During the 19th century two bodies, the Poor Law Union and the Sanitary District, had responsibility for governmental functions at a level immediately above that covered by the civil parish. In 1894 these were replace by Rural and Urban Districts. These were elected bodies, responsible for setting local property assessments and taxes as well as for carrying out their specified duties. Thses districts continued in operation until 1974. Urban districts for larger municipalities were called "Municipal Boroughs" and had additional powers and obligations.
Poor Law Unions, established nationally in 1834, combined parishes together for the purpose of providing relief for the needy who had no family support. This led to the building of '"union poorhouses" or "workhouses" funded by all the parishes in the union. The geographical boundaries established for the individual Poor Law Unions were employed again when Registration Districts were formed three years later. In 1875 Sanitary Districts were formed to provide services such as clean water supply, sewage systems, street cleaning, and the clearance of slum housing. These also tended to follow the same geographical boundaries, although there were local alterations caused by changes in population distribution.
Online Historical References