Pitstone (formerly Pightelsthorn, with possible variation Pychelesthorn in 1399 ) is a village and civil parish within the Aylesbury Vale district of Buckinghamshire, England. It is located at the foot of the Chiltern Hills, about seven miles east of Aylesbury and six miles south of Leighton Buzzard. It directly adjoins the village of Ivinghoe, and the two villages share a number of their facilities.
Pitstone was given to the abbey at Ashridge by the Earl of Cornwall in 1283. In 1290 King Edward I spent Christmas in Pitstone at the estate that had been given to the abbey, and stayed for five weeks, during which time he held parliament in Ashridge. His stay caused great inconvenience to the local inhabitants of the village, who were legally obliged to keep the king and his court.
More recently Pitstone was the site of a cement works which closed in the 1990s. The site has now been demolished and has been redeveloped for housing and business use. The new housing district is named 'Castlemead' (after the Castle Cement Company who were the last operators of the site) and the business area already contains numerous units with construction ongoing.
A notable building nearby is Pitstone Windmill, which is owned by the National Trust. The windmill was formerly capable of rotating to face the prevailing wind, as evidenced by the wheel protruding from one side of the structure. Although it no longer retains this capacity, the wheel remains in place and the pivot point of the windmill is clearly visible.
Pitstone Green Museum provides some interesting insights into agricultural history and various supporting trades. The museum is located to the south of the village, on the site of a farm.
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