Quainton (formerly Quainton Malet) is a village and civil parish in Aylesbury Vale district in Buckinghamshire, England, north west of Aylesbury. The population is 1290, of which 1000 are adults. The village has two churches (Anglican & Baptist), a school and two public houses. The location means that while many commute to London, others are employed in neighbouring towns and villages.
Its name is Old English and means Queen's Estate (cwen tun). It is not known to which queen this refers, but possibly the Queen was Edith, the wife of Edward the Confessor. Known as "Fair Edith" she held manors in this part of Buckinghamshire, including a hunting lodge at Mentmore. Edward the Confessor had a palace at nearby Brill.
The former suffix Malet refers to the Malet family who were lords of the manor from 1066 until about 1348. At least one member went on the crusades, and had associations with the Hospitallers, the organization credited with rebuilding Quainton church circa 1340. The Hospitallers erected the cross on the village green, the base and shaft of which still remain.
The village green in the centre of the village has grouped around it some of the half-timbered thatched cottages for which the village is known.
The parish church is dedicated to St Mary and the Holy Cross. It is a 14th century building of the style of gothic architecture known as Decorated. The west tower was built later in the 15th century. The church contains many memorial brasses and sculpture, including the tomb of Thomas Stayner of 1689. The stone effigies depict the deceased lying in full armour, while his widow rests beside him, half sitting regarding her husband. In the chancel are a reredos and sedilia by William White who was responsible for the heavy Victorian restoration and rebuilding of the chancel in 1877. The church also contains Victorian stained glass windows. Richard Brett, a former rector of Quainton and one of the translators of the King James Version of the Bible, is buried in the chancel.
Close by the church is the former rectory, a large house described by Pevsner as of vitreous red brick. The principal facade has a three bayed centre and two canted bays. The house contains 16th century linenfold panelling.
The Winwood Almshouses, still inhabited, were built to house the poor, their gothic style of architecture belying the construction date of 1687. They are a terrace of eight small cottages, one storey high with a row of dormers in the attics. These attic windows have alternating small and large gables. The terrace is decorated by two porches, with a plaque above. The almshouses are further adorned by diagonally placed chimney stacks.
Quainton was once linked to London by train to Marylebone and Baker Street; in the opposite direction travel was available to Rugby, Verney Junction and elsewhere. Passenger services ceased in 1963, but trains from Aylesbury run to connect with events at the Railway Museum at Quainton Road railway station on some Bank Holidays. The station was also once a junction for the light railway (closed in 1936), sometimes known as the Brill Tramway, connecting Quainton with Brill village.
Quainton has a mix of old and new dwellings.
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