Drayton Parslow

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Drayton Parslow
DraytonParslow HolyTrinity south.JPG
Holy Trinity parish church
Drayton Parslow is located in Buckinghamshire
Drayton Parslow
Drayton Parslow
 Drayton Parslow shown within Buckinghamshire
Population 614 (2011 Census)
OS grid reference SP8328
Civil parish Drayton Parslow
District Aylesbury Vale
Shire county Buckinghamshire
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Milton Keynes
Postcode district MK17
Dialling code 01296
Police Thames Valley
Fire Buckinghamshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Buckingham
Website Drayton Parslow Village
List of places

Coordinates: 51°56′56″N 0°46′48″W / 51.949°N 0.780°W / 51.949; -0.780

Drayton Parslow is a village and civil parish in the Aylesbury Vale district of Buckinghamshire, England, about 3.5 miles (5.6 km) south of Bletchley. The 2011 Census recorded the parish's population as 614.[1]


In the 11th century the toponym was Draintone or Draitone.[2] This is derived from Old English and means "farm where sledges are used". It is a common English toponym for places that were on a hillside, where a sledge rather than a cart was needed for heavy loads.[citation needed] By the 13th century it had become Draitone Passele, referring to the Passelewe family who tenanted the manor of Drayton from the latter part of the 11th century.[2] It evolved through Draygtone Passelewe in the 14th century and Draighton Perselow in the 17th century before reaching its current form.[2]


In the reign of Edward the Confessor in the 11th century, Lewin de Nuneham held a manor of two hides and one virgate at Drayton.[2] After the Norman conquest of England Lewin was displaced as feudal overlord by the Norman Geoffrey de Montbray, Bishop of Coutances.[2] De Montbray tried unsuccessfully to displace the Passelewes as his tenants, and the family retained Drayton until 1379 when it passed by marriage to the Purcell family.[2] In 1461 it was conveyed to a descendant of the Passelewes, William Laycon, in whose family it then remained until at least 1570.[2]

In Edward the Confessor's reign two brothers held a second, smaller manor of three virgates at Drayton.[2] The Domesday Book records that by 1086 William I's half-brother Odo, Bishop of Bayeux held the fief of this manor.[2] However, Odo was tried for fraud in 1076 and disgraced again in 1082 for acting without Royal authority, and his extensive estates were eventually escheated to the Crown. Odo's Drayton manor was annexed to the Honour of Ampthill in Bedfordshire.[2] In 1562 it was linked with the manor of East Greenwich, and the last record of overlordship of this manor is dated 1607.[2]

Church and chapels[edit]

Base and broken shaft of Medieval preaching cross in Holy Trinity churchyard

Church of England[edit]

The Church of England parish church of the Holy Trinity contains fragments of 12th-century masonry.[3] The first known documentary record of the parish church is from 1232.[2] The chancel was rebuilt in the 14th century[3] in the Decorated Gothic style. In the 15th century the nave was rebuilt and the west tower was built or rebuilt in the Perpendicular Gothic style.[3] Of the same period are the Perpendicular Gothic hexagonal baptismal font,[4] the three-light east window of the chancel, a 15th-century alabaster relief above the altar depicting the Crucifixion of Jesus and fragments of 15th-century stained glass in the windows.[3] In the 16th century the south porch was added.[3] In 1863 the church was restored and the chancel was extended about 6 feet (2 m) eastwards, re-using the Perpendicular east window in the new position.[2] Holy Trinity is now a Grade II* listed building.[3]

By 1925 Holy Trinity had a ring of three bells.[2] Bartholomew Atton of Buckingham[5] cast the tenor bell in 1591.[6] John Taylor & Co of Loughborough, who at the time also had a foundry at Oxford, cast the treble and second bell in 1842.[6] In 1935 these became the fourth and fifth bells as John Taylor & Co cast a new treble, second and third bells, increasing the ring to six.[6]

Holy Trinity has also a Sanctus bell that was cast in 1669 by Anthony Chandler, who worked at his family's bell-foundry in the village (see below).[6]

Holy Trinity parish is now part of the Benefice of Newton Longville, Mursley, Swanbourne, Little Horwood and Drayton Parslow.[7]

Drayton Rectory is a Georgian house of five bays built in 1753[8] or 1754.[9] It is a Grade II* listed building.[8]

Former Primitive Methodist chapel, now a private house


Drayton Baptist Chapel was built in 1830.[2] Worship at the chapel is now on alternate Sunday mornings.[10]


Drayton's first Primitive Methodist chapel was built in 1847.[2] In 1912 it was replaced with a new Gothic Revival red brick chapel, and in 1932 it became part of the Methodist Union.[11] Drayton's Methodist congregation declined in the 1960s and 70s, and in 1984 the chapel was sold and converted into a private house.

Economic history[edit]


Drayton Parslow had a bell-foundry from 1635 to 1754.[5] It was started by Richard I Chandler and run by members of his family for the next 91 years.[5] In 1726 Edward Hall took over, and continued the business until 1754.[5]

163 bells cast by founders from Drayton Parslow are known to survive.[5] Examples in Buckinghamshire include bells at St James, Aston Abbotts, St Nicholas, Ickford and St Giles, Pitchcott and the Sanctus bell at St John the Evangelist, Whitchurch. There are also examples in Oxfordshire including at The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Beckley, St Michael's, Fringford, St Mary the Virgin, Kidlington and SS Peter and Paul, Steeple Aston and the Sanctus bells at St Mary, Chesterton and St Nicholas', Emmington. An example in Northamptonshire is at St James the Less, Sulgrave.

Naval records base, LBC hostel and Post Office training centre[edit]

In the Second World War the Royal Navy had a records base in Drayton Parslow, opposite Love Row, which is now Prospect Place. There was a secret tunnel linking the base with Brown's house, built to let Winston Churchill to get between the house and the base without being seen. Brown's Automotive Insulations factory provided felt lining for sound reduction in vehicles, and employed some of the villagers.

From the late 1950s to the mid-1960s the London Brick Company (LBC) used the former naval records base as a hostel for displaced persons. The hostel provided some employment for domestic staff. Arthur England was the manager and his wife Olga managed the kitchen for the residents, many of whom were survivors of concentration camps and death camps in the war.

In the 1960s LBC recruited Italians and Sicilians and brought more than 100 men to live at the LBC hostel Drayton Parslow. The villagers did not like the hostel and were not receptive to the men who lived there.

LBC closed the hostel, and the land and buildings were sold to the Post Office, which converted it into a Regional Training Centre and part of Bletchley Park. Men were trained to work in telecommunications and maintenance and engineering. It employed many villagers as domestic and kitchen staff. Arthur England was employed as training centre manager and his wife Olga was head housekeeper.


Drayton Parslow Village School is a mixed, community, infant school, which educates children between the ages of four and seven and has about 45 pupils. Since 2007 the school has been in a partnership sharing a single headteacher with the schools in Mursley and Swanbourne.[12] Many parish children older than seven go to Swanbourne C of E School,[13] the Junior school of the Three Schools, while others travel to Stewkley or Winslow.

Drayton Parslow has a public house, The Three Horseshoes.[14]


  1. ^ "Key Figures for 2011 Census:". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 3 February 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Page 1925, pp. 345–348
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Church of Holy Trinity". National Heritage List for England. English Heritage. 19 August 1959. Retrieved 19 September 2013. 
  4. ^ Pevsner 1973, p. 111.
  5. ^ a b c d e Dovemaster (31 October 2012). "Bell Founders". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. Central Council of Church Bell Ringers. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d Davies, Peter (16 February 2012). "Drayton Parslow Holy Trinity". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. Central Council of Church Bell Ringers. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  7. ^ Archbishops' Council (2010). "Benefice of Newton Longville, Mursley, Swanbourne, Little Horwood and Drayton Parslow". Church of England. Retrieved 19 September 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "The Old Rectory". National Heritage List for England. English Heritage. 19 August 1959. Retrieved 19 September 2013. 
  9. ^ Pevsner 1973, pp. 111–112.
  10. ^ "North Bucks Churches". Central Baptist Association. Retrieved 19 September 2013. 
  11. ^ "Drayton Parslow History – Photographs". Drayton Parslow History. Drayton Parslow Village. Retrieved 19 September 2013. 
  12. ^ Drayton Parslow Village School, Mursley C of E School, Swanbourne C of E School
  13. ^ Swanbourne C of E School
  14. ^ The Three Horseshoes

Sources and further reading[edit]

External links[edit]