Thursday, November 25, 2010
The Lost Village of Old Wolverton
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I've touched on this before. On the Google Satellite view you can see a field to the west of Holy Trinity. Enlarge the map and you can see rows of land strips in this grassy field which may indicate the site of a medieval settlement. Much of the Wolverton Manor was enclosed in the 16th century and all of it in the 17th. The Longueville family were met with protests and some legal action, but this appears to have originated with the Stony Stratford tenants on the Wolverton Manor, many of whom depended on the land attached to their houses and inns on the Watling Street to support their businesses.
The image of peasants being driven from their land by rapacious landowners makes for a good story but I suspect that the enclosures were effected over time with little impact on the labourers on the land. Bradwell and Stantonbury implemented enclosures without protest and much of the Wolverton Manor may have been the same.