Friday, February 11, 2011

Stanton Low

There is evidence of settlement her during Romano-British times and even at one time a vinyard. By the time of the Norman Conquest the manor was smallish (800 acres) and extended south from the river Ouse all the way up to Linford Wood. The settlement had 7 villagers, 3 smallholders, and 4 slaves. There was a mill by the river. These numbers might extrapolate to a population of 50 or 60.
About the turn of the 13th century, Simon de Stanton adopted the surname Barre (Barry). After this the manor was known as Stanton Barry, later contracted to Stantonbury.
The manor passed through a multitude of owners until it fell into the hands of the Spencer family in 1744. Various parts of the manor were sold to the London and North western railway to create New Bradwell in the 19th centry, and I assume the remainder was sold to Milton Keynes Development Corporation in 1970.
That part of the manor close to the river, which we know as Stanton low, appears to have been the main part of this small settlement and the ruins of the church still stand as a reminder of this abandoned village.

There must have been some sort of manor house at the site from the earliest times but we don't know very much about these buildings. We do know that Sir John Wittewrong, who purchased the manor in 1667, built a mansion house there. One assumes that it was there 100 years later and it was possibly occupied by Thomas Harrison who was the steward for the Spencer estates. This same Thomas Harrison also added the management of the Radcliffe Trust estate at Wolverton to his portfolio of interests in 1773 and shortly after he built Wolverton House for himself and his family. It may be that after this the Wittewrong mansion was pulled down because there are no further references to it.

In the 19th century, when the census comes to be recorded, there is only one family living at Stanton Low, a farmer's family living on the Newport Road, where the present farm buildings are located, and several cottages at Clare's Farm, on the higher ground of Stantonbury, south of the canal.

The small church at Stanton Low, dedicated to St Peter, dates from the 12th century and had a long and useful life for the first 700 years and a rather patchy one for its last century before it fell into ruin in 1956.

The creation of New Bradwell in 1854 was the beginning of the end for St. Peter's

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