Quainton Parish, Buckinghamshire, England
Holy Cross and St. Mary’s, Quainton, Buckinghamshire, England
Church has continuous records of the Parish of Quainton going back to 1389 A.D.
This is an unusual dual dedication to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Holy Cross, symbol of the Knights Hospitaller.
John H. Bunting of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, went to Quainton in 1960 and in 1966 shared some pictures and stories with Elizabeth Rittenhouse Lamb which she recorded in her unpublished book, The Record of My Ancestry.
Later in October 1976 Elizabeth Rittenhouse Lamb visited Quainton and other places of family history interest in England. Elizabeth’s daughter Judith Lamb Rittenhouse with her husband Ted Carpenter, her child Thomas Weldon Tucker, his wife Carola, and their child Sonja also visited briefly in April 2004.
“The venerable Quainton Church was begun in 1300 A.D. It is of Norman French Architecture with the square Norman Tower. There is a great oaken chest in front of the altar containing church records going back to 1399 A.D. During the Black Death the Church had several Rectors in just one year! The records of death are very great during that time.
“John Bunting, Jr., born in 1791, and later married to Elizabeth Brasill, operated a carpenter shop and cabinet-making establishment up to 1830 in this ancient building which stands at the foot of the Quainton green. It is now occupied by the British Farmer’s Union – a government organization which aids English farmers. John did much of the wood carving about the interior of Quainton Church for which he was paid L189/16/7 (189 pounds, 16 shillings, 7 pence). The pound in those days had five times the purchasing power it has today.” John Bunting, Jr., was a brother of our George Bunting who was born in 1806 in Quainton. George Bunting is the great grandfather of Elizabeth Rittenhouse Lamb.
When Elizabeth Rittenhouse Lamb went to
Quainton to work on her family history,
the rector opened up the oaken chest for her to record from its records.
“James Anstiss died on 11 Nov 1772 and his wife Sarah Lee Anstiss had previously died on 17 July 1732. Both died in Quainton and were buried there. Their son Thomas Anstiss, Sr., born 1721, “was apprenticed in 1733 to a Mr. Butcher of Winslow, Buckinghamshire, England to learn the Patten-sole and Shovel-making (sic) Business. Mr. John H. Bunting of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, believed that Thomas, Sr., met his future wife Anne in Winslow and married her there in 1765. Winslow is a lovely little English Country Town (sic) about 15 miles north of Quainton.”
Elizabeth Anstiss Bunting is Elizabeth Rittenhouse Lamb’s 3rd great grandmother and the daughter of Thomas and Anne Anstiss. She is buried beside her husband John Bunting in the Church Yard of the Ancient Quainton Church which dates back to 1300 A.D. William Bunting, Elizabeth’s 4th great grandfather and his wife Jane are buried beside John and Elizabeth. All the gravestones are still in good condition, and when the moss is scraped away the dates, names and inscriptions can be read.
John H. Bunting continues in his letter, “The house John and Elizabeth Bunting lived in at the time of their death is still in excellent repair. It faces the Quainton Commons, has a lovely white fence in front of it, just as it did when John and Elizabeth lived in it. John willed this house to his only surviving daughter Selina Bunting, who married John Shirley. They lived in the house and ran the Quainton Post Office until Mr. Shirley died. Selina’s great-great grandson lives at Woolon-on-the-green (near Bleatchley), Buckinghamshire. . . It (Quainton) is one of the most beautiful ancient English villages and is about as it was when our relatives lived there so long ago.
This west side of the Common shows the
post office for Quainton which is the white building. The house John and
Elizabeth Bunting lived
in at the time of their death is still in excellent repair. It also faces the Quainton Commons on the west side and has a lovely white fence in front
of it, just as it did when John and Elizabeth lived in it.
“Thomas Anstiss, Jr., (a brother of our Elizabeth Anstiss) went to sea as a young man, got into the fur trade in Canada, made a fortune, married a Canadian girl, came back to Quainton, built a beautiful manor house and the great Anstiss Mill in Quainton (sic). In 1960 Ralph Anstiss (a descendant) told me (Mr. J. H. Bunting) that when Thomas, Jr., decided to marry his Canadian wife, he felt there was no one in Canada able to make a wedding gown beautiful enough for her. So he set sail for England with her measurements, had her lovely gown made in England, then sailed back to Canada, married her, and brought her home to England.
“The Anstiss Mill was originally powered by wind. Later Thomas Jr. went to London and purchased a Watt Steam Engine. We believe this was the first mill to grind grain by Steam in Buckinghamshire! The Mill Tower is still in good condition and the ancient steam engine is still in the mill. The Anstiss Mill is a landmark and dominates the village of Quainton. Thomas Jr. was prominent in Enclosure Acts and local affairs. He died at only 42 years of age after a vigorous and exciting life.
This is the Ancient Anstiss Mill and
Manor House located at the North end (top) of the Quainton Green.
The original (through at least 1960) had only one window over the roof; today (2004) it has a new roof and three windows as you see in the picture.
“The Mill Tower actually is much higher than it looks, in this photo, because it is a considerable distance from the house, and you tend to compare
its height with that of the house. . . It is about three times as high as the house.” Also notice the monument to the right.
“The low shed-like buildings at the base of the mill were used by the local farmers who drove their wagons inside them out of the weather to unload grain and wait while it was ground. The Anstiss Mill was originally powered by wind. Only one of the long arms of the wind wheel remains. The other three were torn off the mill drive shaft in a violent storm several years ago. A few years after the mill was in operation, Thomas Anstiss purchased Watt Steam Engine in London and had it installed in the Mill to grind grain on windless days. Ralph Anstiss showed me (John H. Bunting) the clay pit about 500 feet from the base of the Mill where the clay was dug to make the bricks for the Mill Tower. The bricks were burned in a kiln right on the Anstiss property. The family owned more than 30 acres of land north of Quainton Green.” The house and mill face The Green (also called the Quainton Common).
The tower mill is the tallest in Buckinghamshire, being 65 ft. to the top of the
brickwork and another 8 feet to the top of the cap. The cap is a very early
example of galvanized sheet wrought-iron work, unique in that it has no ribs or
substructure apart from stays to stop it blowing away.
The millwright was William Cooper of Aylesbury, whose accounts are deposited
in the County Record Office. The clay for the bricks was dug on site and fired
in a temporary kiln set up in an adjacent field. Some of the bricks have been
incised with the names of the Millwright and the Owners, and the date of the start
of the works. Milling by wind continued until about 1890. A steam engine was
installed early in the mill’s life but was removed for scrap at the beginning of first
World War. The mill originally had three pairs of stones, one of which is extant
and in working order.
The Quainton Windmill Society was formed in 1974 with the objective of
restoring the mill to working order. This was achieved in 1997, however the suit
of sails then fitted failed and had to be replaced. The new ones were fitted in
2005. It in intended to be milling flour for sale during 2006.
All the work on the mill has been by a dedicated team of local volunteers, with
the active and enthusiastic support of the owner, Colin Dancer, who is a
descendant of the original owner, James Anstiss.
--article from www.aylesburyvale.net/visit/tourism/south/info/mills/quainton
Included in John H. Bunting’s letter is the following, “The small monument (grey color) at the base of the Mill, but out on the green itself, was erected by crusaders on their way to Jerusalem to fight the Turks! Latin inscriptions on its base ask divine protection. It was erected about ten hundred A.D. which gives us some idea of how old Quainton is! We are not absolutely sure whether Thomas Anstiss, Jr., built this lovely manor house for the Canadian Bride or not, but we think he did. We know he built the Mill. Ralph Anstiss did not live in this house – he lived in a smaller house down the street on the road to the Quainton Church. Ralph did not know whether Elizabeth lived in this house as a girl and young woman before she married John, or not. The Anstiss Family was numerous in those days and owned two or three houses at the top of the green. But after Thomas died, Elizabeth’s family may have lived here – my guess is she did.”
James Anstiss was married in this Quainton Parish church on September 26, 1716, to Sarah Lee, his first wife. They both died in Quainton and are probably buried in the church yard. They were the parents of Thomas Anstiss, Sr., who married his wife Anne in 1765 and whose tombstones are in the Quainton Churchyard and they are entered on the Quainton Parish Death Records. Their daughter Elizabeth Anstiss was born in 1767 in Quainton and died 1 Feb 1846 in Quainton. She married John Bunting on July12, 1787. She is interred in the Church yard of the Ancient Quainton Church side by side with her husband John Bunting. – by Elizabeth Rittenhouse Lamb
The information on William and Jane Bunting began in the Ancient French Norman Abbey located at Tiffield, Northhamptonshire, England -- when they lived there up to at least 1776 and -- and perhaps all during that little misunderstanding between General George Washington and King George! It is in the Abbe de La Pre (translated into English means “The Abbey of the Prairie.”)
Their son John Bunting married Elizabeth Brasele (sic) in the Quainton Parish Church on March 10, 1814. After her death in 1817, John married Mary Ann Todd. The passenger list of the Ship Heritage in 1830 includes John Bunting, Eliza, George, his second wife Mary Ann, and Ann. James Bunting, Sr., married Charlotte King on September 6, 1813, in the Quainton Parish Church. Their family was also listed on the Ship Heritage: James Bunting, Almand (probably Emanuel), Marretta (sic), James, Charlotte his wife, George, Alfred, and Ely (sic). Four sons of John and Elizabeth Anstiss Hocking are each later located in Edwards County, Illinois--John, James, Charles and George. We are not sure where his son William lived. The daughters—Marietta, Selina, and Sarah--all remained in Quainton, England.
“John Bunting willed his property to his daughter Selina Bunting, his only child living who had remained in England. Selina married John Shirley and they lived in this family home after the death of her parents. Mr. Shirley operated the Quainton Post Office. After my visit to Quainton in 1960, the lady I hired to do some work on the family records found a very ancient woman (then 97 years old) who had lived in Quainton all her life. The ancient woman remembered Salina and Mr. Shirley and as a young person used to go to the post office when Mr. Shirley was Postmaster. She reported the house looks today just like it did then, even to the white picket fence and the vane over the door. The English take care of their homes, keep doors, woodwork and fences painted. The lovely red clay of Quainton makes beautiful bricks, don’t you agree?” asks John H. Bunting.
All sections in quotes were in a letter written to Elizabeth Rittenhouse Lamb that was signed by John H. Bunting on 12/24/1966. Mr. J. H. Bunting of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, speaks French, German, Spanish, and reads ancient Greek and Latin.
A typical old-fashioned thatched roof on a well-kept home in Quainton in 2004.
The Conservation area requires timber-framed cottages in the Lower Street.
Under The Town & Country Planning Act 1971, the village of Quainton was determined to be of such special architectural and historical interest that a Conservation Area was designated covering the central and eastern parts of the village. The planning authority then does not permit the demolition or redevelopment of any building of individual merit. Industrial development is not allowed and any development in the buildings must stay within the general character of the area. Some individual buildings outside of this area in Quainton have also been “listed” for the prescribed conservation.
The view of the Quainton Parish Church is from a post card. All over photography is by Judith Rittenhouse Lamb and her son Thomas Weldon Tucker. Article compilation by Judith Rittenhouse Lamb. See also an historical map of the Quainton area below.
from Vision of Britain, Historical Mapping at www.visionofbritain.org.uk/maps
Quainton is a village and a parish in Aylesbury district, Bucks. The village stands 4-3/4 miles S S E of Claydon railroad station, and 6-1/2 N W of Aylesbury; is large and widely scattered; was once a market town; is a seat of petty sessions; and has a post-office under Winslow, and an inn. The parish contains also the hamlets of Doddershall, Dereham, and Shipton-Lee. It has 5,368 acres, population of 929, and 227 homes. The property is divided among a few. Doddershall Hall is the seat of G. Pigott, Esq. Quainton hill commands a good view. The rocks include gritstone and iron-sand, and are famous for their fossils. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Oxford (sic). The church is of Mixed architecture; consists of nave, aisles, chancel, and North chapel with West tower. The church contains a figured screen, some good brasses, and several beautiful marble monuments. There are a Baptist chapel, a parochial school, alms-houses with 107 pounds a year, and charities of 105 pounds. Brett, a translator of the Bible, was rector. From Vision of Britain, Historical Mapping at www.visionofbritain.org.uk/maps