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WING (or WENGE) is a parish 3 miles south-west from the London and North Western railway station at Leighton Buzzard, in the hundred of Cottesloe, union and county court district of Leighton Buzzard, rural deanery of Ivinghoe, archdeaconry of Buckingham and diocese of Oxford. In former days Wing was a place of some importance; in the year 1255 a charter was granted to Peter de Warren by Henry III. for a market every Thursday and a fair for three days at Michaelmas.
The church of All Saints is an interesting structure of mixed styles, consisting of apsidal chancel, clerestoried nave, aisles, porches and a western battlemented tower; this may fairly be regarded as the most remarkable church in the county; it is reputed to contain Saxon work, and this view has been supported by the late Sir Gilbert Scott R.A. who particularly instanced as examples the semi-circular arcades, or rather arched perforations in the walls and the construction of the chancel arch: the most interesting feature in the church is its apsidal polygonal chancel, which is considerably elevated above the nave, and has beneath it a crypt of rude construction about eight feet in height: a rude arcade runs round the outside of the apse, considered by some authorities to be also Saxon work, perhaps of the eleventh century; the windows are much later; the nave appears to be chiefly of Norman date and has arcades of massive arches dividing it from the aisles; there are some good Early Decorated windows and a north doorway of that period, but the tower, font and south porch are Perpendicular; the base of an old Norman font may be seen in the south porch.
There are monuments to the family of Fynes from 1686 to 1758, including one to Mrs. Margaret Fynes, said to be the work of Roubiliac, and several costly memorials to the Dormers, with others, ranging from 1542 to 1729; these include a fine altar tomb of marble, with Corinthian columns supporting a cornice with shield of arms, to Sir Robert Dormer, 1552, around which, until 1850, were two large pews with baluster screens, inscribed with twelve rhymed couplets; and another altar tomb with recumbent effigies of marble, partly gilt, under a canopy, supported by columns of Sicilian jasper, with marble caps and adorned with five shields of arms, to Sir. William Dormer K.B. 1575, and Dorothy, his wife; there are also brasses to Harry Bracknall, 1460, and Agnes, his wife, 1489; with effigies to Tankerville Fynes, without date; John Theede, 1622; and Thomas Cotes, “porter at Ascott Hall,” 1648; and there are effigies of a man and woman, with the initials K.S. and date 1633; other memorials remain to the family of Redman 1699-1722; and Bell 1721-38; Mrs. Bridgett Neale 1677; William Theed gent. and Stephen Welch, vicar, 1774; in the churchyard are remains of a stone cross : in 1850 the church was completely restored by the late Sir G. Gilbert Scott R A. at a cost of £1,476.
The register dates from the year 1546, and is perfect from that date: it was carefully restored in 1850 ; there is also an ancient book of churchwardens’ accounts. The living is a vicarage, yearly value £400 with residence, in the gift of Lord Overstone, and held since 1850 by the Rev. Peter Thomas Ouvry M.A. of Trinity College, Cambridge, who is also rector of Grove; Dr. Dodd, executed in the last century for forgery, was vicar of this parish. The Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists have each a chapel here. There are almshouses, called Dormer’s Hospital, founded in 1562 by Dame Dorothy Pelham, for eight men and women, endowed with land, and money invested in Consols, producing a total gross income of £74 per annum. The other charities in the parish are those of William Robinson, a perpetual rent-charge on land at Burcot of £2 a year for clothing; Lady Carnarvon and William Hoare, arising from the rent of a field of about six acres at Burcot, now let for £36 a year, for clothing and blankets; William Dent, £59 New £3 per Cent. Annuities, the proceeds of which are also distributed in clothing; Robert Shepherd, a rent-charge of £6 6s. 8d. arising from land in the parish of Edlesborough, of which £1 a year is paid to the vicar for catechising the children, l0s. to the vicar of Leighton Buzzard for a sermon on Ascension day and the rest distributed in penny loaves to twenty children attending the church weekly; there is also the Fuel Allotment Charity, consisting of about £8 a year, arising from £268 9s. 1d. £3 per Cent. Consols, and distributed annually in coals; the Church Land Charity, of about £263 in Consols, derived from the sale of about three acres of land in the parish of Mentmore, yields over £14 yearly, which is paid to the churchwardens; a sum of £12 1s. 4d. arising from Pratt’s charity at Wingrave is also distributed amongst the poor at the discretion of the trustees. Wing lodge, situated near the church, the property of Edward Hart esq. is a commodious and handsome building of white brick in the French style, with gables and abutments of dark brick highly finished, which give the building a pleasing appearance: it was erected by the owner in 1874 and is now occupied by Hy. J. Chinnery esq. Lord Overstone, who is lord of the manor, and the Earl of Rosebery are the principal landowners. The soil is various, clay, sand, gravel and loam; subsoil, clay. The crops are hay, wheat, beans, barley, oats and roots. The area is 5,310 acres; rateable value, £10,317; the population in 1881 was 1,636.
ASCOTT is a hamlet half a mile east. The old Hall, built by the Dormers, and in part designed by Inigo Jones, began to fall into decay in 1720, and has now wholly disappeared; some traces of the fish ponds and moat and of the bowling alley still remain. There was here, in the latter part of the 12th century, a cell of Benedictine monks, attached to the Abbey of St. Nicholas of Angiers, afterwards granted by Henry V. to the priory of St. Mary de la Pre, near St..Albans. Lord Overstone, who is lord of the manor, and Leopold de Rothschild esq. are the principal landowners. Ascott Park, the hunting cottage of Leopold de Rothschild esq. J.P.is an old Elizabethan structure of brick and timber, and was originally a farm house, built in 1606, but was restored and enlarged about 1874. The kennels and hunting stables, originally at Mentmore, have been transferred to Ascott.
BURCOT hamlet is one mile north. Lord Overstone, who is lord of the manor, and E. Crouch and Fynes Clinton esqrs. are the principal landowners.
CRAFTON hamlet is three miles south. Lord Overstone who is lord of the manor and the Earl of Rosebery are the principal landowners. Lord Rosebery has a breeding stud here.
LITTLEWORTH hamlet is half a mile north. Lord Overstone who is lord of the manor and Mr. Philip Hart are the chief landowners.
Parish Clerk, John Windmill.
POST & MONEY ORDER OFFICE & Savings Bank.-George Cleaver, sub-postmaster. Letters arrive through Leighton Buzzard at 7.55 a.m.; dispatched at 6.25 p.m. week days, 9 a.m. sundays. Leighton Buzzard is the nearest telegraph office
INSURANCE AGENT.-North British & Mercantile, Alexander Lowe Webster, Leighton Buzzard
Registrar of Births & Deaths for the District of Wing, Superintendent of Highways & Assistant Overseer, George Cleaver
Parochial School, Wing (mixed), erected by Lord Overstone in 1850, for 300 children; average attendance, about 220 ; James Cross, master; Miss Margaret Neale, infants’ mistress
CARRIERS.-William Dimmock, to Aylesbury, on sat.; to Leighton Buzzard, daily; Mrs. Lovell to Leighton Buzzard, tues. thurs. & sat
|Chinnery Henry Joseph||Wing lodge|
|Hart Edward||Moor hills|
|Heley James William|
|Heley Thomas Somes||Ferndale|
|Lyns Rev.Fredk. Ormiston M.A.||[curate]|
|Ouvry Rev. Peter Thos. M.A.,J.P.||[vicar]|
|Webster Alexander Lowe|
|Brown Mary (Mrs.)||grocer|
|Capp Thomas||boot & shoe maker|
|Cleaver Ernest||grocer & draper|
|Cleaver George||registrar of births & deaths, for Wing district, & assistant overseer|
|Denchfield Seth||carpenter &c|
|Dimmock William||mealman & carrier|
|Fountaine Bernard||farmer, Lower Wingbury|
|Gates Baron Frederick John||farmer, Wing Park farm|
|Harris James||farmer, Manor farm|
|Hedges Richard||farmer, Cottesloe|
|Heley Brothers||corn & cake merchants|
|Heley Thomas Somes||corn merchant & miller (steam)|
|Jordan George||general dealer|
|Manning Wm.||farmer, West Park farm|
|Munday Henry||Dove inn|
|Randall Frederick||coal dealer|
|Stevens Thomas||Cock inn|
|Underwood Wm.||farmer, Old Park farm|
|Webster Alexander Lowe||architect & local agent for Lord Overstone|
|Whitman Edward||grocer &c|
|Windmill Henry Charles||Queen’s Head|
|Windmill John||Vicarage farm|
|Woolhead William||farmer, Cottesloe|
|Gates Baron Frederick Jn.||Ascott lodge|
|Rothschild Leopold de J.P.||Ascott park|
|Prentice John||farmer, Waterloo farm|
|Hart Philip||farmer, estate agent & auctioneer|
|Cotes Charles||Burcot cottage|
|Adams Henry Charles||farmer|
|Smith Jane (Mrs.)||farmer|
|Staples Berry||Six Bells|
|Vallentine Robert||farmer, Burcot lodge|
|Bliss John & Matthew||farmers|
|Markham Charles||master of Earl Rosebery’s breeding stud establishment|
|Bandy George||Sportmen’s Arms|
|Trueman George||brick maker|