Village History

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The stretch of land comprising the present civic parishes of Paulerspury and Potterspury, was called in the Doomsday Book Pirie or Perye, and later on,  Pury. The one part of it which forms the parish of Paulerspury was called "West Perey," to distinguish it from the other, which forms our parish, known then as East Perey or East Pury. East Pury took its present name, Potterspury, from one of the largest and oldest Potteries in these parts.

The village was originally called Pyrie or Estpirie (East Perey), derived from 'pyrige' meaning 'the place where pear tree grow'. Following the introduction of potteries in the 12th century the name was changed to Potters Perry or Potterspury. Several of these ancient potteries have been excavated in recent years.

The parish church is dedicated to St Nicholas and there has been a church on the site since at least 1087.

An Independent church was established in 1690 by the Rev Michael Harrison. The history of the Independents in the 18th century is largely bound up with the name John Heywood. He was an eccentric and remarkable man, described as tall and thin with a mean and slovenly appearance, mostly due to the neglect of his imprudent wife who remained outside the church for the first 28 years of their unsuitable marriage. However, he was held in high esteem by many including the Duke of Grafton, who allowed him to use his library.

The Dukes of Grafton resided at Wakefield Lodge from about 1748, when the 2nd Duke commissioned William Kent to design and build a house on the site of a hunting lodge in the Whittlebury Forest, about a mile south of Potterspury. Kent brought in Capability Brown to landscape the park, who for the first time used water in the landscape. Following the death of the 7th Duke in 1918 the estate was broken up and sold.

The village at one time had at least five or six public houses but now only two remain. The Anchor has been demolished. The Reindeer is an antique shop, and the Red Lion and The Blue ball are private houses. Four of these premises were on the Watling Street but now only The Talbot remains as a hostelry on this road. The Cock public house is in the High Street.

Within and close to the village were several farms, which employed most of the men before the advent of the railways and their workshops at Wolverton. Many of the women and girls were employed in lacemaking. The census return for 1851 list 135 lacemakers, some of whom were as young as five. A department of girls was added to the boy's school in 1857, to be followed in 1870 by an infant's class. Several of the farmhouses have become private dwellings with the land being used for the building of new houses. At one time there were several shops in the village including a butcher's and two bakers. The post office, which successive generations of the Osborne family ran for over 100 years, has now moved into the only village shop, which incidentally, was originally a farmhouse.

A Brook runs through the village and at one time supplied power to a corn and grinding mill. This power was later supplemented by a steam engine and later still by an oil engine. The mill continued in use until the 1940s and after being put to various uses it was converted into dwellings in the 1980s.

The Ecclesiatical Parish

This includes, as it has always included, Yardley Gobion, part of Old Stratford as well as Potterspury. The population in 1801 was 1,144, and in 1901 1,631.

The following extract where kindly given by the Village Appraisal Group who are producing a book on the village.


The following details where provided from the articles kept by Hilda Faux and her memories of a villager.

If you any information about the history of the village or families within the village and would like to submit it to the site for others to see please email it to






(c) 2012 Mark Russell -

Other sites: Villa Holidays with pools

(c) 2012 Mark Russell -

Other sites: Villa Holidays with pools