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Church of St James the Great, Bierton

Bierton (Buckinghamshire)

Bierton shown within Buckinghamshire
Population 1,771 (2001 Census)
OS grid reference SP8315
Parish Bierton with Broughton
District Aylesbury Vale
Shire county Buckinghamshire
Region South East
Constituent country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district HP22
Dialling code 01296
Police Thames Valley
Fire Buckinghamshire
Ambulance South Central
European Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Buckingham
List of places: UKEnglandBuckinghamshire

Coordinates: 51°49'49?N 0°47'16?W? / ?51.830154, -0.787735

Bierton is a village in Buckinghamshire, England, about half a mile northeast of the town of Aylesbury. The mainly farming parish is 10 km² in size. The parish church is dedicated to St James.

The village name was first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Bortone and means "farmstead near a stronghold" in modern English. The hamlets of Broughton, Broughton Crossing and Burcott lie within the Bierton with Broughton parish boundary.

The development of Bierton as a village was hampered by its being a linear settlement along the last road leading from Aylesbury to have its toll gate removed. The extra costs involved in travelling northwards using this route deterred many merchants, who favoured the less costly route via Winslow and Buckingham. The village remained an important point on this alternative northward route however, due to the presence of a wagon pond. This was used to swell the wooden axles of carts, and was a popular watering spot for carthorses.

At one point the village contained no fewer than seven public houses and porter houses. The stained glass door of the long since defunct "Star" can still be seen as can that of the 'Eagle' next door to the Jubilee Hall. The two remaining hostelries are the historically significant Red Lion, and the Bell.

The Red Lion public house is a 16th century inn, and was significant during the English Civil War. Bierton was a Royalist stronghold, at odds with its larger Roundhead neighbour of Aylesbury, and the Red Lion was host to many Cavalier Officers, and rumours have it to Charles I himself. Bierton was the site of a minor Civil War Battle, the battle site being to the northwest of the village towards Weedon.

The major industry of the village in times past was brick making. Sitting on large sub-strata of Bierton Complex blue clay, the resource was mined for several centuries, and the bricks were fired close to the quarry. Brick Kiln lane exists to this day, although the workings themselves are no longer active.

The clay pits are now quiet pools, known as The Ponds. They have been turned into a private carp and tench fishery, whose fishing plots are extremely highly sought after.

St Osyth's Well, Bierton
St Osyth's Well, Bierton

A well close to the church of St James the Great, is dedicated to St Osyth, a local Anglo Saxon princess, born at Quarrendon Palace. Reputedly beheaded by the Danes after having earlier drowned in a stream and revived by nuns, it was said that wells sprung up wherever she walked. Ancient Bierton was on an important route eastwards from the Palace, and it is for this reason that the well bears her name in dedication.

Today, with Aylesbury growing, the village is at risk of becoming a suburb of the larger town. All that separates the two presently is a field of allotments about a hundred yards wide, owned by Bierton with Broughton Parish Council.

Bierton Church of England Combined School is a mixed voluntary controlled, Church of England primary school, which takes children from the age of four through to the age of eleven. The school has approximately 250 pupils.

(Source: Wikipedia)
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