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General History
Kelly's Directory of Bedfordshire 1894 (Extract)

Places > Totternhoe > General History

Totternhoe is a village and parish, 2 miles west from the railway at Dunstable on the London and North Western railway, and 6 south-east from Leighton Buzzard, in the Southern division of the county, hundred of Manshead, petty sessional division, union and county court district of Luton, rural deanery of Dunstable, archdeaconry of Bedford and diocese of Ely. The church of St Giles is an edifice in the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, porch and a western embattled tower with turret at the south-east angle containing 5 bells; the roofs of the nave and aisles display well-carved figures and bosses; there is a brass, and effigy bearing chalice and host. to John Warwekhytt, vicar, 1524; and one to William Mitchell, a child, 1621. The register dates from the year 1559.

Here are Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist chapels.

The straw plait business is the principal occupation of the villages. About a mile from Dunstable, and half a mile west-ward from Maiden Bower, on a projecting headland of the Chiltern range, are the celebrated earthworks called "Totternhoe Castle"; these consist of a lofty circular mount, with a slight vallum round its base, and a larger one, of an irregular form, at some distance from it; it is considered to have been a fortification of the ancient Britons, subsequently occupied by the Saxons, and afterwards converted into a Roman camp; the form of the works indicating British and Roman military construction.

Earl Brownlow is lord of the manor and the principal landowner. The soil and subsoil are chalky; a hard band of the chalk or "clunch" near the village is known as Totternhoe stone, of which Woburn Abbey and many churches in the district have been constructed. The chief crops are wheat, barley, beans and turnips. The area is 2,306 acres; rateable value, 2,681; and the population in 1891 was 612.

Parish Clerk, Alfred Bates

Post Office - Alfred Bates, sub-postmaster.

Parish School (mixed), erected, with teacher's house in 1867, by Lady Marian Alford, in memory of her son, the late Earl Brownlow; it will hold 140 children; average attendance, 103; James Robert Gooding, master.

Page last updated: 4th February 2014