Long Crendon, Buckinghamshire
Click here for Long Crendon’s Magna Carta baron William Marshal (the younger)
Long Crendon is a large village on the Bucks-Oxon border, about 2 miles from Thame. Its name is thought to derive from Creoda, son of a West Saxon king. It was already a sizeable community by Domesday times. For the subsequent 200 years its Lords of the Manor were highly placed Anglo-Norman barons. First the Giffard family, who became Earls of Buckingham, and then, through the female line and marriage, the Marshal family, who became Earls of Pembroke with the father, William Marshal senior, acting as Regent of England and his children marrying into several of the senior families of the day.
The two William Marshals, father and son, were much involved in the dispute between King John and the rebel barons. William Marshal senior was trusted by both King John and the rebels and acted as an intermediary in the lead-up to the sealing of Magna Carta. He twice reissued the Charter while he was Regent.
William Marshal junior was one of the 25 rebel barons who sealed Magna Carta at Runnymede in 1215.
This period did not last long. The male Marshal line died out in 1245 and the Manor was split and passed to the descendants of three female members of the family. Subsequently the major parts were owned by All Souls College, Oxford, St George’s Chapel, Windsor and the Dormer family. There is now little on the ground to connect with our illustrious antecedents. The parish church was rebuilt in the early 13th C, but there is no record of the Marshal family there and Notley Abbey (established by the Giffards), where William Marshal was patron, was destroyed following the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Only the Abbot’s guest quarters, a dovecot and the footings of the nave of the abbey church remain. Nor is there are any remains of a manorial residence, but this may be explained by a record that Henry III ordered the destruction of all Marshal property in Crendon.
The village subsequently developed primarily as an agricultural village. Like elsewhere in the area, there was a well regarded group of lacemakers. More surprisingly the village became a major centre for needlemaking in the 18th century and early 19th century. The movement of this industry to Redditch for economic reasons caused severe poverty and depopulation. This was remedied by immigration in the 20th C with new housing being mainly put unobtrusively behind the old roads. The village retains several shops, pubs and restaurants. There is a primary school, doctor’s and dentist’s surgeries, three churches, a Conservation area with over 100 listed buildings and a wide variety of active village societies.
With thanks to Long Crendon for its text and photographs.