Eaton Bray is a village and civil parish in the South Bedfordshire district of Bedfordshire, England. It is part of an urban area which crosses into the parish of Edlesborough in Buckinghamshire.
The village name 'Eaton' is a common one in England, coming from the old English 'eitone', meaning 'farm by a river'. It was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Eitone. The suffix 'Bray' refers to Sir Reginald Bray and the family that once owned the manor in this village, which was located at what is today 'Park Farm'.
Eaton Bray once had a moated castle. The moat, today all that remains, is open to the public for fishing at 'Park Farm'. In Victorian times Arthur Macnamara (the 'Mad Squire' of Billington) planned to build a mansion on the site of the castle, but ran out of money after completing the lodge at the entrance to Park Farm.
One of the more distinctive Victorian buildings near the church, is the 'Coffee Tavern' built by a teetotal vicar of the parish to encourage the villagers out of the local public houses. This building was financed by the Wallace family who owned much of the land in the area as well as the famous 'Wallace Nurseries' known for their carnations. The drawings and construction were carried out by the Sharratts who omitted to put a staircase in the original plans!
Today the site of Wallace Nurseries is a housing estate and most of the roads take their name from this and some of the plant varieties they created.
Further historical information is given in The Village of Eaton Bray article written for Bedfordshire Matters.
The Eaton Bray Millenium Book was provided compliments of Eaton Bray Parish Council as part of their Millennium celebrations.
The Historical Photographs section contains a collection of historical photos from around Eaton Bray and the surrounding villages.
The 1911 Census was taken on Sunday 2nd April by enumerator Albert Edward Hopkins and signed on 27th April by local registrar Priscilla Brown.
The Summary Book contained such information as addresses, types of buildings, surnames, and numbers of males and females.
Tom 'n' Harry, with the help of the current landlord, have put together a history of The White Horse Inn public house in Market Square, including photos and valuation documents.
Scans of Focus, the local Parish Magazine for Eaton Bray going back to 1964 are now available to view.
Eaton Bray Model Sportsdrome was opened in the late 1940s by Douglas Arthur Russell the owner of Aeromodeller Magazine. It was, for a short time, to become the Mecca for model enthusiasts from all over the world.
Bower Lane Cemetery was purchased by the Eaton Bray Burial Board from Mr William Henley in 1884.
We now have burial records for the unconsecrated side of the cemetery. This is where many of the graves are unmarked as originally only a small wooden cross would have stood. Over the years they have disappeared and not been replaced.
If you would like a look up please Contact Us and we will reply in a personal message.
Mary Mayne published her first book in September 2006: Clever Banners, Panels & Postcards.
Extracts and articles taken from Landscapes & Lives which was a free publication from 2006.
The Serving Soldiers section includes background and photos on a number of soldiers who served in the two wars.
St Mary's Church Roll of Honour WW1 WW2 lists names from both wars with the original document hanging in St Mary's Church.
World War I - Those Who Served lists the names of those who were residents of Eaton Bray at the time of enlisting in Luton.
The sum of £12 each was paid to 122 Men and Women from Eaton Bray who entered the Forces or served in the Mines.
The Forces Home-Coming Fund page describe the fund and how the money was raised.
The 1946 page provides a provisional list of names of men and women who entered the forces and men directed to the mines from Eaton Bray.
WW2 People's War provides a number of accounts written by people associated with Eaton Bray and submitted to the BBC's WW2 People's War archive.
The Eaton Bray Cricket Club page includes historical information from documents produced in the early 20th century.
A link to Bedfordshire and Luton Archives containing history in Eaton Bray. Excellent piece of work.