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Weedon Bec
Weedon Bec

Origin: Hill with a temple….belonging to the abbey of Bec Hellouin in Normandy

Domesday: Alan held ½ hide. Land for 1 ½ ploughs. 1 plough with 1 villan and 4 bordars and 6 acres of meadow and 2 acres of scrubland and a mill. Hugh de Grandesnil held 3 ½ hides. Land for 8 ½ ploughs. In demesne 1 ½ ploughs and 2 villans a priest and 3 bordars have ½ a plough. 3 knights with 6 villans and 3 bordars have half a 4 ½ ploughs. 17 acres of meadow 12 acres of woodland and a mill.


Quite a substantial village bordering on the A5 and A45. The church seems largely cut off from the village by the railway which runs more or less parallel to the A5.


A twisty turny sort of place with some obviously old stone buildings (I would guess 1600s) interspersed with older brick cottages and more recent (Victorian?) houses which perhaps reflect the arrival of the railway.


A fine non conformist chapel stands at the heart of the village.



The village’s “secret” however is that it was chosen to be the centre of government should Napoleon invade and London be evacuated. A major military complex was built (still there but I have not yet visited) where arms could be stored and the king and government find refuge. It was chosen because it was about as far from the sea as you can get in England. I can only assume this provided a fair amount of employment because there is little else that would seem to provide employment locally for such a number of houses.

If you are in the village there is a fascinating (well I found it so!) small architectural salvage yard and just down the A5 “Good Timber” an excellent farm shop selling woodturning tools and wood (one of my interests).

In 1770 William Wills married Emma Wills (that’s what the register says) and they were my 7th great grandparents. I have made little progress with the Wills or Mary Hawing who their son William married in 1725 so if you know anything about these families please let me know:



For a description of the village in the late 1800s a Whelans Directory of 1874 is attached.