Timeline of the History of Tring and District Villages


  • Two expeditions to England by Julius Caesar
  • Later conquest of England and Wales by Emperor Claudius
  • Britons divided into tribes whose elites often collaborated with the Romans and adopted their culture
  • Major rebellion led by Boadicea but the Romans quell her forces
  • Continuous rebellions in early years of conquest ; Romans have to fortify cities
  • Scotland not conquered; Hadrian commissions a wall to control the border
  • Rome withdraws army to defend the Rhine frontier from Barbarian invasion
  • Roman Britain left to defend itself

What Happened in our villages?

BC 1500 – 1000
Flint discovered

Pieces of working flint discovered near Wilstone Reservoir

Pre-Roman site
Pre-Roman site uncovered near Wilstone, showing use of domestic wares
Belgic Pottery
Belgic Pottery and animal bone found south west of Wilstone Church
Pottery found
Pottery found in Puttenham indicating settlement during this period
Civilised life
Evidence of civilised life in Wilstone (Roman coin found in 1980 with face of Roman Governor of the time)

THE DARK AGES (410 – 1066)

  • Angles, Saxons and Jutes invade coasts of England
  • Saxons establish kingdoms and most of existing county structures
  • St Augustine establishes Archbishopric of Canterbury, reporting to the Pope, leading to wide acceptance of Christianity
  • Viking invasion begins
  • Long period of war between Saxons and Viking invaders
  • Scandinavians finally conquer English Kingdoms, Canute recognised as king
  • Edward the Confessor becomes King and is followed by Harold Godwinson, half English half Danish nobleman.
6th Century
Wilstone village established under the name of Wyvellsthorn
County of Hertfordshire divided into eight ‘Hundreds’, each one made up of 100 ‘free families’. Puttenham mentioned as part of the ‘Dacorum Hundred’.


  • King Harold defeated and killed at the Battle of Hastings
  • William the Conqueror takes land from existing rulers and divides it between his followers
  • Establishment of the feudal system, serfdom and a new class structure
  • Newly built castles and cathedrals dominate the landscape
  • The Domesday Book introduced to maximise revenue from taxation
  • Civil wars over succession to The Crown cause manors to change hands and more castles to be built
  • The Magna Carta; the start of development of the legal system and constitution
Manor of Puteham

Puttenham recorded as the Manor of Puteham in the Domesday Book, held by Odo the Bishop of Bayeux, half brother of William the Conqueror, with 12 households plus 2 mills and land for 4 ploughs and 2 slaves.

Gubblecote (then called Bublecote) also mentioned in Domesday book as a Manor with 5 households and a mill (there are also entries for Mentmore, Ivinghoe, Cheddington, Marsworth and Boarscroft but none for Long Marston, or Wilstone. There is a possible reference to Wilstone within the entry for Tring).


The Manor of Puttenham taken from Bishop Odo and granted to the Earl of Leicester, following siege of Rochester.

Wilstone reported to be established as a settlement

Puttenham occupied
Puttenham occupied by Ralph de Puteham


  • English Kings extend their rule into Wales, Scotland and Ireland; resistance and rebellions
  • The Black Death decimates the population, leading to abandoned villages
  • Lords of the Manor face shortage of labour to grow and harvest crops
  • Peasants’ revolt and the end of serfdom
  • England and France locked in a hundred years war
  • Cost of war forces The Crown to work with local barons
  • Barons insist on being heard in return for tax payments; the origin of Parliamentary government
  • Disputed succession to The Crown leads to The War of the Roses between Yorkist and Lancastrian factions
  • The Tudors/ Lancastrians emerge victorious
First recorded reference to Wilstone by name (then Wivelestome)
Gilbert de Greinville

The Manor of Wilstone acquired from Stephen de Wivelstome by Gilbert de Greinville

Simon le Butiller
Gubblecote transferred to the ownership of Simon le Butiller by Ralph de Gobelicote
Wilstone as a Manor
First mention of Wilstone as a Manor, when it was inherited by Joan de Engayne, daughter of Gilbert de Greinville
Puttenham Rectory
Puttenham Rectory valued at £6.13s.4d.
Wilstone tax
Archive records show that just six people in Wilstone paid tax
Circa 1303
Manor of Puttenham
The Manor of Puttenham returned to the Puttenham family
Lordship of Puttenham
Edward 1st grants the Lordship of Puttenham to Sir Thomas Wale for the service of one knight’s fee and a pair of gilt spurs yearly
Puttenham Church

Puttenham Church granted to the Bishop of Lincoln

Long Marston Manor

Long Marston Manor granted by John de Merchetone of Tring to John Bisschop of Luton, Chaplain, and John Germayn of Luton, Rector of Drayton

Robert Stratford

Robert Stratford (Parson) granted Long Marston Manor to Christian Bardolfe for life.


First mention of Astrope (Esthorpe) as a separate settlement

THE TUDORS (1485-1603)

  • Henry VII consolidates Tudor rule
  • Christianity becomes divided; the growth of Protestantism
  • Henry VIII leads a break from Rome and Catholicism; England becomes a Protestant country
  • Henry needs money to fund wars, dissolves the monasteries and sells their property to wealthy local people
  • Henry’s son Edward VI promotes Protestantism more vigorously
  • Edward succeeded by Queen Mary who returns England to Catholicism; burnings of Protestant resistors
  • Elizabeth returns to Protestantism but tries to compromise and conciliate with Catholics
  • The Golden Elizabethan Age of Art and Literature
  • War with Spain and the defeat of the Armada
  • Wars mean Elizabeth has to work with parliament to increase taxation
Rector of Puttenham
Christopher Urswick, Rector of Puttenham, is sent to negotiate the marriage between Prince Arthur and Catherine of Aragon, Princess of Spain. Prince Arthur dies soon after their marriage and Catherine then made an unfortunate alternative choice!
Queens Head

Opening of the Queens Head Long Marston

Wilstone Chapel

A will, found in Wilstone, left four shillings and sixpence to pay for a priest to sing Mass daily in Wilstone Chapel for three months.

Long Marston Rectory

In survey after the dissolution of the monasteries, the value of Long Marston Rectory quoted as £77.13s.4d.

All Saints Church

All Saints Church Long Marston confirmed in the Edwardian Inventory to have ‘three small belles in the Steple’

Puttenham brothers
After much dispute between Richard Puttenham and John Duncombe about the ownership of Puttenham Manor, Duncombe formally surrenders title
The Manor of Gubblecote

The Manor of Gubblecote sold by Roger Harman to Nicholas West, Lord of Marsworth and the manorial rights of the two villages merged.

THE STUARTS (1603-1714)

  • The English and Scottish thrones united under James 1
  • The Civil War, Cromwell and the execution of Charles 1
  • Restoration of the Monarchy
  • Advancement of Science and Agriculture
  • Growth of International Trade, the beginning of the Commonwealth
  • The Great Plague and the Fire of London
  • The Bill of Rights and the Act of Settlement strengthen parliamentary power
  • Naval power confirmed by defeats of France and Spain
  • The Act of Union unites England and Scotland into one parliament
Half Moon

Landlord of the Half Moon fined for selling ale on the Sabbath

Long Marston Manor

Long Marston Manor sold by Thomas Saunders to Sir Arthur Wilmot, whose descendants were granted the Earldom of Rochester

Repairs of Tring Church

Long Marston proved to be a hamlet of Tring and inhabitants forced to contribute to repairs of Tring Church

1642 and 1644
Wilstone villagers

Wilstone villagers with Roundhead sympathies reported to have donated money to Parliament’s cause

14th century chapel

14th century chapel in Wilstone demolished during Cromwell’s reign

Collection by Quakers

Report of a collection by Quakers for a Wilstone villager fallen on hard times

Puttenham Church

First registers begin at Puttenham Church

Wilstone Manor

Wilstone Manor transferred from the Lake family to William Gore

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