Tudor Toddington

after Agas by ©Alan Higgs

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The Angel

The Angel is a listed 17th C building but what Agas depicted bears little resemblance. But imagine alterations and some fabric of the present footprint could have existed.

St George of England Church

St George of England Church was consecrated on St George’s Day in 1222.  This was the same day that St George became the Patron Saint of England.  The present building was started by Paulinus Peyvre although there was probably a building on the same spot from Saxon times.  The current building is mainly of Totterhoe limestone.

It is a beautiful church with many interesting features.  The tower is 90 feet high and the cross on the top has been there since the time of Charles 1.  The weather vane was added in Georgian times.

Town Kitchens

Reputed to have had seven ovens and capable of housing ten poor families it was pulled down in 1828.

Luckily it was captured by artists George Sheppard Thomas Fisher and Thomas Hosmer Sheppard before demolition to enable this to be an accurate representation.

The Conger

This was definitely the core of what remains to this day without the Georgian facade. Internally this building has Tudor beams.

The merket cross

The merket cross was an old spelling for market cross and is known to have been in a very similar position to the present war memorial. Agas depicted it a decent size and its present reconstruction is based on existing remaining crosses elsewhere in the UK.


Artists have established piles of horse manure in Market Square in the old days so it was realistic to add one in 1581.

The Griffin

The Griffin being adjacent to the church has always been an important hostelry in Toddington. The town elders used to meet there in bygone days. The building shown here was gutted by fire in 1904 and the present Griffin totally restyled and built in 1905.

The Hospital of St John Baptist

The Hospital of St John Baptist, founded by Sir John Broughton in 1443 for a chaplain, or warden and three poor men, to pray for the King and for Thomas Peyvre and Mary his wife, was no doubt, as elsewhere pointed out, in fulfilment of a condition of the will of Thomas Peyvre, who died in 1429.

The site of the hospital has always been traditionally assigned to the meadow now occupied by farm buildings in Griffin Farm, at the rear of Conger House and the Griffin.

It is additional evidence that a lane leading to the meadow at the top of Duck Lane (now Conger Lane) was for a long time known as Spital Lane.

Such hospitals founded in the Middle Ages had a somewhat different scope of usefulness than the name would imply today. They were used for not only casual shelter and sickness, but for pilgrimages, and often had a certain ecclesiastical purpose.

The Hospital lasted little more than a hundred years, being suppressed with others in the reign of Henry VIII

But the foundations and base wall of parts of this hospital remain, hidden behind the Wilkinson Hall

This is listed: Listing NGR: TL0098428905

The Markethouse

This was the very spacious market house built from materials from the demolished hospital of St John the Baptist. This is dated towards the end of the sixteenth century so when Agas added it to his survey map in 1581 it was relatively new.

Toddington was at one time a flourishing market town by Royal Warrant, as well as this building traders would set up stalls all over the green on market days. Sadly the market declined and the building was taken down in 1799 and the materials sold.

The Maypole

A permanent Maypole was on the green which gives insight as to how children lived and old customs in those days.

The Oddfellows Inn

This is the original structure of what is the Oddfellows Inn.

Whether it was an Inn in those days is unknown as the Inn names and their positions changed frequently. But the present Oddfellows has many remaining Tudor origins.

The Old Red Lion

This corner of Park Road building remains very similar and has a Tudor beamed interior. It was the original Red Lion but it cannot be established if this was so in 1581.

The Pond

What we know as the village pond or war memorial gardens was the Towne Water. It was massive coming out right to the road and deep, some say 10 feet in places. History records two children drowning there. Before the numerous wells it was used for drinking water, bathing, washing and carts used to be immersed there to swell the timber wheels to tighten them up in hot weather.

The shambles

The shambles was the slaughter house and butcher's market. From other similar buildings recorded they had a vented roof and partially open sides. At it's height it is recorded up to seven butchers operated from this building.

The Sheep pen

In 1581 there were sheep pens by the pond. Off the picture further up the road by the Grange was a Pound; A much larger area for keeping stray animals.

The Town Hall

The Town Hall, toll booth and session house.

Only the Town Hall remains being much altered.

Toddington Guest House

Toddington guesthouse is a fine old building to this day, behind the Georgian front remains a wealth of mediaeval oak beams.

We are sure it's present-day use is not the first time it has been a hostelry.

In the late nineteenth century it was divided into two houses, the left-hand one being Mr Carr's family butchers and the right-hand Mr Deeley bakers shop.

28 High Street

28 High Street originates from about 1500.

Greatly extended with the Georgian red brick front added in about 1830.

It has seen many uses but it's most notorious was to be a pub called the Greyhound, short lived from 1860 to 1890.

In 1910 A Mayor Horley was in residence where he established a Royal Patent for a greenhouse heating system.

There was a big old tin barn where he used to build the coffins for the village, the Angel stable bar was then the mortuary.

His brother was undertaker and lived where the dry cleaners used to be.