Land of the Kendall alias Mills family

As explained in the post titled Ralph Kendall als. Mills 1629-1658/9, Ralph purchased property on the Old North Bridge in Newport Pagnell. Though the bridge and anything built near or on it are long gone, there is pictorial evidence of that area.[1]

1798 Engraving of Old North Bridge by J. Walker & T. Tagg.

This 1798 hand-colored engraving by J. Walker and T. Tagg shows the old North Bridge as seen from the north bank of the Ouse looking southwest. Its stone construction and arches are clearly present. What appears to be a two-story building in the center of the picture is approximately where the land held by the Kendall als Mills family was located. It’s highly doubtful the building in the engraving was constructed by the family as its architecture dates to a later period. As in many towns over the centuries, the buildings on this plot were built, demolished, and rebuilt multiple times.

One of the bridge’s arches seen in the 1798 engraving survived into the 1900s when this image was taken.[2]

Image of Old North Bridge arch

Many thanks go to Don Hurst for this photograph which shows the new North Bridge in the background and the single remaining arch from the Old North Bridge in the foreground, situated in Ousebank Gardens. The photograph also allows us to see the new bridge was built a little to the west of the old bridge. The Kendall als Mills property would have stood near this arch.

This image of the new North Bridge appears in historians’ Dennis Maynard’s and Julian Hunt’s book, Newport Pagnell, a Pictorial History.[3]

As stated in the text description, this view is from the north as one crosses the bridge over the Ouse going south, and the Neptune Inn is the first building on the right, sitting on the southwest corner of the bridge. A building of the same name sat in approximately the same relative position on the Old North Bridge before it was demolished. Due to the identical bridge names, and identical inn names (which sat in the same position on each bridge) it is easy to confuse the locations and assume pictures of the bridge from the 1900s shows the location referenced in the Kendall als Mills title deeds. It is not identical, but the family land was nearby on the demolished Old North Bridge.

One more image of the area can be seen on the website Historical England. Charlotte Beatty, who in 1810 purchased this land once owned by the Kendall als Mills family, and renamed it Brooklands. Here is an image of Brooklands with a description of its history and building stages:

A little more on the Old North Bridge

Dennis Maynard, Paul Woodfield, and Ray Bailey’s book, Newport Pagnell’s Bridges states the North Bridge and Newport Pagnell’s other bridges, all started out as fording points, which then became timber bridges and were later rebuilt in stone.[4] The first North Bridge became stone by about 1380, and it survived until it was replaced in 1809-1810. This old bridge had made crossing the Ouse easier and safer, but each side of bridge had flood-prone areas through which travelers had to pass. A ferry took carts and coaches across when the water was running high. It is little wonder the Kendall property was on the bridge or at least on built-up ground near the bridge’s starting point to keep the property from flooding. Maynard, Woodfield, and Bailey mentioned the tendency to flood near the Ouse gave the area a coastal appearance and that might be how the Ship (later the Neptune), got its name.[5]

Just as infrastructure upkeep has its woes today, so it was in Medieval times, when tolls were levied to pay for bridge building and repairs. The two main bridges of Newport Pagnell were no exception. Saleable goods passing both over and under the bridges were charged a fee including the following:[6]

  • Every horse load of corn one farthing
  • Every cartload of corn one halfpenny
  • Every hundredweight of linen one halfpenny
  • Every cartload of honey one halfpenny
  • Every weight of tallow and grease one farthing
  • Every quarter of wood one halfpenny
  • Every cartload of sea fish one penny
  • Every millstone one farthing
  • Every weight of cheese or butter one farthing
  • Every cartload of wood or charcoal one farthing
  • Every quarter of oak bark one farthing
  • And more

Another source of income for bridge upkeep was from gifts of money and land in local residents’ wills.[7] But despite the tolls and donations, by 1809 the Old North Bridge was in need of rebuilding and widening. Flooding at the beginning of the nineteenth century only increased the damage and need for replacement, but there was little funding available.

Consequently, Parliament passed an act specifically aimed at rebuilding the Newport Pagnell bridges, and twenty-seven individuals from among the local gentry, landowners, clergymen, and businessmen became trustees tasked with overseeing the bridge rebuild.[8] One of their jobs was to acquire properties on the old North Bridge which had to be demolished and land for the new bridge.[9] By October 1809, the new bridge was completed, and it was proposed the old bridge be completely removed. The trustees determined only the necessary parts would be, but by this point, the land that had once belonged to the Kendalls, which then held a public house named the Neptune, was derelict and partially demolished already.[10] Additionally, it was trapped between a new roadside wall and Charlotte Beaty’s garden. The property’s owner, Charles Redden, sold it to Charlotte in December 1810. Not long afterwards, she purchased the old road and the remaining arch of the bridge as well. After “tidying up” the area, the only remnant left of the Old North Bridge was its single arch in Ousebank Gardens.

Other posts in this series:

Other posts in this series:

1629/30 Robert Markes to Ralph Kendall als Mills

1654 Deed of Gift from Ralph Kendall alias Mills to his son, John

1666 Deed of Settlement from John Kendall als Mills to his betrothed, Martha Mitchell

1666 Will of John Kendall (alias Mills)

1670 Chancery Case: Kendall vs. Kendall

1673/74 John Jr. and the Old North Bridge Property

1681 Lease and Release to Jeremiah Smalridge

[1] J. Walker & T. Tagg, “Newport Pagnell,” a Copperplate Engraving with hand colour. Originally in Walker’s Copperplate Magazine or Itinerant (London, England: J. Walker, 1792-1803). Digital image. ( : accessed 3 October 2023). 

[2] Don Hurst, Photograph of Old North Bridge arch in Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire. Unknown date. Digital image held by Don Hurst, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE], Newport Pagnell, Bucks.

[3] Dennis C. Maynard and Julian Hunt, Newport Pagnell, A Pictorial History (Chichester, West Sussex, Phillimore & Co, Ltd., 1995), image 11. 

[4] Dennis C. Maynard, Paul Woodfiend, and Ray Bailey, Newport Pagnell’s Bridges (Chichester, England: Phillimore & Co, LTD, 2009), 1.

[5] Maynard, Woodfiend, & Bailey, Newport Pagnell’s Bridges, 4.

[6] Maynard, Woodfiend, & Bailey, Newport Pagnell’s Bridges, 4. The charges applied to goods for sale only. Those traveling through or carting their household goods were not charged.

[7] Maynard, Woodfiend, & Bailey, Newport Pagnell’s Bridges, 5.

[8] Maynard, Woodfiend, & Bailey, Newport Pagnell’s Bridges, 11. No Kendalls or Mills were named in the list, many having moved from Newport Pagnell prior to 1800.

[9] Maynard, Woodfiend, & Bailey, Newport Pagnell’s Bridges, 15-16.

[10] Maynard, Woodfiend, & Bailey, Newport Pagnell’s Bridges, 18-19.

Author: ancestorquests

I'm Keri-Lynn, an "amateur professional" genealogist. I have a degree in Family History and have been researching my family lines for many years.

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