Mursley becomes part of our family history when John Cross (1827-1884) was named Rector of Saint Mary the Virgin Church in Mursley.  He moved to Mursley in 1860 with his wife Anne Maria Russell, their son William George Herbert and his daughter from his previous marriage, Josephine Amy.  All the other children were born in Mursley.  The family stayed until John's death in 1884.

Mursley is a small village in Buckinghamshire, England. It is located in the Aylesbury Vale, about three miles east of Winslow and four miles south west of Fenny Stratford.

The village name is Anglo Saxon in origin, and means 'Myrsa's woodland'. In the Domesday Book of 1086 the village was recorded as Muselai.

The village was at one time a very important place. It was once a market town, granted as such by royal charter in 1230 and the centre of the local deanery. The size of the place has been much reduced since then, most likely by the bubonic plague of the Seventeenth century.

The Parish Church, dedicated to St. Mary the Virgin, was originally granted by Richard Fitzniel to the Prioress of Nuneaton before the year 1166.  Confirmation of this grant was later made by the Lords of the Manor of Mursley and Salden, Warren Fitzgerald and his wife Agnes.  The church was held by Nuneaton Priory until the Dissolution.  The chancel, the arcades of the nave and the two side aisles were built in the 14th century.  The west tower was built in the 15th century.  The porch were added when the church was restored by Charles Buckeridge of Oxford between 1865 and 1870, when John Cross was Rector.

In 1642 there were 34 people named in the tax returns for contributions for Ireland. Between them they were assessed at 4.9.0 of which sum Mr Thomas Kiffin contributed 1.0.0

In February 1798, with the imminent threat of invasion by French forces, returns were ordered to be made of all able-bodied men between the ages of 16 and 60 who were not already serving in a military capacity.  There were 73 men listed in Mursley.

In the earliest government census of 1801, there were 318 inhabitants in 77 families living in 65 houses recorded in Mursley.


St. Mary the Virgin Church - 2006


St. Mary the Virgin Church - c.1905


Mursley High Street - 2006


Mursley High Street - c.1960


Rectory.  This used to be the front of the Rectory where John Cross and his family lived.  A new section was added and this is now the back of the house.

This is the new front of the Rectory as seen from the street.  The older section can be seen painted in white.


Altar of St. Mary the Virgin Church


List of Rectors of St. Mary the Virgin.  Lists all the Rectors of the Church from 1239 until 1991.  John Cross is listed as arriving in 1860.  His successor is listed in 1885. John died November 1884.


Grave of John Cross and possibly Anne Maria Russell

St. Mary the Virgin Church


Salden Pond

William George, in his unfinished autobiography, tells a story about how he almost drowned here when he was ice skating during a winter and the ice underneath him broke.



Information taken from the GENUKI website and Wikipedia .  Old photographs taken from Buckinghamshire County Council website.

Created by Edgar H. Cross