The top of the High Street/Main Street & Bakery

1884 O. S. map showing the High Street

Marked in red is the site where the cottages that were burnt down once stood
View of what was left after the fire 1st November 1902

Buckingham Advertiser  November 8th 1902

A fire occurred at Cosgrove on Saturday morning involving the total destruction of two cottages occupied by two widows, Mrs Allen and Mrs. Toombs. The outbreak was first observed on the thatched roof, and spread with alarming rapidity, making its way downstairs. The inhabitants of the village were soon helping in the removal of the furniture, the bedsteads alone being left. Meanwhile the position got serious, and in response to telegrams the Stony Stratford Brigade and the Wolverton Works Brigade were summoned and arrived at 12 and 12.30. With a splendid supply of water available from the canal the fire at once began to get under control. Fortunately it was located to the two cottages concerned, though steps had previously been taken to prevent it spreading. At one o’clock all danger was over, the cottages being completely burnt out. The cottages were owned by Mr. Jonah Brown. The loss is estimated at £150. It is supposed the fire arose through children throwing a match on the roof.

The top of the High Street in the early 1900s

Cosgrove Hall Estate Sale 1919

LOT 18

(Coloured Blue on Plan Inset).

Three   Stone-built Cottages

together with Gardens with long Frontage to Cosgrove Village Street, being Pt. No. 222 on Plan,
covering an area of about

1r. 10p.

each Cottage contains Four Rooms, they are all in hand and will be sold with possession on completion.

Tithe Free.

Land Tax, 1s. in £ on the Assessment.

Cosgrove Bakery

Painting of the Bakery 1992

This 17th Century former village bakery, standing in Main Street, has been a focal point in the village for generations and when the Grand Union canal was cut through the village in 1800 the bakery was an important staging post for the canal bargees to purchase rations and stable their horses. At about the time of increased trade the bakehouse oven was enlarged to cater for the canal people. The bakery continued to trade until the commercial business on the canal ceased. The last bread was baked in 1964.

Old Mail June 1986

“When my father and I came to take over the bread business in the Old Post Office, the bread van which was then in use was a 1919 model, sent from Birmingham by rail and the ignition through the post. It was so old and so bad. Many times I had to use a reverse gear to climb up the Canal bridge to get onto the level road. As for starting – it was completely hit and miss! The ultimate way was to jack up one of the rear wheels, use the starting handle and then be careful it didn’t fall off the jack! But a good advert for Fords!!

The old place those days was supplied with water by the wind pump, and to use it, my father used to charge one shilling per year to keep it in repair. Cheap enough. But the interesting thing about the water well was that I should think it was 40 yards deep and 6 feet across and lined with what I should think were lime stones, which is most unusual. I’m guessing that the well was 400 years old.

Another most unusual thing was that on about three or four occasions a man came down Bridge Road carrying a bucket. He would stop, turn the bucket upside down and sing on it, standing on his hands. Then he would go round the houses with his hand out. They probably gave him something to get rid of him. I didn’t see this actually happen but the story was widespread.”

By Mr and Mrs Norman of Stratford Road         

Taking the Sunday dinner down to Cosgrove bakehouse for cooking which cost 3d.
A. Andrews, Sid Eglesfield, his daughter Janet, Sandy Key, Ted Eglesfield, Olive Eglesfield.

Ref: Date Occupant
Kelly's Directory 1847 Thomas Cane , baker & grocer
Whellan History of Northamptonshire 1849 Thos. Cane baker & grocer
Kelly's Directory 1854 Thomas Cane , baker & shopkeeper
Census 1861 Thomas Cane
Kelly's Directory 1869 Thomas Cane , baker & shopkeeper
Census 1871 Joseph Barker
Census 1871 Matthew Willison ?
Census 1881 Joseph Barker
Kelly's Directory 1890 Willison Mary (Mrs.), baker
Census 1891 Timothy Whitlock Wake (stepson Fred Canvin Willison)
Kelly's Directory 1894 Timothy W. Wake, baker
Kelly's Directory 1898 Arthur J. Jelley, baker, Post Office
Census 1901 Fred A Jelley Postmaster - Baker
Kelly's Directory 1903 Arthur J. Jelley baker, Post Office
Kelly's Directory 1906 Arthur J. Jelley baker, Post Office
Census 1910 Arthur F. Jelley baker, Post Office
Kelly's Directory 1911 Arthur Fredrick  Jelley - Baker & Farmer Postmaster
Kelly's Directory 1914 Malcolm Eckford Jelley, baker, Post Office
Kelly's Directory 1920 Malcolm Eckford Jelley, baker, Post Office
Kelly's Directory 1931 Alfred Wm. Norman, baker & Post Office
Kelly's Directory 1940 Alfred Wm. Norman, baker & Post Office