Polebrook Parish Council

Serving the people of Polebrook

Clerk: Mrs Jill Sardeson
Northview, 15 Main Street
Yarwell PE8 6PR

Tel: 07814 468044

  • Memorial

    Memorial

  • Contact Us
  • VAS

    VAS

  • Polebrook Memorial

    Polebrook Memorial

  • Village Boundary

    Village Boundary

Polebrook Parish Council provides YOUR local services. We strive to make Polebrook a better place to live, work and visit. Our website includes a wealth of information about how we conduct business and what we do.

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History of Polebrook

Polebrook was first mentioned in 972 but spelt as Pochebroc. By the 12th century this had become Pokebroc, then Pokebroke and between the 13th and 18th century Polebrook, Pogbroke, Pobrok, Polebrooke and Polenbrooke have all been mentioned. In the Oxford Dictionary of Place Names it is given as meaning "Frogbrook". At the time of the Doomsday survey Pochebroc was held of the abbey of Burgh. By the reign of Henry II these estates were in the hands of several people. In 1315 the abbots of Peterborough and Thorney, Robert Porthors, John da Glendon and Reginald le Moigne were Lords of Polebrook. During the reigns of Henry VI and VII they were in the possession of the family Lovell and in the following reign came into the hands of Sir Edward Montague, from whom they descended to the duke of Bucleugh; subsequently Lord Rothschild and George Eden Hunt were principal landowners.

At the time of the Doomsday survey the shires became counties named after the chief towns round which they were situated. Each county was divided into 'hundreds' and each hundred into manors. The inhabitants of the hundreds were, until the Riots (Damages) Act 1886 liable for damage done by rioters. In some cases courts were attached to the hundreds. Northamptonshire was divided into 20 hundreds.

Polebrook Hundred stretched from the Willbrook on the north, Huntingdonshire on the east, the hundreds of Huxlow and Navisford on the south and on the wet from the hundreds of Corby. It was shaped not unlike the figure 8 and covered 19,840 acres. Polebrook village covered 2,730 acres.

In 1841 there were 96 houses with a population of 453. Occupations listed show a baker, schoolmaster and schoolmistress, rector, curate, four shoemakers, shopkeeper, taylor, parish clerk, butcher, two blacksmiths, carrier, stonemason, gamekeeper, two wheelwrights and another butcher and beer retailer. There were two "victuallers" – The Dukes Head and the Kings Arms. Letters were received through Oundle Post Office. The school was supported by voluntary contributions and a clothing club was supported principally by the Rector and his family.

A Northamptonshire historian, in the early part of the 18th century described the village as standing low on a rocky ground with 2 bridges, one "Pottock" bridge outside, the other a small horse bridge of two arches within its area. The "main road" was the road to the Giddings – the road to Lutton being considered branch road. Buildings worth mentioning were Polebrook Hall, opposite was "The Gables" dated 1698 but with a 16th century doorway (once the Post Office), the Rectory, the school and the Manor House.

Opposite the Church was a house noteworthy for the two 16th century chimney pieces, also once the post office from which the first Old Age Pensions od ten shillings a week were issued. Almost opposite the school was the Wesleyan Chapel, built in 1863 and now a house. Also worthy of note is the Old Dukes Head which was formerly a public house.

Polebrook Hall is a Jacobean house but much restore and remodelled. The gardens were laid out by Sir Reginald Blomfield. In 1885 the hall was purchased by Brigadier General Algernon Francis Holford Ferguson, whose elder son Victor John dies in World War 1. His second son Andrew, born 1899 had two sons, the younger, Ronald Ivor, being the Father of the Duchess of York.