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Old Warden Timeline


100BC - 50AD                       Late Iron Age Cremation Burial near Quince Hill (excavated in 1840’s)

                                              Celtic Bronze Mirror, possibly from a high-status grave (found when excavating Warden Tunnel 1850’s –                                               on display at The Higgins, Bedford) 

1086                                      ‘Wardone’ listed in Domesday Survey

Late C11                                Quince Hill Norman ring-work constructed, thought to be the manorial stronghold of ‘Wardone’s’                                                            tenant-in-chief, William Spec

1135                                       Walter Espec, son or nephew of William Spec, gives marginal land in Warden to build a Cistercian                                                        Abbey

C12                                         The tower of the parish church starts to be constructed in stone, possibly replacing a private timber                                                       chapel constructed by William Spec

1376                                       Warden Abbey acquires a licence from Edward III to appropriate the parish church

1380/81                                  Walter Clifton, abbot of Warden, sponsors a stained-glass window in the parish church

1537                                        On 4th December Warden Abbey is the first of the greater monasteries to surrender to the Crown

c1557                                       Edward Peake leaves money for the poor of Old Warden, the site of the original poor house now 24 &                                                    25 The Village, that building being the last village Workhouse.

1558                                        Robert Gostwick boasts a new red-brick farmhouse on the site of the former monastery, and leaves

                                                in his will, 'To my son William Gostwyke the lease of Warden Abbey I do now dwell in’

1695                                         Samuel Ongley, wealthy Kentish merchant, arrives and starts buying up land to create a country                                                            estate

c1713                                       Queen Anne's Summer House built by Sir Samuel Ongley

c1825/30                                  Robert Henley-Ongley, 3rd Baron Ongley of Old Warden, creates Swiss Garden and the Picturesque                                                    Model Village

1841/2                                      Robert Henley-Ongley, 3rd Baron Ongley of Old Warden, beautifies the church interior with fine oak                                                      carvings

1872                                         Robert Henley-Ongley, 3rd Baron Ongley of Old Warden, sells the estate to wealthy industrialist,                                                            Joseph Shuttleworth

1901                                         Reading and Recreation Room completed (now the village hall), the gift of Frank Shuttleworth.

1940                                         Richard Shuttleworth, the last Squire of Old Warden, killed in plane crash. His mother, Dorothy                                                                Shuttleworth, inherits the whole estate.

1944                                         Dorothy Shuttleworth Forms The Shuttleworth Trust

1946                                         Shuttleworth College opens

1963                                         The Shuttleworth Collection opens its doors to the public

1968                                         Dorothy Shuttleworth dies

1986                                         Old Warden School closes

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