Turvey History Society Treasure Hunt – The Answers

We hope you enjoyed taking part in Turvey History Society’s Treasure Hunt, and that you learnt something about the rich history of the village. This document gives the answers to the questions, and links to some articles on our website which provide more detail. If you would like to get more involved with Turvey History Society, or join our email list, please contact us at turveyhistory@gmail.com .


  1. Norfolk Road has a mixture of old and new houses. Primrose Cottage was one of the first to be built – how old is it?

The first houses in Norfolk Road were built at the start of the 20th Century. Primrose Cottage, along with its partner Fairview, has a plaque showing it was built in 1910. We have several postcards of the village at this time, including one of Primrose Cottage at Norfolk Road – Turvey History.

We also have a table showing the approximate age of all the houses in the village at Database of Residential Properties Build/Occupation Date – Turvey History

  1. Vine Cottage in May Road was once the home of Mrs Gertrude Longuet Higgins, who lived at Turvey Abbey until she was widowed.

    When was Vine Cottage built?

Turvey Abbey was the home of the Longuet -Higgins family ; you can find out more about the family and their time in and influence on the village at Stop 13: Turvey Abbey and Park | Heritage Walk | Turvey History. The family lived there until 1918 when Mrs Gertrude Longuet-Higgins moved into Vine Cottage. Vine Cottage has a plaque on it showing it was built by W. Bithry in 1823.

  1. Who made this? What do you think it is and what do you think it was used for?

The picture shows one of the cast iron parish pumps in the village. The inscription on the pump shows it was made by Glenfield & Kennedy Ltd, (Kilmarnock). In the 1930’s a public water supply was installed in Turvey; before all the houses were individually connected to the mains supply in the 1950’s, water would be collected by villagers from these pumps. A handle was turned, and water spouted out of the lion’s mouth. You can see more detail at Stop 08. Newton Lane formerly Nell’s Lane | Heritage Walk | Turvey History

There are pumps by the school at the corner of Carlton Road and May Road, outside Ladybridge Terrace, in the High Street by the former Infants School, now residential property, Turvey Court, in Turvey Loop by The Rectory and in front of Abbey Square

  1. What was the occupation of the tenants who lived in the large house on the corner at the bottom of Carlton Road until the end of the 20th century?

    How many ornate chimneys does it have?

    This building has a number of interesting features in its brickwork – which bird can you see here?

    Look across the road and find another animal – what is his name?

The building is The Rectory, built in 1839, and was the residence of the Rector until the late 20th century. It has 9 chimneys, and an owl can be seen in one of the alcoves in the façade. There is more detail about the Rectory, and some of its residents, at Stop 16: The Rectory & Lancelot’s Piece. | Heritage Walk | Turvey History. The architectural details of this Grade II listed building are detailed in The Rectory – Turvey History

Across the road is a plot of land named ‘Lancelot’s Piece’ after the donkey that Peter Jeffrey, the Rector from 1969 to 1998 owned. The sign on the wall shows the donkey. There is a photo of Lancelot at Lancelot – Turvey History

  1. Turvey used to have quite a few more pubs than now. The Tinkers Inn was a staging post for stagecoaches, and closed in 1860, but what is the building now?

    (Clue: John may know!)

The building is now divided into three – two houses named ‘The Old Tinkers Inn’ and ‘Gable End’, and a shop, Central Stores. The building is Grade II listed and you can find out more about its history at Stop 11. The Central Stores. | Heritage Walk | Turvey History. The Clue refers to John Howlett, who runs the shop.

  1. Village children went to school here before the school in May Road was built. Can you find the stone ledge on the wall, which is partly worn away, and a string of letters above? This was where the children used to play a game which involved trying to stand on the ledge and shouting out all the letters before they fell off. The letters are Roman numbers and tell us the date the building was built. What are the first three letters? For a bonus point, what is the date the building was built?

The letters are MDC and the date is 1847. When it opened the school took pupils from the age of 7, and later from the age of 11 to 14. The school closed in 1947 and the building later became the village hall, when secondary school students went to schools in Bedford or other villages. There is an article about all the schools in Turvey at Stop 10.  Turvey’s Education Hub | Heritage Walk | Turvey History

  1. Which house in Jacks Lane was formerly a pub, built in the 1930s and closed in October 1997? Before it closed, how many animals or humans were there in the names of Turvey pubs? List them.

The pub was called the Kings Arms. You can see the name on the door of the house.

The other pubs were The Three Fyshes and The Three Cranes – together with the King, making 7 creatures. There is a photo of the building as a pub at The King’s Arms – Turvey History.

There was also a pub at Station End called ‘The Railway Swan’.

  1. The BBC arrived here in 1960 to report on a protest by villagers against the Council’s judgement that an ancient water supply was ‘unfit for drinking’. Villagers claimed the water was better than that in the mains supply. Where in the village did they go to get this water?

The ancient water supply was at Nell’s Well in Newton Lane. The history of the well, and the visit by the BBC, are described in the article Nell’s Well | Buildings, Monuments and Features | Turvey History. The well was restored by Len Savage in 2004.

  1. There is a sign on a nearby house (visible from the street) which indicates a common occupation of women and young girls in Turvey in the 19th What industry does this refer to?

The sign on the house is ‘The Old Lace School’. The history of lacemaking in the area is described in An Overview of Lacemaking in Turvey | Occupations | Turvey History, and life at the lace schools is recorded in Lace Schools | Occupations | Turvey History

  1. What happened in Turvey in 1797, and where is it commemorated? What date did it occur on?

On 26th September 1797 the River Great Ouse flooded over a metre above the footway in Bridge Street – this is recorded on a stone on the wall of the Thee Fyshes. This is just one of many floods that Turvey has suffered over the years, which are described in an article at Floods in Turvey over the years | Environment | Turvey History

  1. I have 12 feet with 6 pointed toes, some of which have stood in water since the 12th century? What am I?

    For a bonus point, what do I form a boundary between?

Turvey Bridge is a Scheduled Monument. It has 11 arches, giving it 12 feet across its span. Two of the spans on the western channel and six of the seven spans on the eastern channel feet have pointed cutwaters (feet) on the south side of the bridge.

The bridge forms a boundary between Bedford Borough and Milton Keynes, although the boundary stone on the bridge indicates the limit as the ‘County of Bedford’.

There is an article about the history of the bridge at Turvey Bridge – A Brief History | Buildings, Monuments and Features | Turvey History.

  1. You can see me as you enter Turvey over the bridge. I arrived here on 15th April 1844, much to the surprise of the residents. Who or what am I?

The statue of Jonah stands on the green in front of Turvey Mill. The statue is a Grade II listed monument. It was installed by John Higgins in 1844. The history of the statue, and how it came to Turvey, is described in Jonah and his “Partner” | Buildings, Monuments and Features | Turvey History

  1. I stand in the centre of the village – What do I commemorate, and how many names are inscribed on me?

The War Memorial, in the area of the village known as ‘The Cross’ commemorates those from the village who served in the armed forces and who lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars. The memorial was unveiled in December 1919, and has 28 names inscribed on it. There is an article about the War Memorial, and some details of those whose names are on it, at Turvey’s Memorial to The Great War | Buildings, Monuments and Features, People | Turvey History

  1. All Saints Church has lots of stone carvings. Walk around the outside, looking up. Can you see the water spouts with carved faces? How many are there? Clue: you’ll need to stand well back to spot them all! Where is the one pulling its mouth out to blow a raspberry at you?

There are 14 water spouts with carved faces, and one gargoyle, a small dog-like creature with big ears crawling down to a downpipe in the south-east corner (as you walk up the path) between the Lady Chapel and the Chancel. The one blowing a raspberry is in the north-west corner between the tower and the nave.  There is a lot of information on our website about the Grade I All Saints Church – a good place to start is All Saints Church: A Historical Summary | Religion | Turvey History

  1. ‘Table Top’ tombs were sometimes used to give out alms (bread and even money) to the poor. How many Table Top tombs are there in Turvey churchyard?

There are three ‘Table Top’ tombs in the churchyard. They are also known as ‘Chest Tombs’.

  1. John Richardson, who died in 1612, was described on his tomb (on a table top tomb on the south wall) as a ‘faithful servant’. But where was he a faithful servant?

The plaque on the south wall records John Richardson as a ‘faithful servant’ of Turvey Old Hall. We have a brass rubbing of the plaque at Tomb of John Richardson – Turvey History.

Turvey Old Hall was the residence of the Lord Mordaunts, the Barons of Turvey. It was on the site of what is now Hall Farm, to the south of the village. It is briefly described in ‘Former days at Turvey’ by Rev G.F.W.Munby, an extract of which is available at Chapter 2: Turvey Old Hall and the Mordaunts. – Turvey History. More can be found about the Mordaunts at Who were the Mordaunts? | People, Turvey Estates | Turvey History. Further information about the history of Turvey Hall can be found at Stories in the Landscape: The Early History of Garden Field and its Surrounds | Stories in the Landscape | Turvey History.

  1. Find a grave marker in the churchyard that is, unusually, not made of stone. What is it made of? For a bonus point, whose resting place does it mark

The grave marker, just behind the tower, is made of wood. It is the memorial to Charles Negus (although the writing is worn and it looks like ‘Negis’). Charles was born in Bedford in 1777 and is recorded living in Turvey in the 1841-1861 censuses. He was a carpenter.

  1. Where can you see the phrase ‘What man is he that liveth and shall not see death’ and who is the most recent resident?

This text is inscribed in stone on the Longuet-Higgins Mausoleum, to the rear of the church by the wall. It is a Grade II listed structure, built in 1825. The most recent member of the family to be buried there was Professor Michael Selwyn Longuet-Higgins in 2016. You can read more about the Mausoleum at Stop 02. All Saints Churchyard & Turvey House | Heritage Walk | Turvey History

  1. I rose to great heights in 1630, but came tumbling down in 1858, and now have a safer home in the church on the wall behind the font above a door. What am I?

All Saints Church originally had a spire with a weathercock, inscribed with the date 1630. The tower was struck by lightning in 1858 and the weathercock was saved – it is now mounted above the vestry door. There is a photo of the weathercock at Church Weathercock – Turvey History.

  1. The church has a 14th century wall painting on the South wall in the Lady Chapel. What is the subject of the painting?

The fresco painting is of the Crucifixion, showing Christ, Mary and St. John. It was discovered when plaster was removed during 19th century renovations. You can see it at All Saints Church: A Historical Summary | Religion | Turvey History and there is a newspaper article about its discovery at Wall Painting of Crucifixion – Turvey History

  1. Find at least three ‘animals’ in church. Where and what are they?

There are many answers to this question, including

Lambs, both on kneelers and on the tiles in the sanctuary.

A dog, on the Mordaunt tomb in the south aisle,

A donkey, in the stained-glass window above the altar,

A rooster on the weathervane over the vestry door.

Lion, ram, eagle or falcon

Children’s paintings with giraffes, horses, pigs, lions, sheep, cows and camels.


The 10 letters collected on the walk will spell ROMAN COINS.

Four silver roman coins were found near Blagdon Farm, between Turvey and Carlton, in 1856. The record from the county archives is at Roman Coins, Baden – Turvey History. A further set of coins containing at least one Roman coin from the time of Emperor Constantine (306-337) was found east of Long Belt in Mossy Bank wood in 1826. Roman Coin Hoard – Turvey History. Information about early settlers, from this time, in Turvey is at Origins of a Village | Turvey Through Time | Turvey History.

No Comments

Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this page!

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.