The Staffords
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The Staffords in Ashley

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Great (6) Great (12) Great (24) Grand (48) Sons (96) of Francis Stafford (192) - His parents (384)

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The River Welland

The Welland River rises in the county of Leicestershire and flows eastwards past Market Harborough and Stamford for about 70 miles into Lincolnshire to enter the southwestern corner of the shallow North Sea inlet called 'The Wash'.

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See map for course of the railway.

Medbourne Bridge station was opened on the 1 Jun 1850. According to one source this was opened by the London and Birmingham Railway. However, according to Christopher Awdry, the L&BR was one of the three companies amalgamated to form the London & North Western Railway on 16 Jul 1846.
The station was on the line from Market Harborough to Peterborough. It was renamed Ashley and Weston on 1 Mar 1878.

The line north to Melton Mowbray was opened around 1879.
Hallaton station was opened on  15 Dec 1879, being jointly operated by the Great Northern and the London and North Western.

Medbourne station (also GNR/L&NW) was opened 2 Jul 1883.

By the 1880s there was thus a triangle with the SW junction between Welham and Weston by Welland, the SE junction towards Drayton and the N junction towards Hallaton. Ashley lies just south of the triangle and only Medbourne, on the SE-N line is within.

Medbourne was closed on 1 Apr 1916.

The L&NW became part of the LMS in 1923 (whilst the GNR became part of LNER)

Ashley and Weston was closed to passenger traffic 18 Jun 1951 and completely after Jun 1952.
Hallaton was closed to passenger traffic 7 Dec 1953 and fully on 20 May 1957.

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Leicestershire & Northamptonshire Union Canal

The Leicestershire and Northamptonshire Union Canal was projected to link Leicester with the river Nene at Northampton.
Building began from the Leicester end and in 1797 was completed to Debdale Wharf. This amounted to 17 out of the projected 44 miles. There the project reseted for a tim, apart from the building of a branck to Market Harborough in 1809.

The full canal was finally completed in 1814 under the name Grand Union (not to be confused with the later use of this name).

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Ashley is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Afcele. It probably dates to much earlier than that. The name means 'ash-tree wood or clearing'.

The population in 1841 was about 340, acreage was 1,200.
By 1871 the population had risen to 378 but then fell by 1881 to 296 and by 1906 had fallen further to 192.

St. Mary's Church dates from the 13th Century.

The independent chapel was built in 1673 and closed in the 1950s. It was situated at the west end of Westhorpe but is now a private dwelling.

The original village was laid out in a figure of 8 shape, typical of many Northamptonshire villages.

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Dunton Bassett

The name Dunton Bassett is derived from the Bassett family and existed from at least 1418.
In 1841 the population was 553 'many of whom are framework knitters'


All Saints, Dunton Bassett

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The Church at Laughton is dedicated to St. Luke.

The name means 'leek or garlic enclosure, herb garden'
In the Domesday book the name is recorded as Lacherstone

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The name Medbourne means 'Meadow stream'. It is situated on a tribituary to the Welland.
"The population, in 1841, was about 200, the parish contains 984 acres 3 roods 32 poles."
By 1871 the population was 209 and had risen to 215 by 1881.

St. Giles' Medbourne

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Shearsby may mean 'farmstead or village of a man called Swaef or Skeifr'
In the Domesday book it is called Sueusbi

Take from the porch of St. Mary Magdalene's Church

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The Church of St. Andrew Twyford

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Sutton Bassett

All Saints Sutton Bassett

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Welham possibly means 'homestead by the stream'

                           St. Andrew's Welham

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Weston by Welland

The name means West farmstead or village by the Welland

In 921 the name of the village is recorded as Weolud which is a Celtic name of uncertain origin.

The Church at Weston is dedicated to St. Mary.

Cottages in Weston


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