A brief history of North Crawley

The original name of the village was Great Crawley (Crawley Magna) and little Crawley (Crawley Parva). They combined in Tudor times to become North Crawley. The village name is old English Crauli/crowe (crow) and Leah (clearing). The full development of Great Crawley occurred soon after 1128, under the expansion policy of King David of Scotland, Earl of Huntingdon.

North Crawley dates back to before the Domesday Book compiled in 1086, in which reference is made to only three churches existing in Buckinghamshire prior to the Norman Conquest. These were St Rumbold in Buckingham, St Osyth in Aylesbury and St Firmin in North Crawley.

St Firmin owes its foundation to a small religious house at Hardmead which had been built by French monks and dedicated to St Firmin, the first bishop of St Amiens. This dedication was adopted by North Crawley Church. There are only two other churches in Great Britain dedicated to this little known saint who was martyred in AD 287.

In 1289 the Bishop of Lincoln, during his campaign to suppress unauthorised practices in his diocese, directed the Dean of Newport Pagnell to go to the church of North Crawley to stop superstitious pilgrimages which were apparently being made there. It would appear that people remembered St Firmin from their ancestors and still came as pilgrims to visit the miracle promising site of the monasterium at Crawley which had a Holy Well in the Churchyard.

Peter de Wintonia (Peter of Winchester), rector of St Firmins died in 1289 and was buried in the east end of the nave. Peter had been a clerk in the royal house hold and keeper of the Wardrobe to Henry III in 1250.