The village of Cosgrove lies less than a mile to the east of the A508 and 2 miles from Old Stratford. Road communications to Milton Keynes are excellent and the M1 can be accessed at junction 14 south of Milton Keynes or at junction 15 at Collingtree which is just south of Northampton. There is an excellent Intercity rail service at Milton Keynes. Facilities in the village include a post office, pub, hotel, and infant/junior school. The Grand Union Canal runs through the village.
History - Grand Union Canal
Immediately south-east of the village the canal crosses the valley of the river Great Ouse on an embankment and aqueduct known as the Cosgrove Iron Trunk Aqueduct. The river was initially crossed on the level, with four temporary locks lowering the canal from the south-east, and five raising it from the river towards the north-west (the top lock of these is still in place). The temporary locks were used as a means of getting the canal open to through traffic by 1800 (this river crossing and the tunnel at Blisworth being the only two gaps by that year). However, it was always intended that the river should be crossed by aqueduct, as the locks were wasteful of water, time-consuming and the river in flood in winter could prevent through passage. A brick aqueduct was built, but collapsed in 1808, after which the locks were re-opened. It was replaced by the present Cosgrove aqueduct, built of cast iron, and opened on 22 January 1811.
There was once a corn mill on the River Tove, dating from 1086, which Robert Maudit granted to Roger the miller of Cosgrove and his son Robert for life in 1211. The Mill prospered until the early 20th century when it fell into disrepair and was demolished in 1979.
The gothic style Ornamental Bridge over the canal was built in 1790s at the insistence of a local landowner, the Biggins family when the two halves of the canal joined here, one from Braunston, the other from Brentford. It is one of only two ornamental bridges over the canal.
Other buildings and features
The Parish Church is dedicated to St Peter and St Paul and parts date from the 13th century but is described by Pevsner as 'badly over-restored. There is a memorial to Pulter Forester (d.1778). The tower is over 70 feet tall and contains six bells with one ‘Santa Maria’ dating to the 15th century.
Cosgrove Hall and Estate was built in the early 18th century on the site of an earlier house by the Furtho family. It is not open to the public. It may have been built by John Lumley of Northampton.
The Priory was built in the 17th century by the Rigby family and is now the headquarters of the Pericom Group. Originally known as the Manor House, the name was changed to The Priory in around 1810. Pevsner states that it has a Rood Screen from the time of Henry VIII.
St. Vincent's Well enclosed by iron railings behind the old National School in the High Street is said to have a high iron content, which some believe give the water remedial qualities.
South-east of Cosgrove Hall and the church on the south bank of the canal is the site of a Roman Villa, bathhouse and temple excavated in the 1950s and 60s. Many finds including an urn of silver coins were found during construction of the canal.This is about 1 mile from the Roman Road known as Watling Street.
South west of the village are The Quarries, the remains of a medieval limestone quarry, now calcareous grassland, with a rich plant community of limestone-loving plants such as the spotted cat's ear and fragrant orchid. The site is also home to rare insects such as the ground beetle and birds such as the skylark and barn owl.
Cosgrove Leisure Park attracts many visitors, caravanners and holiday-makers. The park is built on an area of flooded gravel pits near the River Great Ouse south of the village. It has a swimming and paddling pool, fishing lakes and a water sports including water-skiing and jet-skiing. There are pitches for 500 touring caravans and 460 owner-occupied static holiday homes
Living in a rural area as we do, the police look to the local community for its support to control vandalism and crime in the village. This is where the neighbourhood watch is of great assistance in monitoring and controlling crime.
Village Events & Clubs:
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Essential Numbers & Contacts:
- Thames Valley - 0845 850505 www.thamesvalley.police.uk
- Northamptonshire HQ - 03000 111 222 www.northants.police.uk
- Emergency - 999
- MK General Hospital - 01908 660033 www.mkgeneral.nhs.uk
- Northampton General Hospital - 01604 634700
- Emergency - 999
- Stony Stratford Health centre - 01980 260382
- Stonedean Practice - 01908 261155
- Towcester Medical Centre - 01327 359953
- NHS Direct Textphone: 0845 606 4647
- South Northamptonshire Council - 0845 2300226 www.southnorthants.gov.uk
- Northamptonshire County Council - 01604 236236 www.northamptonshire.gov.uk
- Milton Keynes Council - 01908 691691 www.milton-keynes.gov.uk