"The Shrimpton Family Group" crest by Valda Shrimpton

gggggreat grandfather
to ggreat grandfather

John = Katherine Fryer
John =
Elizabeth Preston
bapt. 1718 - b. 1787
Long Crendon
needle maker

Thomas =
Sarah Deane
bapt. 1749 - b. 1818
needle maker

Mathew -
Eliz. Burnard
bapt. 1794 - b. 1860
needle maker
needle manufacturer

Needle stamping at Shrimpton and Fletcher Ltd, Redditch in 1927
thanks to Valda Shrimpton for her research into the Shrimpton family history and for the details of the family connection with needle making. Her  family group crest is shown at the top of the page.
Felmersham Local History Book
I have written 2 books on the local history of Felmersham and Radwell they are entitled "Felmersham - The History of a Riverside Parish" and "Bygone Felmersham and Radwell". They are both available from: Milton Ernest Garden Centre; Sharnbrook Post Office and Town and County Books, High Street, Bedford. Click below for details:
Felmersham - The History of a Riverside Parish
Bygone Felmersham and Radwell

The Shrimpton Family and
The Needle Makers of Long Crendon

Needle making was a cottage industry with each household contributing towards the manufacture of the needles. There were drawers, cutters, pointers, piercers and polishers, after each operation the part finished needles were passed through a hole in the cottage wall to the next door neighbour who would continue with the manufacturing process.

By 1560, needles were being made in Long Crendon, Bucks. John Shrimpton (bapt. 1718 - b. 1787) my great, great, great, great grandfather was, by 1738, working in Long Crendon as a needle maker. He had 6 sons all of whom worked in the industry and 25 grandsons, 17 of whom were also needle makers. 201 Shrimptons were baptised in the parish, according to the Anglican rite, between 1754 and 1835. There were a comparable number of non-conformist Shrimptons, through conversion and birth, as the 19C progressed. By the early 1800's the Shrimptons dominated the village and the local needle industry. Gradually the industry became mechanised and moved to Redditch and there was a very large rate of emigration from the 1820's onwards, particularly of the non-conformist needle makers, to Redditch.

Long Crendon circa 1900

The last three Shrimpton needle makers in Long Crendon were "Sylvannus" Shrimpton who made surgical needles and died in 1887, David Shrimpton (1817-1888) and finally Mathew Shrimpton who died in 1896.

Jerome Shrimpton who lived in Cripplegate St. Giles in the city of London was the first known Shrimpton needle maker. He also doubled as a tailor and an Elizabethan minstrel in his spare time. He was around at the end of the C16th and the beginning of the 17th centuries.

North Bedfordshire Turret Clocks

In 1984 Chris Pickford and myself started researching the history of all the turret clocks in North Bedfordshire. By 1990 the research work was completed and the results were written up. We intend to publish our research under the title Turret Clocks of North Bedfordshire. The book will be self published so watch this space!

Sharnbrook wooden framed turret clock, circa 1680.
Restored by KFS and on display in St Mary's, Felmersham.

What is a turret clock?
turret clock is any clock which displays the time on a dial or sounds the hours by sticking a bell and is so positioned that it can be seen or heard outside the building in which it is located. They are generally installed in public buildings such as churches or railway stations, however some can be seen on private properties.
Our study involved photographing, recording and researching all the turret clocks in North Bedfordshire.  Many of the clocks are very old and one or two predate the pendulum invented in 1656.
The survey also included public sun dials and medieval scratch dials. A scratch dial can be found on the south face of some churches. They are very primitive and they are not very good time markers, sometimes they are referred to as mass dials.

Scratch dial from St Mary's Church, Felmersham
Header image:  A montage of life.       Both the clock and the scratch dial are on display in Felmersham Church
Back to felmersham.net   |   Ken's Local History Book  |  Book Feedback