A Brief History of Fenny Stratford

Watling Street remained one of the major routes north from London but was generally in a poor condition and many parishes tended to be unwilling or unable to afford the repairs needed. With the emergence of the first stagecoaches from London around 1658 traffic steadily increased and two Acts of parliment, in 1706 and 1740 enabled parishes to collect toll money for the improvement and upkeep of the roads. The shops and taverns of Fenny once again began to prosper. The early 1800's were the heyday of the stagecoach and there have been recorded forty alehouses and coaching houses in Fenny Stratford between 1750 and 1810. Among these were the Bull and the Swan, the oldest of the town's public houses still in existence.
Fenny Stratford lock built temporarily to aid construction of the canal but deemed too costly to remove after completion. The Red Lion public house is on the left and the former lock keeper's house is on the right of the photo.
In 1805 the Grand Junction canal from London to Braunston opened, passing through Fenny Stratford. To overcome a local problem during construction a temporary lock was installed just north of the Watling Street canal bridge and still remains to this day. The canal provided an economical means of moving goods and material. Wharves were established in the area adjacent to the canal, Watling Street and Simpson Road and a number of businesses, including coalyards, brickworks, brewery, gasworks, foundry, timber yard and sawmill variously developed through the nineteenth century. Continue..

History The Timberyard Fenny Station Fenny Lock St Martins