Domesday (1086) place name: Chochepol/Cochepol
The name COPLE derived from the phrase “Cock Pool” which was a place where chickens were kept. Cople was mentioned in the Doomsday Book.
Other spellings of Cople over the centuries: Cochepol (xi cent.); Coggepole,Coupol (xiii and xiv cent.); Cowepyll (xvi cent.).
The history of Cople as written in 1912: British History Online
Peter Burr’s Archive
Peter Burr has lived in Cople most of his life and, with the help of his family, has collected a fascinating archive of family and village historical articles. These include family photographs, stories, postcards and newspaper cuttings. Peter has kindly allowed us to scan many of these items for the web site.
Stanley Brown’s Archive
Stanley Brown grew up in Cople, worked on the land around here and married a Land Army girl who was stationed in Cople House during the war. Some photos from Stanley’s archive here showing Stanley at work in the fields, his wife with some of the nuns from when Cople House was a convent and Cople House.
If anyone has anything at all they can add to the history of Cople I would be most grateful to hear from them. Not only information on the village but anything about its past inhabitants.
Old photographs (pre 1980) that I can use on this web site would also be most gratefully received, I am happy to scan them and return them to you.
English Heritage maintains a web site of details on many old buildings in the UK. Go to Images of England and search for COPLE
Cople postcard 1905. Northill Road taken from about where Woodlands Close now meets Northill Road, looking towards the Church. Cople Cottage can be seen as the nearest house on the left. The Church tower can be seen in the distance.
The same scene in September 2007
Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service
Grange Lane, Cople about 1910 (Beds Archive Resources)
The Archive site includes many photographs and details of the historic buildings, houses and records.
The Aerial Archaeology Mapping Explorer is a tool that displays archaeology that has been identified, mapped and recorded using aerial photographs and other aerial sources across England. Several sites around Cople have been idenified as medieval or iron age. Explore the map using the link from the previous page, search for COPLE.
The following potted timeline has been lifted from the Bedfordshire Libraries web site which is a good starting place for anyone interested in researching the history of Cople.
1087c: Cople Church built by the De Beauchamp family. The list of Vicars dates back to 1237. The Church was rebuilt in the 15th century.
1642-51: During the Civil Wars Cople was in the Parliamentary camp as Sir Samuel Luke of Wood End was an important Parliamentarian. He raised a regiment for Parliament and commanded the garrison at Newport Pagnell. He was immortalised by Samuel Butler as Hudibras. The vicar was a staunch Royalist and was arrested on trumped up charges, fined £100 and sent to Newgate Prison.
1766: John Wesley preached at Cople 12th November.
1770c: Cople Toll House built at junction of the main A603 Bedford to Sandy Road and the main Cople Turn. It is one of only two tollhouses that exist in Bedfordshire.
1847: Henry East Havergal became Vicar. He was a noted local vocalist and instrumentalist. He remained Vicar until his death in 1875.
1857: Rev. Havergal installed an organ in the church of his own design.
1869: School opened on the 1st February 1869.
1870: Almshouse for poor widows pulled down.
1886: Stained glass window installed in Church.
1901: School closed for four weeks due to a measles epidemic.
1926: New churchyard laid out and consecrated.
1940: 26 evacuees with their master arrived from Newhaven, Sussex. The school roll was now 73 comprising 42 Cople children and 31 evacuees. By 1942 there were only 11 evacuees on the register and by 1944 only 8 were listed.
1971: Cople House destroyed by fire.
1976: 24 houses built on the site of Cople House and the site renamed Woodlands Close.
1994: Cople School celebrated its 125th anniversary with a week of celebrations including a Victorian Open Morning and a Foundation Ceremony.