Deanshanger used to be called Daneshanger, "Shanger" being an old English word, meaning a clearing in the woods - hence Daneshanger was a clearing in the woods where the Danes lived. The original population centre of the parish was the hamlet of Passenham. However, from the late 18th century the coming of the Grand Union Canal to the east made Deanshanger an agricultural industrial centre causing it to grow quickly. This growth accelerated with the building of the London and Birmingham Railway in the first half of the 19th century which passed through the nearby villages of Wolverton, Bletchley and Roade. After a fall out with Henry II in 1170 AD, Thomas Becket is said to have sought refuge in the Gilbertine Monastery in Deanshanger (or Dinneshangra as it was then known). Although disguised as a peasant, he was nevertheless recognised by a farm labourer. At the time the only water supply in the village was foul and brackish, and having heard of the miracle that Becket was said to have performed at nearby Northampton, the farm labourer pleaded with Becket to repeat the performance. Becket is said to have looked towards Heaven, struck the ground with his staff, and immediately a fresh spring appeared. This is one of 703 miracles that is said to have led to his canonisation.
If anybody would like to expand to this series please do. I would just ask that you let SmokeyPugs know first so they can keep track of the Village Sign numbers and names to avoid duplication.
CONGRATULATIONS ON FTF Paddy&Pepper