The Parish of Granborough (formerly Grandborough) in the hundred of Ashendon covers some 1580 acres two miles south of Winslow. The name has Anglo Saxon origins and the village appears in the Doomsday Book 1086 as ‘Grenesberga’, meaning ‘green hill’.
The manor was given by King Offa to the abbey at St.Albans in 792. Following the dissolution of the monasteries in 1547 it passed back to the crown until 1699 whereupon it came into the ownership of the Lowndes family of Winslow Hall until 1924.
The ancient church, dedicated to St.John the Baptist, was demolished by Cornelius Holland the Regicide during the civil war but was rebuilt soon after in 1685 upon the restoration of the monarchy. The earliest government census in 1801 stated that there were 230 inhabitants living in 44 houses in the village. This climbed to 374 in 1861 and then fell to under 300 at the turn of the 20th century.
Three public houses served the community in the 1800’s, The Sovereign Inn, The Red Lion and The Crown, the two latter having been operating for far longer. Only The Crown now remains, its car park the site of The Sovereign and the Red Lion now a private residence.
Granborough was a village dependent upon agriculture and developed as a poor and hard place to live. In 1833 an article appeared in the Pall Mall Gazette, penned by the local Vicar and appealing for a capitalist Squire to assist in civilising the village. He commented on the size, number and poor condition of the dwellings and commented that an alternative to frequenting the Public House should be created to pass the winter evenings.