[Transcribed and edited information from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868]
"BARTON-IN-THE-CLAY, (or Barton-le-clay), a parish in the hundred of Flitt, in the county of Bedford, 6 miles to the north of Luton. Silsoe is its post town. The living is a rectory* in the diocese of Ely, of the value of £400, in the patronage of the crown. The church contains a monumental brass, and is dedicated to St. Nicholas. There is an endowed school, founded in 1807 by Edward Willis, for 40 children. It has an income of £50. There are several other charities.
"CHURCH END, a hamlet in the parish of Barton in the Clay, county of Bedfordshire, ¼ mile south east of Barton in the Clay."
The church of St. Nicholas, built in the 13th century, is an edifice of the Early English and Decorated periods, consisting of chancel with nave, aisles, south porch and an embattled western tower faced with flints, disposed in chequers, and containing 5 bells, inside some of which is the following inscription- "Bye yt knowne to all that does me see, That Newcombe of Leicester made me:" the windows are chiefly Perpendicular: the fine roof of chestnut wood is of the same date, and the wall plate is enriched with the strawberry leaf ornament running along it, the roof beams and springers have eagle Supporters and figures of twelve angels in relief, each one bearing an instrument of the Passion: the chancel is in part paved with Norman tiles, and in its south wall are two piscine and three plain stalls under equilateral arches : on the wall is an inscribed brass to Sir Philipp de Lee, rector, c. 1360 : and on a stone in the chancel, under the half-effigy of a priest, is a brass inscribed to Richard Brey, rector, c. 1370 : there is a third brass to a civilian, c. 1490: over the font is a painting of "The Presentation in the Temple," the gift of a former rector: in the south aisle is a raised tomb of stone, found in 1879, at the time of the restoration, two feet below the floor, and supposed to be that of an abbot: a stained east window was erected in 1888, and a carved oak reredos added in 1889: the belfry was thoroughly restored, in 1892 at a cost of £200. There are 420 sittings. The register dates from the year 1558. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]
The Baptists, Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists have each a chapel here. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]