Geographical and Historical information from the year 1877.
[Transcribed information from Kelly's Directory of Bedfordshire - 1877]
"BLUNHAM, a parish and a large village and station on the Bedford and Cambridge line of the North Eastern railway; 7 miles east from Bedford, 6 south from St. Neots, 5 north west from Biggleswade, and 50 from London, in the hundred of Wixamtree, union and county court district of Biggleswade, rural deanery of Shefford, archdeaconry of Bedford, and diocese of Ely, situated between the rivers Ouse and Ivel. The church of St. Edmund is an ancient Norman structure, in excellent repair: it has chancel, nave and aisles, and a very lofty tower, surmounted by pinnacles, and containing 5 bells and a clock. The register dates from the year 1571. The living is a rectory, yearly value £731, with about 255 acres of glebe, in the gift of the Dowager Countess Cowper, and held by the Rev. Thomas Marlborough Berry, M.A. of Trinity College, Dublin. Here are a National school for boys, a School of Industry for girls and an Infant school, supported by contributions. There are two chapels, one for Wesleyans and one for Baptists. Blunham formerly had a market and a fair at the festival of St. James, granted to John Lord Hastings in 1315. There is a church acre charity of the annual value of £1. 5s. The old Manor House, now occupied as a farm-house, was formerly the residence of Charles Grey, Earl of Kent: a barn standing near, having a boss on the centre of one of the cross beams and other traces of carved work, is supposed to have been the dining-hall. Blunham House is the residence of Sir Salusbury Gillies Payne, bart., J.P. it is a plain brick building, pleasantly situated in a park, through which the river Ivel flows; here are some fine elm and other trees, of considerable age. The manor anciently belonged to the Earls of Pembroke, from whom it descended by female heirs to the family of Hastings and Grey, and is now the property of the Dowager Countess Cowper. The principal landowners are the Dowager Countess Cowper and the rector. The soil is gravel. The chief crops are wheat, oats, barley, and garden produce. The area, with Moggerhanger, is 3,300 acres; rateable value, £3,459; population in 1871, 563."
"SOUTH MILLS, is a small hamlet in the parish of Blunham, Frederick Dawkins, esq., is lord of the manor."
[Description(s) transcribed by and later edited by Colin Hinson ©2013]
[from Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1877]