Geographical and Historical information from the year 1906.
[Transcribed information from Kelly's Directory of Bedfordshire - 1906]
"BLUNHAM, a parish and large village between the rivers Ouse and Ivel, with a station on the Bedford and Cambridge line of the London and North Western railway, 7 miles east from Bedford, 6 south from St. Neots, 5 north-west from Biggleswade, and 50 from London, in the Northern division of the county, hundred of Wixamtree, petty sessional division, union and county court district of Biggleswade, rural deanery of Biggleswade, archdeaconry of Bedford and diocese of Ely. The church of St. Edmund is a building of sandstone, partly of the Norman period, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles and a lofty embattled western tower, with pinnacles, containing a clock and 5 bells: in the south wall of the chancel is a monument with recumbent effigy to Susanna (Grey), daughter of Charles, 7th Earl of Kent of that family, and wife of Sir Michael Longueville, 17th century: there are also memorial slabs to the Bromsall family, including one to Margaretta Bromsall, 1664: the church was restored and entirely reseated in 1860 and in 1862 the organ was considerably enlarged at the expense of Miss Polhill of this place, who also contributed largely to the refitting of the church: the church plate includes a paten of silver given by Dr. Archer, of Blunham, in 1862: there are 350 sittings. The register dates from the year 1571. The living is a rectory, net yearly value 540, including 200 acres of glebe, with residence, in the gift of the Countess Cowper, and held since 1893 by the Rev. Charles Henry Farmer BA. of Downing College, Cambridge. There are two Baptist chapels. A cemetery of one acre was formed in 1902 at a cost of £1,400; it is under the control of the Parish Council. The Blunham Institute, founded in 1879, occupies a building formerly a school, and containing a library and reading and recreation rooms. Blunham had formerly a market and a fair at the festival of St. James, granted to Lord Hastings in 1315. There is a church acre charity of the yearly value of £1. 5s. Blunham House, the residence of Charles Robert Salusbury Payne esq. R.N., J.P. is a plain mansion of brick, pleasantly seated in a small park, with fine elm and other trees of considerable age, and through which the river Ivel flows. The old Manor House, now occupied as a butcher's shop, was formerly the residence of Charles Grey, Earl of Kent (d. 1625). The manor anciently belonged to the Earls of Pembroke from whom it descended by female heirs to the families of Hastings and Grey, and is now the property of the trustees of the late Earl Cowper KG. (d. 1905). The principal landowners are C. R. S. Payne esq. RN., J.P. Claud Ernest Tuppen esq. and the rector. The soil is gravel. The chief crops consist of market garden produce, such as potatoes, onions, parsley, beans and brussels sprouts and small quantities of wheat, oats and barley. The area is 1,178 acres of land and 27 of water; rateable value, £3,215; the population in 1901 was 598 in the civil and 622 in the ecclesiastical parish."
"SOUTH MILLS, 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 - 1906]