[Transcribed and edited information from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868]
"CLAPHAM, a parish in the hundred of Stodden, in the county of Bedford, 2 miles north west of Bedford. It is situated on the north side of the river Ouse, and was formerly a chapelry to Oakley. The North-Western railway passes at a short distance from the village, and has a station at Bedford. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Ely, value £270, in the patronage of Lord John Thynne. The church, dedicated to St. Thomas-a-Becket, is an ancient structure with Norman tower. The Wesleyans have a chapel, and there are free schools for boys and girls, supported by the Revs. J. Dawson and J. Donne. There are some small charities. Clapham Park, the seat of Earl Ashburnham, is noted as the place where Dr. Hammond, in 1648, was prisoner."
"CLAPHAM FOLLY, a hamlet in the parish of Clapham, county of Bedfordshire, 1 mile north east of Clapham."
"CLAPHAM GREEN, a hamlet in the parish of Clapham, county of Bedfordshire, ½ mile north east of Clapham."
The church of St. Thomas-a-Becket rebuilt, with the exception of the tower, in 1861, is of native limestone, in the Early English style, from designs by the late Sir G. Gilbert Scott R.A. and consists of chancel, nave, aisles, and a very early and massive tower 81 feet high, without buttresses, mentioned by Rickman as one of the best and most remarkable of the remaining examples of Early Saxon work in the kingdom, and containing 5 bells; the two lower stages are of earlier date than the third or upper portion; they are lighted by narrow semi-circular-headed openings, deeply splayed within and without; the entrance from the outside in the west front is by a semi-circular-headed doorway, 4ft. wide, entirely destitute of moulding, and in the east side from the church by a plain semi-circular arch with abacus, to which the ancient arch between the nave and chancel corresponds; the second stage has on its east face a large square-headed aperture or doorway, coeval with its construction ; the walls of both these stages diminish gradually in thickness from 5 ft. at the base; the third, or upper stage is of Late Saxon or Early Norman work, and has very wide round-headed two-light windows, set near the outer face of the wall and broadly splayed within, divided in the centre by a heavy mullion : about 1630 the walls were embattled and a new roof erected, but this was replaced by another in 1897: there are five stained windows to the Dawson family, and a monument to Thomas Taylor esq. of this place, whose widow founded the charity mentioned below. The register dates from the year 1696. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]
The Wesleyan chapel was built in 1876. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]