[Transcribed and edited information from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868]
"EATON SOCON, a parish in the hundred of Barford, county Bedford, 1 mile
S.W. of St. Neot's, its post town and railway station, and 11 north east of
Bedford. It is situated to the west of the river Ouse, and includes a number
of small hamlets, the principal of which are Bushmead, Eatonford, and
Wyboston. There was formerly a castle, belonging to the Beauchamps, and a
priory for Augustine Monks, founded by Sir Oliver Beauchamp, the only
remaining portion of which, the refectory, is now converted into stables.
The workhouse of the St. Neot's Union is at Eatonford, in this parish. The
land is chiefly pasture and meadow. The living is a vicarage* in the
diocese of Ely, value £439, in the patronage of J. G. Atkinson, Esq. The
church is a handsome structure, with a fine tower containing six bells. It
is dedicated to St. Mary, and contains two monumental brasses. The
charities produce about £20 per annum. There is a National school for both
sexes. John H. Day, Esq., is lord of the manor. Bushmead Priory is the
[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
The 1868 Gazetteer description of the following places in Eaton Socon
is to be found on a supplementary page.
- Bushmead Cross
- Eaton Ford
- Little End
- Upper Staploe
by Colin Hinson ©2003
- There are only two burial grounds in the parish of Eaton Socon and both are in Eaton Socon village.
These are: the churchyard around the church, which was closed in the 1990s, and the cemetery in
Little End Road which opened in the 1930s.
Monumental Inscriptions from the Parish Churchyard (fiche set M-28 consisting of approximately
626 entries) are available from the
- A surname index of Eaton Socon parish in the 1851 Census of Bedfordshire (Vol. 2, Book 1)
is available from the
Bedfordshire FHS. The full 1851 Census of Eaton Socon Parish is available as fiche set C38.
A full transcription of the 1891 Census of the Kimbolton Registration District (RG12/1243) which took place on 5th
April 1891, in which Eaton Socon was enumerated, and which also included the St Neots Workhouse, is available, as fiche set C14.
The above mentioned fioche numbers are those available from the
- OS Grid Square TL 171588
The church of St. Mary the Virgin originally consisted of a chancel, nave with north and south aisles and a
west-facing tower. The walls of the church were built of cobblestones with a good deal of squared ironstone
in the Tower, and all were finished with embattled parapets. To the north was a vestry dating from the 15th
cent., but was built at a later time than the chancel. An organ transept was added in the latter part of the
19th century. The south porch was more recent.
The church appears to have originally been built in about the beginning of the 15th century, but with the
re-use of older nave arcades - the arches of which, except for those on the east bay on each side, were early
14th cent. The columns, with their capitals and bases, were of the 15th cent.
The chancel arch and those in the east bay of the arcades were in larger stones than the rest, and were
probably from the 15th cent. date. The nave was probably lengthened by a bay eastwards at that time. Other
evidence of older work were the south door of the nave - with an early 14th cent. head, and the 12th cent.
font, built of purbeck marble. The west window of the south aisle was of the 14th cent. style and was
probably a copy of an older one.
This church was unfortunately burned down in 1930, but it was immediately rebuilt and consecrated in 1932.
The original Eaton Socon parish registers of St. Mary's church are in the Bedfordshire Record Office.
- The following are available in the
Huntingdon Record Office.
- Baptisms: 1566-1812 (indexed transcriptions), 1813-1953 (microfiche).
- Banns: 1956-1971 (microfiche).
- Marriages: 1572-1812 (indexed transcriptions), 1813-1964 (microfiche).
- Burials: 1566-1812 (indexed transcriptions), 1813-1925 (microfiche).
- Bishops Transcripts: 1602-1873 are only held in the Bedfordshire Record Office.
- The Eaton Socon parish registers are available in two parts in the Bedfordshire Parish register series on
7 microfiche, at a cost of £16.00, inclusive of postage and packing worldwide, from the
- Eaton Socon was originally in the St. Neots Registration District, which itself became a sub-district
of Huntingdon. From 1st April 1997, it has been in the Huntingdon Registration District.
The war memorial with detailed information about those who fell is available on the Roll of Honour site for Huntingdonshire.
- The parish of Eaton Socon was in the St. Neots Union for Poor Law administration.
The St. Neots Union Workhose was built in Eaton Socon parish in the village of Eaton Ford. The
Workhouse buildings are now known as 'The White House' and have been converted in appartments.
Births and Deaths registered in the St Neots Union Workhouse (1913 - 1952) are available, as
fiche set D11, from the
- Population in 1801 - 1625.
- Population in 1851 - 2802.
- Population in 1901 - 2080.
- Population in 1951 - 3032.
- Population in 1961 - 3264.
- Population figures from 1971 are included in those of
St. Neots Urban District.
Eatons Community Association (ESCA)
- The Association covers the Eatons (Eaton Socon and Eaton Ford). They have various archives that
are now available and we hope will soon be on our website. Their large project aims to place families
in their houses/homes since 1800 and provide a history of the buildings within the present areas of
Eaton Socon and Eaton Ford. Roads have been renamed and a map of old road names has been compiled.
- The Association covers the Eatons (Eaton Socon and Eaton Ford). They have various archives that are
now available and we hope will soon be on our website. Their large project aims to place families in
their houses/homes since 1800 and provide a history of the buildings within the present areas of Eaton
Socon and Eaton Ford. Roads have been renamed and a map of old road names has been compiled.
- The Community Association is happy to answer queries about families in the Eatons and the history of the buildings.
- Booklets are continually being written and updated. A booklist is available from them.
- While they are putting the records on-line information can be requested from their various archives. These include:
- All Census Returns have been indexed - ie 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891 and 1901.
- Electoral registers - 1925,1930,35,38,45,47,48,50,55, 60, 65 can be searched for information. Eaton Socon
houses were not numbered until 1948 but they have endeavoured to place people and families in their houses
and this information can be requested.
- Rate books from 1829 and 1859 have been indexed.
- The Enclosure Award for Eaton Socon village and the Eaton Ford area has been photographed and studied - maps are on the website.
- Marriages in St Marys Church are typed and indexed from 1813 - 1920 and information on marriages between 1920 to 1990 can be requested.
- Burials and gravestones in Eaton Socon Cemetery have been recorded and are available.
- Burials in St Marys Churchyard from 1813 - 2002 are indexed and will soon be avaliable.
Details can be obtained from ESCA, 3 Collingwood Road, Eaton Socon, St. Neots, Cambridgeshire PE19 8JQ Email:
- Baptisms from 1813 - 1885 are being prepared.
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