[Transcribed and edited information from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868]
"HARROLD, a parish and market town in the hundred of Willey, county Bedford, 10 miles north west of Bedford, and 6 north west of Olney. It is situated on the river Ouse, and on the high road to Olney. It is of ancient date, and derives its name from King Harold, who had a seat here. A nunnery was founded here in 1150 by Sampson le Forte, the refectory of which is now used as a barn. Its revenue at the Dissolution amounted to £47 3s. 2d. The town, which is only a considerable village, is surrounded by a fertile agricultural district, formerly called Harewold, or Harewood. It is a petty sessions town, and contains a market-house, in which a good business is done in corn. The inhabitants are principally employed in lace making. The river Ouse is here crossed by a stone bridge. The soil is chiefly gravel and clay, mixed with a rich loam, producing good wheat crops. The tithes were commuted for land and corn rents under an Enclosure Act in 1797. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Ely, value £202. The church, dedicated to St. Peter, is an ancient structure, with tower and spire containing a clock and five bells. In the interior is a monument to Lady Joliffe, who founded and endowed almshouses for six poor widows. There are a few small charities for the benefit of the poor. There are National free schools for both sexes, and the Independents have a place of worship. Earl de Grey is lord of the manor. Market day is Tuesday, and fairs for cattle are held on the Tuesdays before the 13th May, 6th July, and 11th October."
"FOLLY, a hamlet in the parishes of Harrold and Odell, county of Bedfordshire, 1 mile north east of Harrold."
The church of St. Peter is an edifice of stone, in the Transition-Norman, Early English and Decorated styles, consisting of chancel with north chapel, clerestoried nave, aisles and a western tower, with pinnacles and spire, and containing a clock and 5 bells ; one chancel belongs to Earl Cowper K.G. the other to George Farrar esq. : the font has a circular basin, supported on four shafts ; the rood screen remains, and the pulpit and prayer desk are both partially constructed of old carved oak : in the chancel is an ancient mural monument, with bust, to the Hon. Anne Joliffe, who founded six almshouses in this town for six aged widows : on the south side of the chancel is an altar tomb to Oliver Boteler esq. 1657 : there is also a memorial to Anne, second wife of the distinguished physician, Dr. Richard Mead inscribed stones to James Boteler, 1690, and Judith his wife, 1712 ; and memorials to the Alston, Joliffe, Gybbon, Fisher and other families : the church plate includes a chalice dated 1699, a paten given by the Hon. Anne Joliffe in 1728, and a flagon presented by the Hon. Lady Temperance Wolstenholm in 1726 ; all of silver : the church will seat 400 persons. The register dates from the year 1598. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]
The Congregetional chapel was enlarged in 1863, and a minister's residence built in 1886 : a mission hall was opened in 1876 : a Mutual Improvement Society, formed in 1886, holds its meetings in the Congregational school room. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]
Harrold on line. Explore the village of Harrold. Join us on a photographic tour of the village. Discover the historical background of this ancient parish and visit some of its amenities, such as the Country Park, The Village Green and the Harrold Centre. Walk the footpaths of the parish.
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