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Houghton Regis

[Transcribed and edited information from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868]

"HOUGHTON-REGIS, a parish in the hundred of Manshead, county Bedford, 1 mile N. of Dunstable, its post town, and 5 miles north west of Luton. The village, which is considerable, is situated near the Roman road Watling Street. The parish comprises the hamlets of Bedwell, Puddlehill, Sewell, and Thorn. Houghton-Regis formerly belonged to the crown. The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in straw plaiting and in agriculture. The tithes were commuted for land and a money payment under an Enclosure Act, in 1796. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Ely, value £250. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, is an ancient structure, with a square tower containing six bells. The interior of the church contains several monuments, also effigies of a knight, and two brasses of priests. The charities produce about 960 per annum, of which £50 goes to Whitehead's free school. The Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists, and Baptists have places of worship. Houghton House, which is situated near the green, is the principal residence. The Duke of Bedford is lord of the manor."

"BIDWELL, a hamlet in the parish of Houghton Regis, county of Bedfordshire, ½ mile north of Houghton Regis."

"EAST END, a hamlet in the parish of Houghton Regis, county of Bedfordshire, ¼ mile north east of Houghton Regis."

"PUDDLEHILL, (now Chalk Hill) a hamlet in the parish of Houghton Regis, county of Bedfordshire, 1 mile west of Houghton Regis.

"SEWELL, a hamlet in the parish of Houghton Regis, county of Bedfordshire, 1¼ mile west south west of Houghton Regis."

"THORN, a hamlet in the parish of Houghton Regis, county of Bedfordshire, 1 mile north west of Houghton Regis."

[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson ©2013




You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Houghton Regis area that are recorded in the GENUKI church database. This will also help identify other churches in nearby townships and/or parishes. You also have the option to see the location of the churches marked on a map.

Church History

  • Church of England
    • The church of St. Michael, formerly All Saints, is an ancient fabric of mixed styles, chiefly Decorated, consisting of chancel, clerestoried nave of five bays, aisles, south porch and a noble embattled western tower with an octagonal embattled turret at the south-west angle, and containing 6 bells : the chancel is Decorated, and the nave arcades belong to the same period: the clerestory and roof are plain Perpendicular : both nave and aisles are embattled : the Norman font is cylindrical, widening towards the top, and the whole exterior is richly carved in three bands, the lowermost being fluted; the base is cushioned, with cable moulding : there are brasses to John Waleys, vicar, 1400 ; William Waleys ; and Sir William Walley, vicar, 1506; besides several memorial slabs of ancient date: in an arch in the wall of the south aisle is an effigy of Sir John Sewell knt. formerly of this parish: there are also various monuments to members of the Brandreth family. The register dates from the year 1538. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]
  • Non-conformist
    • There is an iron mission church in connection with St. Michael's, in Union street, Upper Houghton; Rev. William John Jones B.A. of the University of London, is curate. There are Baptist, Primitive Methodist and Wesleyan chapels at Houghton, and a Wesleyan chapel at Upper Houghton. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898

Church Records

Description and Travel

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Historical Geography

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You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TL017239 (Lat/Lon: 51.904323, -0.523129), Houghton Regis which are provided by:

Military History

  • The BFHS Project in conjunction with Roll of Honour contains the Houghton Regis War Memorial transcription with details of the men found on it.