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Northill

NORTHILL

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

"NORTHILL, a parish in the hundred of Wixamtree, county Bedford, 3 miles N.W. of Biggleswade, its post town. The village, which is small, is situated on the road from Biggleswade to Bedford, and near the river Ivel. It is chiefly agricultural, but straw-plaiting and lace-making are carried on to a small extent. The parish comprises the hamlets of Upper and Lower Caldicott:, Brook End, Hatch, Budna, Thorncote, and Ickwell. The soil is gravel, and the greater part of the land arable, with a small proportion of pasture. The tithes were commuted for land and corn rents under two separate Acts of Enclosure towards the close of the last century. The living is a perpetual curacy* in the diocese of Ely, value £395, in the patronage of the Grocers' Company, London. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, has a square tower containing five bells, and was made collegiate in the reign of Henry IV., but dissolved by Edward VI. It has a stained-glass E. window, and some old stalls. The parochial charities produce about £55 per annum, with a share in H. Smith's charity. There is a National school for both sexes. John Harvey, Esq., of Ickwell Bury, is lord of the manor, and impropriator of part of the rectorial tithes."

"BEESTON, (or Besston Green) a hamlet in the parishes of Northill and Sandy, hundred of Wixamtree, in the county of Bedford, 2 miles to the north west of Biggleswade. It is near the Sandy station of the Great Northern railway.

"BROOK END, a hamlet in the parish of Northill, hundred of Wixamtree, in the county of Bedford, 3 miles to the north west of Biggleswade."

"BUDNA, a hamlet in the parish of Northill, hundred of Wixamtree, county Bedford, 3 miles north west of Biggleswade."

"HATCH, a hamlet in the parish of Northill, hundred of Wixamtree, county Bedford, 3 miles north west of Biggleswade, and 48 from Loddon."

"ICKWELL, a hamlet in the parish of Northill, hundred of Wixamtree, county Bedford, 3 miles west north west of Biggleswade."

"ICKWELL GREEN, a hamlet in the parish of Northill, hundred of Wixamtree, county Bedford, 3 miles north west of Biggleswade. Ickwell Green is a meet for the Cambridgeshire hounds."

"THORNCOTE GREEN, a hamlet in the parish of Northill, hundred of Wixamtree, county Bedford, 3 miles north west of Biggleswade. It is joined with Brookend and Hatch to form a township.

"UPPER CALDECOTE, (and Lower Caldecote) a hamlet in the parish of Northill, hundred of Wixamtree, in the county of Bedford, 1 mile to the north west of Biggleswade. It is near the Great Northern railway.

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

Cemeteries

Census

Churches

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Church History

  • Church of England
    • The church of St. Mary, once collegiate, is a noble and picturesque building of dark red sandstone, partly in the Decorated style and partly Perpendicular, and consists of chancel, nave, aisles, south porch, with parvise, and an embattled western tower with angle turret and containing 5 bells : the stained heraldic glass, formerly in the east window, has been inserted else where and a new east window was erected in 1885 by t he Grocers' Company, who are the patrons; at the west end are three memorial windows to the Harvey family, and on the north wall are various hatchments of the same family, some dating back to the 17th century: the church retains six ancient stalls, four Piscine and some curious tiles; it was restored in 1862, at a cost of £2,000, and in 1882 a memorial pulpit was erected to the parents of the Rev. Francis Pott M.A. rector, 1866-90: the porch has a handsome groined roof of the 15th century: a curious brass, with Latin inscription, transferred from Ampthill church in 1890, commemorates Sir Nicholas Hervey, who died suddenly at Ampthill in 1532, while on a supposed confidential mission for Ring Henry VIII. : there are sittings for 300 persons. The registers date from the year 1562, but are only continuous from 1727. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]
    • The church of All Saints, CALDECOTE, a chapel of ease to the parish church, was erected at a cost of about £2,100, of which £1,200 was given by Mrs. Arthur Pott, widow of a former rector, and £1,000 and a site for the church, glebe-house and schools, by T. Harvey esq. of Ickwell Bury : it is a cruciform building of stone, in the Byzantine style, and consists of chancel, nave, transepts and small baptistery at the west end, and a central bell-cot, with a bells: there are 250 sittings. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]

Church Records

Description and Travel

  • At Caldecote are five almshouses, erected and endowed in 1876 by Mrs Elizabeth Harvey, in memory of Edmund and Susan Harvey. Ickwell Bury, the property of John Edmund Audley Harvey esq. D.L.. J.P. and the residence of Mrs. Harvey, is a mansion of red brick, in the Queen Anne style, standing in a park and woodlands of about 500 acres, approached by an avenue of trees about a mile in length; in 1683 the house was enlarged, and almost rebuilt, but additions and alterations have been since made; it contains some handsome carvings and many curious relics of past times; also a fine collection of armour and several good pictures. In the wood, about half way between the house and Northill church, is a very singular and perfect earthwork, either of Roman or British origin, with a high bank thrown up on the east side, where the exterior ground is higher, but the most remarkable feature of these remains is the existence of long pools inside the enceinte ; it is surmised that they were used as fish ponds, either by the monks of the college of Northill or the priory of Ickwell Bury. Ickwell House, the residence of Henry Godfrey Astell esq. is an ancient and interesting mansion, and was formerly surrounded by moats, now filled up : it originally belonged to the Fysshe family, and on the extinction of the male branch in 1720, it came through the female line, into the possession of the Fysshe-Palmers, the last member of which family, Lady Madeline Palmer, died in 1840, when it was bought by J. Harvey esq. of Ickwell Bury, in whose family it still remains. A college was founded here, temp. Hen. IV. (1399-1413), as a cell to Marmoutier, for a master, warden and fellows; on its dissolution the revenues were estimated at £61.
    • BROOK END, 1 mile north-by-east;
    • BUDNA, 1 mile north-west;
    • LOWER CALDECOTE, 2 miles east;
    • UPPER CALDECOTE, 1½ miles south-east, on the road from Hitchin to Sandy;
    • HATCH, 1 mile north ;
    • ICKWELL, half a mile south, and
    • THORNCOTE, three-quarters of a mile north, are hamlets.
  • Under the provisions of the "Divided Parishes Act, 1882," a detached part of Sandy was added to Northill, and a detached part of the latter transferred to the former parish for civil purposes. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]
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Maps

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Military History