"OAKLEY, a parish in the hundred of Stodden, county Bedford, 4 miles north west of Bedford, its post town, and 7 north east of Newport-Pagnell. It is a station on the Midland railway. The village, which is of small extent, is situated on the navigable river Ouse, which is here crossed by an old stone bridge of five arches. Disastrous floods occurred here in November, 1823, and in November, 1852, doing serious damage for miles around. The fishing in the river is preserved by the Duke of Bedford's order. The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in agriculture. It is a meet for the Oakley hounds. The surface is boldly undulating, and about half a mile from the village is Oakley Hill, commanding an extensive prospect. The tithes were commuted for land and a money payment under an Enclosure Act in 1803. The living is a vicarage annexed to that of Bromham, in the diocese of Ely- The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is an ancient structure, with a square tower containing five bells. The interior of the church has recently been restored. The parochial charities produce about £8 per annum. There is a free school for both sexes, built at the expense of the Duke of Bedford. The Dissenters have two places of worship. Oakley House occupies a central position in the parish, and is the seat of the Duke of Bedford who is lord of the manor."