[Transcribed and edited information from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868]
"RISELEY, (or Risley), a parish in the hundred of Stodden, county Bedford, 9 miles south east of Higham Ferrers, its post town, and 5½ south west of Kimbolton. The village, which is situated in a valley, is chiefly agricultural. The soil is of a clayey nature, but fertile. The land is divided between rich pasture and arable. The surface is undulating, and is traversed by the road from Leeds to Kimbolton. The impropriate tithes belong to Lord St. John, and the glebe consists of 26 acres. The living is a via* in the diocese of Ely, value £177. The church, dedicated to All Saints, has a square embattled tower containing five bells. There is a National school for both sexes. The Wesleyans, Moravians, and Baptists, have places of worship. Lord St. John, of Melchbowrne House, is lord of the manor. Near the modern mansion are the remains of the old castle, from which the family of St. John derive their title. A fair is held on Shrove Tuesday.
"CROOK CORNER, a hamlet in the parish of Riseley, county of Bedfordshire, adjoining and to the north east of Riseley."
"TOP END, a hamlet in the parish of Riseley, county of Bedfordshire, adjoining and to the south of Riseley."
The church of All Saints is a noble edifice of stone, in the Early English, Decorated and Perpendicular styles, consisting of chancel, nave with clerestory, a large south aisle of almost the same width as the nave, south porch and an embattled western tower of Perpendicular date, with pinnacles, containing 3 bells rehung in May, 1891, and a striking clock: the church was restored and an organ chamber built in 1891, and it will now seat about 400 persons. The register dates from the year 1569. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]
Here are Wesleyan, Baptist and Moravian chapels. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]