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

"SOUTHILL, a parish and township in the hundred of Wixamtree, county Bedford, 3 miles south west of Biggleswade, its post town, and 2½ from Shefford. It is a station on the Midland railway. The parish, which is extensive, includes the hamlets of Broom and Stanford. It was formerly the seat of the Byngs. The living is a vicarage* annexed to that of Old-Warden, in the diocese of Ely, value £384. The church, dedicated to All Saints, is an ancient structure with a tower, and containing monuments of the Byngs. The parochial charities produce about £28 per annum. There is a National school. The Baptists have a chapel. The principal residence is Southill House."

"BROOM, a hamlet in the parish of Southill, hundred of Wixamtree, in the county of Bedford, 2 miles from Biggleswade. It is near the Great Northern railway."

"GASTLINGS, a small hamlet in the parish of Southill, county of Bedfordshire, 1 mile north west of Southill."

"IRELAND, a hamlet in the parish of Southill, county of Bedfordshire, 2 miles west of Southill."

"STANFORD, a hamlet in the parish of Southill, hundred of Wixamtree, county Bedford, 2 miles north east of Shefford, on the river Ivel."

"STANFORDBURY, a hamlet in the parish of Southill, county of Bedfordshire, 2 miles south of Southill."

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



Church History

  • Church of England
    • The church of All Saints is an ancient structure of brick in the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, nave, north and south aisles, south porch and an embattled western tower containing 6 bells and a clock: there are several monuments of the Byng family, among which are those of the celebrated Admiral Sir George Byng, first Viscount Torrington, 1733, and of his son, the unfortunate Vice-Admiral the Hon. John Byng, who for an error in judgment, while in command, was shot at Portsmouth, 14 March 1757: there are sittings for 400 persons. The register dates from the year 1538. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]
  • Non-conformist
    • The Baptist chapel here was built in 1805. The Assembly room at Broom was erected in 1896, and will seat 250 persons; divine service is held here on Sunday evenings. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]

Church Records

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Description and Travel

  • The charities, amounting to £34 yearly, were left by John Maynard of this parish, and are given away in coins to the poor, generally before Christmas. Southill Park, formerly the property of Lord Torrington, is now the seat of Samuel Whitbread esq. D.L., J.P.; the house is a stately mansion of stone, and the park, which is thickly studded with fine oak, elm, cedar, spruce and other trees, is 807 acres in extent and contains a large sheet of water; the gardens and shrubberies are tastefully laid out. Broom Hall, the residence of Rupert Oswald Fordham esq. is pleasantly situated 1½ miles south-west from Biggleswade; the park and shrubberles consist of about 50 acres. At Stanford Bury some fine specimens of Roman glass have been found, and here, it is supposed, was formerly a Roman encampment. Samuel Whitbread esq. who is lord of the manor, and Major Frank Shuttleworth of Old Warden Park, are the principal landowners.
    [Extracts from Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]
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Historical Geography

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Military History