[Transcribed and edited information from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868]
"YELDEN, a parish in the hundred of Stodden, county Beds, 5 miles east of Higham-Ferrers, and 12 north of Bedford. It is situated in a valley, and is mentioned in Domesday survey as Ewelden. The women and children are employed in lace making. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Ely, value £300. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, contains some old stone stalls and two brasses from 1433. The Wesleyans have a chapel. The charities produce about £4 per annum. There is a National school. In the parish is the moated site of an old baronial castle. J. Sambrook Crawley, Esq., is lord of the manor."
The church of St. Mary, an almost perfect example of a Decorated church, is a building of stone, consisting of chancel, clerestoried nave of four bays, south aisle, south porch and a western tower with enriched cornice and low octagonal spire, containing a clock and 4 bells, restored in 1886 by Messrs. Taylor, of Loughborough: the chancel retains piscina and sedilia, and on the north side is a late Perpendicular vestry, between which and the chancel is a curious small recess in the wall: in the aisle is a large canopied recess with crocketed pinnacles and rich finials, and near a piscina and a bracket; on the north side of the church is a flat arched recess, with hood moulding and finial, inclosing an altar tomb with a recumbent figure supposed to represent the founder: the front of the tomb displays five quatrefoils inclosing shields; there are also three brasses, one of which has the effigy of a man in trunk hose, cloak and ruff, and is inscribed to Christopher Stickland, gent. 1628, a benefactor to the parish; mother, of a priest richly vested, has an inscription in Latin to John Heyne, rector, 1433; the third is a kneeling effigy, with ruff, representing Thomas Barker, rector, 1617: on the south side of the chancel is a stained window to John Fernie M.A. rector, ob. 1870: there are 220 sittings, 60 of which are free. The register dates from the year 1653. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]