"TILBROOK, a parish, which until 1888, formed part of Bedfordshire but was transferred to Huntingdonshire under the provisions of the Local Government Act of 1886. Historically, therefore, it belongs to Bedfordshire. The parish lies some 15 miles north-east of Bedford and a little more than 2 miles south of Kimbolton. Most of the land is arable, but there is a lot of permanent grassland and some woodland. The principle crops grown are wheat, beans and peas. The soil is Oxford clay, and the sub-soil is clay with occasional gravel.
Tilbrook is watered by the River Til flowing through the centre of the parish, which is uniformly level. The ground rises, however, towards the north and south where the height varies from 245 ft. to 262 ft. above sea-level. The village is situated partly on the main road from Kimbolton to Higham Ferrers and partly on a small road at right-angles to it. The church, with the rectory adjacent, stands in fields to the east of the latter road, and is approached by a lane from the south. Close to the church are the houses of the village, many of which are brick or half-timbered with the occasional thatched cottage. Beyond the river, north of the church, is the Manor Farm.
Tilbrook Hall was a 19th century building situated about half a mile north of the church. The parish was inclosed by an Act of Parliament in 1800.
A surname index of Tilbrook parish in the 1851 Census of Bedfordshire (Vol. 2, Book 1) is available from the Bedfordshire FHS.
A surname index of the 1881 Census of the St. Neots Registration District, in which Tilbrook was enumerated (RG11/1613, Folios 15a - 23a), and which took place on 3rd April 1881, is available as Fiche C5, from the Huntingdonshire FHS.
A full transcription of the 1891 Census of the Kimbolton Registration District (RG12/1243) in which Tilbrook was enumerated, and which took place on 5th April 1891, is available, as fiche set C14, from the Huntingdonshire FHS.
The church of All Saints consists of a chancel with north vestry and a north chapel, a nave with a north aisle and a west tower.
The 12th century church had a narrow chancel and nave, of which the east wall was about 12 ft. and the west wall was about 6 ft. westward of those of the present nave. The east end of the chancel was a few feet eastwards of the present chancel arch. In about 1180, a narrow north aisle was added, and some 40 years later, it was extended eastwards for the full length of the chancel, the chancel arch being entirely removed in the process. During the 14th century, the south wall of the nave was rebuilt and the present south porch built. In the latter part of that century, the chancel was lengthened eastwards, a vestry was built on the north side, and the aisle was widened and lengthened eastwards to join the vestry, one bay being added to the nave.
The west tower was then built, partly within the lines of the west end of the nave but taking up half the western bay; presumably, the churchyard boundaries did not then allow it being built clear of the west end of the church. In the 15th century, the chancel arch was built again, a clearstory added to the nave, and some windows put in the north aisle. The south wall of the nave and the clearstory were rebuilt in the 19th century.