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

"CAMPTON, a parish in the hundred of Clifton, in the county of Bedford, 7 miles to the south west of Biggleswade, its post town. It is situated on the banks of the river Ivel, and contains the township of Shefford, which is a station on the Midland (South-East branch) railway. The living is a rectory* in the diocese of Ely, value with the perpetual curacy of Shefford annexed, £374, in the patronage of Sir G. Osborne, Bart. The church is dedicated to All Saints, and contains monuments to the Osbornes, and a brass of the year 1489. Here, too, lie the remains of Robert Bloomfield, the poet, who spent his last days here, and died in August, 1823. The old manor-house is now used as a school-house. The parochial charities consist chiefly of the Feoffment Estate, which produces about £140 per annum. The parish now forms part of the honour of Ampthill."

"SHEFFORD, a chapelry and market town in the parish of Campton, hundred of Clifton, county Bedford, 9 miles south east of Bedford, and 7 north west of Hitchin. Biggleswade is its post town. It is a station on the Midland railway. The town is situated on the river Ivel, which has been rendered navigable to Biggleswade. It consists of several clean and wide streets, which are well paved and lighted with gas. The inhabitants are chiefly employed in the straw plait manufacture. Some specimens of Roman glass have been discovered at Stanford Bury, and other antiquities in this parish, which are preserved in the Fitzwilliam museum at Cambridge. The tithes were commuted in 1797 for land and corn rents under an Enclosure Act. The living is a curacy* annexed to the rect, of Campton, in the diocese of Ely. The church is dedicated to St. Michael. There is a parochial school for both sexes, also an infant school. The Wesleyans, Baptists, and Roman Catholics have each a place of worship. Robert Blomfield, the poet, resided here, and was buried at Campton in 1823. The Queen is lady of the manor. Market day is on Fridays. Fairs are held on 23rd January, 6th April, 10th May, and 11th October."

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


  • The 1851 Census Indexes for Campton and Shefford can be found in the 1851 Index to Census of Bedfordshire, Volume 3, Book 5 available from the Bedfordshire Family History Society.
  • The 1851 Census Index for Shefford Hardwick can be found in the 1851 Index to Census of Bedfordshire, Volume 3, Book 5 available from the Bedfordshire Family History Society.



Church History

  • Church of England
    • The church of All Saints is a building of stone in the Decorated and Perpendicular styles, consisting of chancel, nave and aisles and a Perpendicular tower at the west end of the south aisle containing a clock and 4 bells: the chancel is Decorated: in the nave is a brass to Richard Carlyll esq. and Joan, his wife, both of whom died Februarv 14th. 1489: the church contains several monuments and the mausoleum of the Osborn family: Robert Bloomfield the poet, who died at Shefford, August 19th, 1823, was buried here: the church was restored in 1898 under the direction of Mr. A, W. Soames M.A. of 13 King street, Westminster, London, architect: there are 300 sittings. The register, including Shefford, dates from the year 1568. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]
    • The church of St. Michael, Shefford, a chapel of ease to Campton, is a plain edifice of stone, with an ancient Perpendicular western tower, containing one bell: the tower and north aisle date from the 14th century: the church was enlarged, restored and reseated in 1850, and will seat 525 persons. There is no independent register except for marriages, for which the church was licensed in 1873 : the earlier register is included in that of Campton, which dates from the year 1568. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]
  • Roman Catholic (Shefford)
    • St. Francis' Home is a Catholic orphanage for boys, established by the late Very Rev. Canon Collis in 1869, and will hold 80 boys : attached is a playground, and a meadow for cricket and football: the seminary of St. Thomas Aquinas, forming a part of the establishment here, is for the training of priests to serve in the Catholic diocese of Northampton: the church, dedicated to St. Francis, and opened July 8, 1884, is in the Perpendicular style and comprises a nave, with organ gallery, porches, baptistery, and a sanctuary containing a superb high altar : two of the windows are memorials: the altar was presented by the late Mrs. Cane Dunn, of Maulden, Beds: the reredos, 30 feet high, is of stone, marble and alabaster: the church was erected at the sole cost of Mrs. Lyne-Stephens, of Lynford Hall, Thetford, Norfolk. The infants' school, built by the Misses. Williamson, of Kempston, is now used as a Sunday school and for mission services. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]
  • Non-conformist (Shefford)
    • The Baptist chapel, erected in 1825, will seat 350 persons, and has a manse and burial ground attached : the Wesleyan chapel, erected in 1835, affords sittings for 300 persons ; the Salvation Army also have barracks here. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]

Church Records


Description & Travel

  • The Shefford market is held on Friday, and a fair is held on October 11th. Gresham's charity, founded in 1855, and of the value of £28 yearly, is for distribution in money to six poor widows. There is a Congerational and Liberal Club with reading room attached. The H Company of the 3rd Volunteer Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, numbering about 80 members, has its headquarters here, and there is a fire brigade. In a field adjoining the town a great number of beautiful Roman relics have been found, from which a fine collection was formed by the late Mr. T. Inskip, a resident here, and purchased for the Fitzwilliarn Museum, Cambridge. A Roman encampment, about a mile north, at Stanford Bury, has also furnished some of the finest specimens of Roman glass extant. The poet Bloomfield lived for some years in this town and here died, Aug. 19, 1823 ; he was buried at Campton. Robert William Powell esq. of Shefford Hardwicke, is lord of the manor. [Extracts from Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898] Further details and links for Shefford Town on-line at their website.




You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TL128380 (Lat/Lon: 52.028951, -0.35724), Campton which are provided by:


Military History

  • The BFHS Project in conjunction with Roll of Honour contains the Campton War Memorial transcription for WW1 and WW2 with details of the men found on it.
  • The BFHS Project in conjunction with Roll of Honour contains the Shefford War Memorial transcription with details of the men found on it.