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

"MEPPERSHALL, (or Mepshall), a parish in the hundred of Clifton, county Bedford, 3 miles south of Shefford, its post town, 6 south by west of Biggleswade, and 12 south east of Bedford. The village is small, and chiefly agricultural. The plaiting of straw is carried on to some extent. Here are the remains of an ancient chapel, with an enriched Norman doorway, now converted into a barn. The living is a rectory* in the diocese of Ely, value £500, in the patronage of St. John's College, Cambridge. The church, dedicated to St. Mary the Virgin, is a cruciform structure, with a tower. The charities consist of a share with Ampthill The church has brasses of J. Mepertyshale in armour, bearing date 1440. There is a National school. The trustees of Mrs. Barbara Kane and Mrs. Pen Woodburn are lords of the manor.

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




Church History

  • Church of England
    • The church of St. Mary the Virgin is a small cruciform building of stone, partly of Norman date, with Early English and Perpendicular additions and insertions, consisting of chancel, transepts, nave, aisles,, and a central tower containing 5 bells : both transepts have recesses for altars and piscine : there is a brass effigy of a knight in plate armour, with an inscription, below to John Meptyshale esq. 1440, and Katherine his wife ; the effigy of the latter, two shields and some scrolls, are lost: there is a similar, but mutilated knightly effigy, one of a female, and an inscription below to John Boteler esq. 1441, and Elizabeth (Kymbell), his wife: the whole church was restored, the nave rebuilt, and aisles added, in 1875-6, at a cost of £3,000. The register dates from the year 1653. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]

Church Records


Description and Travel

  • St. Thomas' chapel, now used as a barn of the Chapel farm, is supposed to have been connected with Chicksands Priory, and contains a very fine Norman doorway; there are also, near the church, the remains of an ancient fortification, called "The Hills." Here are extensive steam brick and tile works, capable of turning out 80,000 bricks per week. A siding, in connection with Henlow station affords facilities for sending away any quantity of the manufactured material; Mr. Eli Plowman, proprietor. There is a coprolite pit here, owned by Mr. Frederick Smith, of Royston, Cambridgeshire. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]



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Military History