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

"ODELL, a parish in the hundred of Willey, county Bedford, 8 miles north west of Bedford, its post town, and 1 mile north east of Harrold. The village, which is of small extent, is situated on the river Ouse, and is wholly agricultural. Odell was formerly a market town under the Fitzwarrens. The living is a rectory* in the diocese of Ely, valued in the king's books at £19. The church, dedicated to All Saints, is an ancient, ivy-mantled structure, with a square towel containing a clock and five bells. The interior of the church has monuments to the Alston family. Odell Castle, the seat of the Alston family, is the principal residence. It is situated on an eminence in the midst of well-wooded grounds, and includes the remains of the ancient castle. Crewe Alston, Esq., is lord of the manor. A fair is held on Whit Thursday."

"FOLLY, a hamlet in the parishes of Harrold and Odell, county of Bedfordshire, 1 mile north east of Harrold."

"LITTLE ODELL, a hamlet in the parish of Odell, county Bedfordshire, ½ mile west of Odell."

[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, standing at a considerable elevation above the road, is a building of stone, in the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, clerestoried nave, aisles, embattled south porch, with groined roof, and a lofty western embattled tower with pinnacles and containing a clock and 5 bells: there is a rood screen in good preservation, and a rood loft, and the rich Jacobean pulpit has an hour stand: the chancel and some other portions of this church were restored in 1867-8 under the direction of Mr. Slater: some very fine old glass has been cleaned and replaced: the west window was entirely restored in 1888 and is now an exact copy of the old window, with the addition of cathedral glass: the chancel retains a piscina and graduated sedilia, and there is a piscina in each of the aisles; the font is octagonal and has traceried panels: in the north aisle are several floriated coffin-lids of the 14th century : in the chancel is a monument by Bacon, to Lieut. Thomas Alston, 40th regt. who fell at Monte Video in 1807, and there are many others to this family of earlier date, including Frances, wife of Thomas 1644; William Alston esq. 1637; Sir Thomas Alston bart. 1678; and Elizabeth, his wife, 1677; Thomas Alston, their son, 1668; Sir Rowland Alston bart. 1697; and Temperance, his wife, 1728; Vere John Alston, rector, 1762; two later baronets, and numerous descendants : the church plate includes a chalice and paten of silver-gilt, presented by William Aston esq. 1637; and a paten given by Dame Temperance Wolstenholme, in 1728: there are 230 sittings. The register dates from the year 1604. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]

Church Records


Description and Travel

  • Pillow lace is made here to a small extent, and leather dressing is carried on. Odell Castle, the property of Crewe Alston esq. and now the residence of George William John Repton esq. and Lady Jane Repton, is a large and partially embattled mansion of stone, standing on an eminence immediately above the Ouse, and commanding a fine view of the surrounding country; the pleasure grounds extend over about 11 acres, and are tastefully laid out. Crewe Alston esq. is lord of the manor and sole landowner. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]
  • Description, pictures and information about the village of Odell and its church.



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Military History

  • The BFHS Project in conjunction with Roll of Honour contains the Odell War Memorial transcription with details of the men found on it.