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

"SANDY, a parish in the hundreds of Wixamtree and Biggleswade, county Bedford, 4 miles north west of Biggleswade, and 3½ west of Potton. It is a station, on the Great Northern railway. The village, which is extensive, is situated on the river Irvel, and on the road from Potton to Bedford. A large portion of the land is laid out in garden grounds, and cucumbers are grown in the open air. The soil is chiefly of a sandy nature, but is rich and fertile. The substratum is sandstone intermixed with iron, fossil wood, and small pebbles, in which yellow quartz predominates. The hamlets of Beeston Green, Gritford, and Stratford are within this parish. It was formerly a Roman station on the way from St. Alban's to Godmanchester, and was designated Salinæ. In the vicinity are traces of two camps, one of which is called Cæsar's camp, of about 30 acres. At Sandy Warren is a meet for the Cambridgeshire hounds. The tithes were commuted for land and money payments under Enclosure Acts in 1789 and 1798, and the glebe comprises 323 acres. The living is a rectory* in the diocese of Ely, value £769. The church, dedicated to St. Swithin, is an ancient edifice, with a tower containing a clock and five bells. The parochial charities produce about £90 per annum. A free school for girls was built in 1840, and a public one for boys in 1843. The Wesleyans and Baptists have each a place of worship. Several Roman coins, urns, and fragments of pottery have been found here and at Chesterfield. The Hasells is the principal residence. Francis Pym, Esq., is lord of the manor."

"BEESTON, (or Besston Green) a hamlet in the parishes of Northill and Sandy, hundred of Wixamtree, in the county of Bedford, 2 miles to the north west of Biggleswade. It is near the Sandy station of the Great Northern railway.

"GIRTFORD, a hamlet in the parish of Sandy, hundred of Biggleswade, county Bedford, 1 mile north west of Sandy, and 4 miles north west of Biggleswade. It is situated on the banks of the river Ivel. Francis Pym, Esq., is lord of the manor."

"SEDDINGTON, a hamlet in the parish of Sandy, county of Bedfordshire, 1¼ miles south of Sandy."

"STRATFORD, a hamlet in the parish of Sandy, county of Bedfordshire, 1 mile south east of Sandy."

"THE HASELLS, (later Hasells Hall, now Hazells Hall) a single house in the parish of Sandy, 1¾ miles east of Sandy.

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


  • The Cemetery, on the Potton road, opened in Feb. 1891, has an area of about 2 acres, part of an original purchase of 6 acres, costing £1,200: it contains a chapel, erected in 1892, at a cost of £580. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]





Church History

  • Church of England
    • The church of St. Swithin is a cruciform building of native red sandstone, chiefly in the Early English style, erected in the 14th century, and consists of chancel with aisles, nave, aisles, transepts, and a western embattled tower containing a clock and six bells : in the chancel is a double piscina and sedilia and a marble monument to Capt. Sir William Peel R.N., K.C.B. commander of the Naval Brigade during the Crimean War, who died at Lucknow 27th April, 1858 : there are five stained windows, the east window, erected in 1890, being a memorial to Adelaide (Dugdale) wife of the Rt. Hon. A. W. Peel M.P., J.P. Speaker of the House of Commons (d. 1890), another was presented by the present rector in memory of his deceased wife, and there is one to the late F. A. J. Foster esq. of Sandy Place, killed while in active service during the Burmese War of 1890: there are mural tablets to the Pym, Payne and other families: a brass eagle-lectern was presented in 1889 by Mrs. Pope: the church was restored and enlarged in 1861, at a cost of £3,300 when the transepts and chancel arch were rebuilt and the aisles enlarged; in the course of the work a beautiful carving in alabaster was found, with figures of soldiers in chain armour, brightly coloured: the screen filling the tower arch is a memorial to Elizh. Jefferies. The registers date from the year 1538. The rector has in his possession an ancient document in Latin, having reference to the glebe land. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]
  • Non-conformist
    • The Baptist chapel, erected in 1887, at a cost of about £2,000, is an edifice of white brick, with stone facings, and seating 550 persons. The old chapel, built in 1854, is now used only as a Sunday school and meeting house. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]

Church Records


Description & Travel

  • The Sandy and District Conservative Club, in the Bedford road, erected in 1891, at a cost of £600, was enlarged in 1897 at a cost of about £550, in commemoration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, and now consists of a large concert hall with anterooms, games rooms and two ball rooms, and is licensed for dramatic performances. The Sandy Parochial Lending Library, of about 3,300 volumes, is kept here.

    CHARITIES : Wynne's charity: In 1660 Mr. John Wynne, of London, left £140 with the object that on every Sunday twelve penny loaves should be given to twelve poor people, twenty shillings for a sermon to be preached on each anniversary of the day of his death, and the residue of the income on that day to be distributed, partly in money and partly in bread, amongst the poor of Sandy : the property now belonging to the charity consists of land at Keysoe, and a moiety of 2a. 1r. 16p. at Sandy. Palmer's Charity: In 1680 the Rev. Francis Palmer, rector of Sandy, left £52 to purchase land, the rent to be given in bread at the rate of one shilling per Sunday: the income of this charity arises out of the Great Paxton estate. Bromsall's Charity: In 1690 Thomas Bromsall left £200 to purchase land, the rents to be applied towards apprenticing children of the poor inhabitants of Sandy; not to be put out without the consent of the rector of Sandy: the property consists of the Great Paxton estate and a moiety of rent of 2a. 1r. 16p. in Sandy. Yarrow's Charity is derived from the rents of land at Eaton Socon for the benefit of the poor. The Frances Pearson Charity: In 1891 Mr. George John Hooke Pearson caused a sum of £100 to be invested, the dividends to be applied towards maintaining one or more residents of Sandy who may be in delicate health at the Hunstanton (Norfolk) Convalescent Home, or in the event of this home being discontinued, some other seaside resort. Trustees, the Rector and Churchwardens of Sandy. The Town Lands Charity consists of £600 in funds and land: the interest is expended in coal for distribution amongst the poor of the parish, exclusive of Beeston.

    Sandy is supposed to have been the Salinæ of the Romans, and in the immediate vicinity are the remains of two camps, one of which, called "Cæsar's Camp," contains about 30 acres; fragments of Roman Pottery and other relics have at different times been discovered during the working of the stone pits, and in making the cuttings for the Great Northern and Bedford and Cambridge railways. The Hazels, a large mansion in the Italian style, originally built about 1660, and enlarged to its present dimensions in 1720-40, is the residence of Francis Pym esq. ; it stands in the centre of a finely-timbered park of 140 acres, about a mile north-east from the village and about half a mile from the road to Everton. The Lodge, the seat of the Right Hon. Viscount Peel P.C., D.L., J.P., D.C.L. late Speaker of the House of Commons, was built by him in 1877, and is delightfully seated in picturesque and finely-wooded grounds of 200 acres in extent, about a mile from the village on the Potton road. Snndye Place, on the Ivel, an old Queen Anne structure, is the residence of Sir Edward Robert and Lady Pearce-Edgcumbe. Cæsar's Camp is the residence of Charles Guy Pym eaq. M.P., D.L., J.P. The principal landowners are Francis Pym esq; J.P. Viscount Peel and the rector.

    RAILWAY STATIONS:- Great Northern, Thomas Smith, station master Bedford & Cambridge (L. & N. W. branch), Georga Blincow, station master [Extracts from Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]





You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TL172493 (Lat/Lon: 52.129588, -0.289258), Sandy which are provided by:


Military History

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


  • National Schools, built in 1868 & enlarged about 1877, for 180 boys & 180 girls; average attendance, 164 boys & 144 girls; Horace Heath Mill, master; Miss Sarah Harkis, mistress. Infants School, erected in 1896, for 200 children; average attendance, 150. [Extracts from Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]