STEVINGTON: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1898.


[Transcribed information from Kelly's Directory of Bedfordshire - 1898]

"STEVINGTON, a parish in the hundred of Willey, county Bedford. A Parish room was erected in 1897. A few yards eastward of the church is a spring of water called "the Holy Well" never known to have been frozen or dry. In the centre of the village is an ancient cross, with a modern capital; the base and steps were repaired in 1888. There are almshouses, built in 1654, and rebuilt in 1839, for "five poor persons," who receive 2s. each per week; the income is derived from 25 acres of land at Pavenham. Of the castle erected here, in the time of King John, there are now no traces; but there is a large and apparently artificial mound towards Pavenham, and a curiously excavated field near by, called the "Seeds," or " Sedes," which points to the probable site, or intended site of the castle. Pillow lace is largely made here, and rush plaiting is also carried on. A little south of the church was the large and ancient manor house, which once served as a hospitium for the invalids and pilgrims frequenting the Holy Well, and subsequently was used as a farm-house, it was pulled down in 1876, and on its site a capacious farm-house, somewhat in the style of the old building, was erected by the Duke of Bedford.

The church of St. Mary is an ancient edifice of stone, chiefly in the Decorated and Perpendicular styles, consisting of chancel with lateral chapels, now ruinous, nave with clerestory, porch and a tower containing 5 bells, the lower part of the tower, as far as the inset of the aisles, is of Saxon work: in the pavement of the south aisle at the east end is a brass with the effigy of a knight in armour: in the church, on the bench-ends, are several small figures representing men drinking, sleeping and reading, also various animals : the chancel retains a piscina and hagioscope, and inside the porch is a stout: on the north side of the church is a low side window: the church was restored in 1871-2, at a cost of about £2,000, chiefly defrayed by the Duke of Bedford. The register dates from the year 1653."

[Description(s) transcribed by Martin Edwards ©2003 and later edited by Colin Hinson ©2013]
[from Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]