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

"TEMPSFORD, a parish and a village in the hundred of Biggleswade, county Bedford, 5 miles S.W. of St. Neot's, its post town, and 9 north east of Bedford. It is a station on the Great Northern railway. The village is on the great north road, and at the confluence of the rivers Ivel and Ouse. The soil consists of light loam and clay. The Cambridgeshire hounds meet in this parish. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Ely, in the patronage of the crown. The church, dedicated to St. Peter, has recently been restored. The Wesleyans have a chapel. The parochial charities produce about £11 per annum. The principal residence is Tempsford Hall. W. Stuart, Esq., is lord of the manor."

"CHURCH END, a village in the parish of Tempsford, county of Bedfordshire, adjoining Tempsford to the north."

"LANGFORD END, a hamlet in the parish of Tempsford, county of Bedfordshire, 1 mile north east of Tempsford."

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



  • Here are photographs of Churches etc. in the parish:
    • Unfortunately, it is impossible to take a photograph of Tempsford parish Church which shows the whole of the Church. There are large trees growing so close to the church that their foliage is touching it - presumably the roots are destroying the church from underneath.
    • The Bedfordshire Libraries have a photo of the church before the trees got out of hand.


Church History

  • Church of England
    • The present church of St. Peter is an ancient building of stone, chiefly in the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, north and south porches and an embattled western tower, containing a clock and 5 bells; the interior has the following inscription-- "Will Sanderson, Gent., and Thomas Staple, yeo., overseers of this new work, and patentyes of his Majesty's letters patent granted for the same, May 12th, 1621;" there is an inscribed stone to the Very Rev. Dr. Knightley Chetwode, Dean of Gloucester, one to his wife, and a piscina: by the liberality of the late William Stuart esq. and the late Colonel William Stuart, the whole edifice underwent thorough restoration in 1874, at a cost of upwards of £2,000: the rectory was also rebuilt, and the churchyard enlarged: during the restoration an ancient mural painting, supposed to represent St. Catherine, was discovered on the north wall of the nave, and is still in an excellent state of preservation: a reredos and 2 new vestry were erected in 1896, at a cost of £120, and a new organ in 1898, at a cost of £140. The registers date from the year 1600, but much earlier though nearly illegible records also exist ; a continuous list of the rectors of Tempsford, dating from 1128, is in the hands of the present rector. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]

Church Records


Description and Travel

  • Tempsford was formerly occupied by the Danes, who were expelled by the Saxons about the year 921. Robert De Carun, in the year 1129, gave the church to the Prior and Convent of St. Neots, on account of his grandson Anselm taking the monastic habit there. The Danes visited Tempsford in 1010, it then being a walled town; and it is surmised that the first church was destroyed at that time : frescoes are known to have once existed upon the walls of the present church, representing this Danish irruption. Near the rectory is an ancient earthwork, called the "Gannocks," believed to be of Roman origin; the moat around is still perfect, and there is a subterranean passage from it to the hall of the rectory. Tempsford Hall, the property of Major Wm. Dugald Stuart J.P. has been rebuilt, and is a mansion of red brick and Dumfries stone, but some portion of the original building still exists : it stands in the midst of spacious grounds about 100 acres in extent, and is surrounded by many noble trees. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]



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Military History