Harrold, Bedfordshire


Harrold, a small market-town and parish in Bedfordshire. The town stands on the river Ouse, 2 1/2 miles ENE from the meeting-point with Bucks and Northamptonshire, 4 WSW from Sharnbrook station on the M.R., and 9 NW from Bedford; was formerly called Harewold or Harewood, and has a post, money order, and telegraph office under Bedford, a neat market-house, a good bridge over the Ouse, a church, a large Congregational chapel, and six almshouses. The church, which is a building of stone in the Transitional, Early English, and Decorated styles, consists of nave, aisles, and double chancel, with tower and spire, is in good condition, and has an ancient monument to Lady Joliffe. Cattle fairs were formerly held three times a year, but they have now ceased. Leather-dressing and lace-making are carried on. The parish comprises 3242 acres; population, 976. The manor belongs to the Cowper family. A small Augustinian priory was founded near the town in the time of Stephen, and was given at the dissolution to Lord Parr. A mansion called Harrold Hall, belonging to the Alston family, and a farmhouse belonging to the Gambiers, are now on the priory's grounds. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Ely; net yearly value, £181 with residence. Patron, Earl Cowper.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1894-5

Church Records

The parish register dates from the year 1598.


Details of the places of worship in Harrold, and their records, can be found on the following pages:

Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.


Old maps of Harrold are available on the old-maps.co.uk site, and a current map is available on the Streetmap.co.uk site.

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Bedfordshire papers online:

Poor Law

Harrold was in Bedford Poor Law Union. For further detailed history of the Bedford Union see Peter Higginbotham's excellent resource: Bedford Poor Law Union and Workhouse.

Visitations Heraldic

A full transcript of the Visitations of Bedfordshire 1566, 1582, and 1634 is available online.