Odell, Bedfordshire


Odell, a village and a parish in Bedfordshire. The village stands on the river Ouse, 1 1/2 mile ENE of Harrold, and 2 1/4 miles W by S of Sharnbrook station on the M.R.; was originally called Woodhill, now corrupted into Odell; was once a market-town, and has a post office under Bedford; money order and telegraph office, Harrold. The parish comprises 2875 acres of land and 26 of water; population of the civil parish, 388 ; of the ecclesiastical, 384. Pillow lace is made here, but not to any great extent, and rush plaiting is carried on. The manor belongs to the Alston family. Odell Castle, a seat of the Alston family, is a large and partly embattled mansion of stone, stands on an eminence commanding a fine view, has extensive and tasteful pleasure grounds, and succeeded an old seat of the Brays. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Ely; net value, £165 with residence. The church is a building of stone in the Perpendicular style, in good condition, overgrown with ivy; comprises nave, aisles, and chancel, with pinnacled tower; and contains a good old screen and some monuments of the Alstons.

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

Church Records

The parish register dates from the year 1604.


Details of the places of worship in Odell, 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 Odell 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

Odell 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.