Stotfold, a parish, with a large village, in Beds, 2 1/2 miles NW by W of Baldock, and 2 E from Arlesey station on the G.N.R. It has a post and money order office under Baldock; telegraph office, Baldock. Acreage, 2398; population, 3004. The lunatic asylum for Herts, Beds, and Hunts, is an extensive and ornate edifice, and stands conspicuously on high ground, 220 feet above the sea-level, within grounds of 253 acres. It was enlarged in 1879, and can accommodate 1000 inmates. The industries of the parish include brewing, straw-plaiting, and the manufacture of bricks and tiles, and there are two large corn mills. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Ely; gross value, £242 with residence. Patron, Trinity College, Cambridge. The church, dedicated to St Mary, is a building of flint and clunch chiefly in the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, N and S porches, and a western embattled tower. It was restored and partly rebuilt in 1890. There are a large Wesleyan and two Baptist chapels, a reading-room and lecture hall, seven almshouses, and some useful charities.
The parish register dates from the year 1559.
The church of St. Mary is a building of flint, with Ashwell clunch stone dressings to the buttresses, and chiefly in the Early Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, south and modern porch and a western embattled tower containing 3 bells, one of which belongs to the pre-Reformation period: there are grotesque heads in several of the bosses, and to the hood mouldings of the principal arches: there were formerly some curious frescoes of St. George and the Dragon, St. Michael weighing souls &c.; these are now destroyed, but a print, with description, is given in the Gentleman's Magazine for Nov. 1827: the font is of Perpendicular date, octagonal and panelled; the chancel was entirely rebuilt and an organ chamber added in 1890, at a cost of £710, and the rest of the church has been restored at a total cost of £2,500.
The old Baptist chapel was built in 1832; there is a Calvinistic Baptist chapel built in 1841, a Baptist chapel built in 1857, a Wesleyan chapel erected in 1869, and a Primitive Methodist chapel of same date.
Stotfold was in Biggleswade Poor Law Union. For further detailed history of the Biggleswade Union see Peter Higginbotham's excellent resource: Biggleswade Poor Law Union and Workhouse.