Stotfold, a parish, with a large village, in Beds, 2 ½ 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 Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service (BLARS) hold the registers for Stotfold: Baptisms 1559-1984, Marriages 1559-1993, Burials 1559-1955, Banns 1823-1925, 1961-1997. Transcripts in either book or microfiche form for registers prior to 1813 can be purchased from the BLARS (see website for details).
Church of England
St. Mary (parish church)
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.
For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.
Newspapers and Periodicals
The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Bedfordshire papers online:
- Bedfordshire Times and Independent
- Biggleswade Chronicle
- Luton Times and Advertiser
- Luton News and Bedfordshire Chronicle
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.
A full transcript of the Visitations of Bedfordshire 1566, 1582, and 1634 is available online.