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Barton in the Clay, Bedfordshire

Historical Description

Barton-in-the-Clay, a parish in Beds, on the verge of the county, 6 miles N of Luton, and 3¼ E from Harlington station on the M.R. It has a post and money order office under Ampthill; telegraph office, Silsoe. Acreage, 2319; population, 924. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Ely; net yearly value, £180 with residence, in the gift of the Crown. The church is ancient and good. There are Baptist, Wesleyan, and Primitive Methodist chapels, an endowed school with £30 and a master's house.

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


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyBedfordshire 
Ecclesiastical parishBarton-in-the-Clay St. Nicholas 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

The parish register dates from the year 1558

The Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service (BLARS) hold the registers for Barton-le-Clay: Baptisms 1558-1967, Marriages 1558-1968, Burials 1558-1932, Banns 1755-1983. 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

dedication unknown
St. Nicholas (parish church)

The parish church of St. Nicholas, built in the 13th century, is an edifice in the Early English and Decorated periods, consisting of chancel with nave, aisles, south porch and an embattled western tower faced with flints, disposed in chequers, and containing 8 bells, some of which bear on the inside the following inscription:- Bye yt knowne to all that does me see, That Newcombe of Leicester made me: the windows are chiefly Perpendicular: the fine roof of chestnut wood is of the same date, and the wall plate is enriched with the strawberry leaf ornament running along it, the roof beams and springers have eagle supporters and figures of twelve angels in relief, each one being an instrument of the Passion: the chancel is in part paved with 14th century tiles, and in its south wall are two piscinae and three plain stalls under equilateral arches: on the wall is an inscribed brass to Sir Philipp de Lee, rector, c. 1360: and on a stone in the chancel, under the half-effigy of a priest, is a brass inscribed to Richard Brey, rector, c. 1370: there is a third brass to a civilian, c. 1490: on the north wall is a painting of The Prsentation in the Temple, the gift of a former rector: in the south aisle os a raised tomb of stone, found in 1879, at the time of the restoration, two feet below the floor, and supposed to be that of an abbot: in 1888 a stained east window was erected in commemoration of the jubilee of Her late Majesty Queen Victoria, and there is another, placed in 1903 by E. Tewson esq. as a memorial to his wife: the carved oak reredos was added in 1889: the belfry was thoroughly restored in 1892 at a cost of £200: there are 312 sittings.

Civil Registration

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

Barton in the Clay was in Luton Registration District from 1837 to 1956 and Luton Registration District from 1956 to 1964

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Barton in the Clay from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Bedfordshire is available to browse.


Online maps of Barton in the Clay are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

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

Poor Law

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

Visitations Heraldic

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

CountyCentral Bedfordshire
Postal districtMK45
Post TownBedford