Battlesden, a village and a parish in Beds, on Watling Street, 3 miles SSE of Woburn, and 4½ W of Harlington station on the M.R. Post town, Woburn, which is the money order and telegraph office. Acreage, 1149; population of the civil parish, 81; of the ecclesiastical, 238. The manor belonged in the time of Edward III. to the Firmbands, passed in the time of Elizabeth to the Duncombes, and was purchased in 1706 by the Bathursts, to whom it gives the title of Baron. The living is a rectory, united with the rectory of Pottesgrove, in the diocese of Ely; joint net yearly value, £385 with residence, in the gift of the Duke of Bedford, K.G. The church is a small rectangular structure, chiefly in the Perpendicular style.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Battlesden St. Peter|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
The parish register dates from the year 1719
The Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service (BLARS) hold the registers for Battlesden: Baptisms 1677-2002, Marriages 1694-1928, Burials 1677-1998, Banns 1811-1850. 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. Peter (parish church)
The parish church of St. Peter is an interesting structure of the 15th century, chiefly Perpendicular, and consisting of chancel and nave and an embattled western tower containing 3 bells: in 1868 the chancel was recovered with a pointed roof in place of the old debased Tudor roof, and the nave restored and reseated: on each side of the east window are two fine brackets, slightly varying, with figures of angels with wings displayed: the font is early English: here are monuments to the Duncombes, and a memorial window to the Page-Turner family: in 1898 the tower was repaired, and new battlements placed around the church: there are 80 sittings
For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.
Battlesden was in Woburn Registration District from 1837 to 1899 and Ampthill Registration District from 1899 to 1974
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Battlesden from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, 1848 (Battlesden (St. Peter))
- Kelly's Directory of Bedfordshire, Huntingdonshire, and Northamptonshire, 1914
Land and Property
The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Bedfordshire is available to browse.
Online maps of Battlesden are available from a number of sites:
- Bing (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- Google Streetview.
- National Library of Scotland. (Old maps)
- old-maps.co.uk (Old Ordnance Survey maps to buy).
- Streetmap.co.uk (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- A Vision of Britain through Time. (Old maps)
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
Battlesden was in Woburn Poor Law Union from 1835-1899 when it transferred to Ampthill Poor Law Union. For further detailed history of the Ampthill Union see Peter Higginbotham's excellent resource: Ampthill Poor Law Union and Workhouse.
A full transcript of the Visitations of Bedfordshire 1566, 1582, and 1634 is available online.