Biddenham, a small village and a parish in Bedfordshire, on the river Ouse, 2 miles W of Bedford, under which it has a post office, and at which is the money order, telegraph office, and railway station. Acreage of parish, 1586; population, 352. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Ely; gross yearly value, about £150 with residence. The church is a building of stone in the Norman and Perpendicular styles.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Biddenham St. James|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
The parish register dates from the year 1663
The Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service (BLARS) hold the registers for Biddenham: Baptisms 1663-1969, Marriages 1667-1999, Burials 1667-1994, Banns 1754-1995. 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. James (parish church)
The parish church of St. James is an edifice of stone, in the Norman and Perpendicular styles, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, south porch and an embattled central tower with small spire, containing a clock and 6 bells, re-cast and re-hung in 1895: in the church is preserved a piece of German tapestry work, bearing the date 1549: it was cleaned in 1894, and is in a fair state of preservation. There are two hagioscopes and piscinae: inserted in the north wall of the chancel is a quaint monument of alabaster and marble to the Boteler family, dated 1621, and there are several mural tablets and some curious brasses. The stained east window was presented in 1897 as a memorial to Charles Howard esq.: the organ was provided in 1898 at a cost of £400.
For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.
Biddenham was in Bedford Registration District from 1837 to 1974
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Biddenham from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858. (Biddenham (St. James))
- 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 Biddenham 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
Biddenham 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.
A full transcript of the Visitations of Bedfordshire 1566, 1582, and 1634 is available online.