Bolnhurst, a parish in the county of Bedford, 7 miles W of St Neots station on the G.N.R., and 6½ NNE of Bedford. It has a post office under St Neots; money order and telegraph office, Great Staughton. Acreage, 2334; population of the civil parish, 233; of the ecclesiastical, 223. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Ely; gross value, £182 with residence. The church is a building of stone in the Early Decorated and Perpendicular styles. It was restored in 1884. The dedication of the church (St Dunstan) is the only dedication of the kind in the diocese. There is a good rood screen and a wall-painting of St Christopher, and monuments to the Franklin and Harvey families. There are some small charities.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Bolnhurst St. Dunstan|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
The parish register dates from the year 1685.
The Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service (BLARS) hold the registers for Bolnhurst: Baptisms 1685-1994, Marriages 1685-1993, Burials 1685-1995, Banns 1764-1974. 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. Dunstan (parish church)
The church of St. Dunstan is a building of stone in the Early Decorated and Perpendicular styles, consisting of chancel, nave, porch, vestry and a tower containing 4 bells, the 2nd and 3rd are each dated 1587 and the tenor 1618, with an inscription. The late Mrs. Wade-Gery, to whose memory she stained east window was inserted, was interred in the vestry: the church contains monuments and stained windows to the Francklin and the Harvey families: in the nave is a marble tablet to the Francklin family, dated 1707: a beautiful carved screen divides the nave and chancel, and on one of the walls is a painting of St. Christopher bearing the infant Christ: the chancel was completely restored and the roof recovered with oak and lead in 1884; the walls and porch were also repaired.
For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.
Bolnhurst was in Bedford Registration District from 1837 to 1934 and Bedford Registration District from 1934 to 1974
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Bolnhurst from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858. (Bolnhurst (St. Dunstan))
- 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 Bolnhurst 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
Bolnhurst 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.