Clifton, a village, a parish, and a hundred in Beds. The parish lies adjacent to the river Ivel, 1¼ mile E from Shefford station on the M.R., 4¼ miles SSW of Biggleswade, and 2 from Arlesey station on the G.N.R. It has a post and money order office under Biggleswade; telegraph office, Shefford. Acreage, 1422; population, 1374. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Ely; net yearly value, £400 with residence. The church is a building of sandstone in the Decorated and Perpendicular styles. There is a Baptist chapel, two almshouses, and two widows' homes attached.. The hundred lies around the parish, adjoins Herts, and contains eight parishes and part of another.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Clifton All Saints|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
The parish register dates from the year 1538.
The Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service (BLARS) hold the registers for Clifton: Baptisms 1538-1985, Marriages 1539-1990, Burials 1546-1985, Banns 1754-1788, 1824-1957. 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
All Saints (parish church)
The church of All Saints is an edifice of sandstone in the Decorated and Perpendicular styles, consisting of chancel, nave, north aisle and an embattled western tower, with a turret at the north-east angle, and containing a clock and 15 bells, 8 of which are hung for ringing and the rest for chimes: the church was thoroughly restored and enlarged in the year 1862, and re-opened 23rd April, 1863, by the late H. Miles esq. at a cost of about £3,000: the stone reredos is divided by shafts of Devonshire marble into panels, the centre panel representing The Crucifixion, executed in relief, and those on either side containing figures of St. Peter and St. Paul: the pulpit is of carved alabaster, inlaid with marble: over the chancel arch is a Majesty, in mosaic work: the west window and others are stained: there is an alabaster tomb to Sir Michael and Lady Fysher, beneath which and immediately beside it are effigies in incised brass of John, son of Sir Michael, ob. 1528, and his wife, the former being in plate armour worn over a hauberk: some portions of what has been supposed by some to have been a rood loft, and by others a parclose screen, originally surrounding Sir Michael's tomb, with paintings of saints, are now fixed on the north and south internal walls of the tower: there is a small and curious crypt at the south-east corner of the nave: over the porch is a canopied niche with figure of the Good Shepherd.
For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.
Clifton was in Biggleswade Registration District from 1837 to 1974
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Clifton from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858. (Clifton (All Saints))
- 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 Clifton 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
A full transcript of the Visitations of Bedfordshire 1566, 1582, and 1634 is available online.