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Cranfield, Bedfordshire

Historical Description

Cranfield, a village and a parish in Beds. The village stands near the boundary with Bucks, 3½ miles NW of Lid-lington station on the L. & N.W.R., and 8 NW by W of Ampthill, has a post, money order, and telegraph office under Newport Pagnell, and gave the title of Baron to the Duke of Dorset. The parish comprises 3998 acres; population, 1365. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Ely; net yearly value, £400 with residence. The church is a building of limestone in the Perpendicular style. There are two Baptist chapels, a Wesleyan chapel, and some almshouses. Cranfield Court, the seat of the Harter family, is a fine modern mansion in the French Gothic style.

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 parishCranfield St. Peter and St. Paul 

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

Church Records

The parish register dates from the year 1600.

The Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service (BLARS) hold the registers for Cranfield: Baptisms 1600-1973, Marriages 1600-1981, Burials 1600-1953, Banns 1842-1972. 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

SS. Peter and Paul (parish church)

The church of SS. Peter and Paul is a building of coarse limestone, in the Early English and Perpendicular styles, consisting of chancel, nave, vestry with chamber over it, and a tower containing 5 bells, half turned and rehung in Feb. 1892: the stained east window, by Willement, was the gift of the late J. C. Harter esq. of Leamington: the west window, also stained, is filled with heraldic glass, and there are several other stained windows, including one to Stephen J. B. Harter, Royal Horse Guards, d. 1883: the church is seated with richly carved oak benches: on the north side of the communion table is a brass to the Rev. James Beard M.A. rector from 1820, and on the south are sedilia and piscina: there are also piscinae at the east ends of the aisles and a stoup, anciently used for holy water, just inside the south doorway: the pulpit of Caen stone and marble is a memorial to the Rev. G. G. Harter, rector, d. 1872, and his wife, and was presented by their children in 1882: the font is a memorial to Douglas Douglas Loftus, capt. Grenadier Guards, d. 1891: the altar rails were given by Lieut-Col. Arthur Peel as a memorial to Sophie, his wife, daughter of the Rev. G. G. and Mrs. Harter: the brass eagle lectern was presented at Christmas, 1891, by Mrs. Hill, wife of the Rev. F. H. Hill M.A. rector, 1887-1904: the interior was restored by the late Rev. George Gardner Harter, rector 1845-72: the lych-gate was the gift of the late J. C. Harter esq.

Civil Registration

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

Cranfield was in Ampthill Registration District from 1837 to 1974

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Cranfield from the following:

Land and Property

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


Online maps of Cranfield 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

Cranfield was in Ampthill Poor Law Union. For further detailed history of the Ampthill Union see Peter Higginbotham's excellent resource: Ampthill 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 districtMK43
Post TownBedford