Felmersham, a village and a parish in Bedfordshire. The village stands on the river Ouse, 2 miles SW of Sharnbrook station on the M.R., and 7 NNW of Bedford, and has a post-office under Bedford; money order and telegraph office, Sharnbrook. The parish includes also the hamlet of Radwell. Acreage, 1991; population, 430. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Ely; gross value, £137 with residence. Patron, Trinity College, Cambridge. The church was built in the 11th and 12th centuries by the Benedictine monks, and has a splendid tower with a fine peel of five bells. The chancel has a magnificent reredos of alabaster. There is a Primitive Methodist chapel at Radwell.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Felmersham St. Mary|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
The parish register dates from 1660.
The Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service (BLARS) hold the registers for Felmersham: Baptisms 1660-1935, Marriages 1660-1985, Burials 1660-1919, Banns 1756-1812, 1823-1970. 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. Mary (parish church)
The church of St. Mary is a noble cruciform structure of stone, chiefiy in the Early English style, furnishing a most interesting example of that period, and consisting of chancel, clerestoried nave of four bays, transepts, aisles, south porch and a central embattled tower with turret, containing 5 bells and a clock: the western entrance is very fine, and exhibits a richly moulded west doorway, on either side of which is a panelled arch, inclosing two others; over this is an Early English arcade, and above this a triplet; the clerestory, which is lofty and embattled, is Perpendicular, to which date also belongs the upper part of the tower: the chancel is separated from the nave by an ancient and celebrated oak screen, richly painted: it is of Perpendicular date, and was erected, as appears by the inscription upon it, by Richard King and Annete his Wife: the east and west windows are stained, and there are many other stained windows in this church, some of those in the north aisle containing early fragments: the chancel retains a double piscina: the organ was introduced in 1872 at a cost of £328: the church was restored in 1853-5 at the cost of the late Mr. I. Payne, and further improvements were made in 1867-9 by the Rev. Richard Rawle M.A. then vicar: since 1889 the bells have been rehung, a reredos of alabaster erected, a vestry built, the old font repaired, and other improvements effected at a cost of about £300: there are memorials to John Leach, 1687, William Leach, 1735, the Rev. H. D. Ward M.A.. 19 years rector, d. 1846, and to the families of Duppa, Bands, Ferth, Aspin and others; in the nave is a monument to Richard Otway, 1621, and in the south aisle a tablet to the Rev. Thomas Orlsby Marsh, vicar of Steventon, 1831, and others of his family: in 1895 a new pulpit of stone was provided: the church was again restored in 1908 at a cost of £253: there are 400 sittings.
For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.
Felmersham was in Bedford Registration District from 1837 to 1974
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Felmersham from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858. (Felmersham (St. Mary))
- 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 Felmersham 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
Felmersham 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.