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Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire

Historical Description

Houghton Regis, a village and a parish in Beds. The village stands near Watling Street, 1 mile N of Dunstable, and has a station on the L. & N.W.R. at Upper Houghton Regis, and the Dunstable (Church Street) station of the G.N.R. is also in this parish. It has a post office under Dunstable; money order and telegraph office, Dunstable. The parish contains also the hamlets of Bidwell, Puddle Hill, Sewell, and Thorn. Acreage, 4654; population, 2187. Houghton Hall is the seat of the Brandreth family. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Ely; net value, £194 with residence. The church, an ancient building chiefly in the Decorated style, consists of nave, aisles, and chancel, with a tower, and contains an effigy of a knight and monuments of the Brandreths. There are Baptist, Wesleyan, and Primitive Methodist chapels, and an endowed school. Straw plait is made here.

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 parishHoughton-Regis All Saints 

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

Church Records

The parish register dates from the year 1538.

The Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service (BLARS) hold the registers for Houghton Regis: Baptisms 1538-1962, Marriages 1538-1954, Burials 1538-1959, Banns 1869-1944, 1970-1986. 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 ancient fabric of mixed style, chiefty Decorated, consisting of chancel, clerestoried nave of five bays, aisles, south porch and a noble embattled western tower with an octagonal embattled turret at the south-west angle, and containing 6 bells, two of which were recast about 1902: the chancel is Decorated, and the nave arcades belong to the same period: the clerestory and roof are plain Perpendicular: both nave and aisles are embattled: the Norman font is cylindrical, widening towards the top, and the whole exterior is richly carved in three bands, the lowermost being fluted; the base is cushioned, with cable moulding: there are brasses to John Waleys, vicar, 1400; William Waleys; and Sir William Walley, vicar, 1506, besides several memorial slabs of ancient date: in an arch in the wall of the south aisle is an effigy of Sir John Sewell knt. formerly of this parish: there are also various monuments to members of the Brandreth family.

Civil Registration

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

Houghton Regis was in Luton Registration District from 1837 to 1964

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Houghton Regis from the following:

Land and Property

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


Online maps of Houghton Regis 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

Houghton Regis was in Luton Poor Law Union. For further detailed history of the Luton Union see Peter Higginbotham's excellent resource: Luton 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 districtLU5
Post TownDunstable