Lower Gravenhurst, Bedfordshire
Gravenhurst, Lower, a village and a parish in Beds, 3½ miles SW from Shefford station on the M.R., and 5½ ESE from Ampthill. Post town, Ampthill; money order and telegraph office, Shillington. Acreage, including Upper Gravenhurst, 1695; population of united parishes, 416, of the ecclesiastical parish of Lower Gravenhurst, 75; of Upper Gravenhurst, 341. There are extensive brick works. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Ely; net value, £237. Patron, the Lord Chancellor. The church was built in 1330, rebuilt in 1400 by R. de Bilhemore, and has a brass of him.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Lower Gravenhurst St. Mary|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
The parish register dates from the year 1569.
The Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service (BLARS) hold the registers for Lower Gravenhurst: Baptisms 1705-1970, Marriages 1705-1970, Burials 1705-1992, Banns 1824-1972. 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
The church of St. Mary is a small but ancient building, chiefly in the Decorated style, consisting of chancel and nave, under a continuous roof, and a massive embattled Perpendicular western tower with a large octagonal turret at the south-east angle, and a small spirelet, and containing 1 bell: the chancel retains Decorated sedilia, piscina and there also exists an hourglass sermon bracket: in the nave is a stoup: the rood screen, also Decorated, retains traces of the original painting, and there remains a brass to Robert de Bilhemore, who rebuilt the church: another brass with effigies is inscribed to Benjamin Pigott esq., 1606, and his three wives.
For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.
Lower Gravenhurst was in Ampthill Registration District from 1837 to 1888
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Lower Gravenhurst from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858. (Gravenhurst, Lower (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 Lower Gravenhurst 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
Lower Gravenhurst 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.
A full transcript of the Visitations of Bedfordshire 1566, 1582, and 1634 is available online.