Sandy, a village, a township, and a parish in Beds. The village stands on the river Ivel and on the G.N.R., at the intersection of the Bedford and Cambridge branch of the L. & N.W.R., and on the Roman road from St Albans to Godmanchester, 3 miles NNW of Biggleswade. It is supposed to occupy the site of the Roman station Salinse, and has a head post office and an important station on the railway. The township contains also the village of Girtford and the hamlets of Beeston Green and Stratford, and comprises 4276 acres; population, 2755. The Hasells is a chief residence standing in a park of about 109 acres. The Lodge, a fine modern mansion erected in 1877, in the midst of 200 acres of beautiful grounds, is the seat of Viscount Peel, Speaker of the House of Commons from 1884 to 1895. Sandy Place is also a county mansion standing in extensive grounds. Market-gardening is largely carried on, and large quantities of potatoes, beans, onions, and cucumbers are sent by rail to the towns in the manufacturing districts and to London. Two ancient camps, one of them called Caesar's, and covering about 30 acres, are in the vicinity of the village, and many Roman coins, urns, and other relics have been found. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Ely; net value, £683 with residence. The church, which was restored and enlarged in 1861 at a cost of £3300, is an ancient cruciform building of native red sandstone chiefly in the Early English style, consisting of chancel with aisles, nave, transepts, and a western embattled tower. There are Baptist and Wesleyan chapels at Sandy, a church mission-room and a Primitive Methodist chapel at Girtford, and a Wesleyan chapel at Beeston Green. A charity estate of 90 acres produces about £130 a year, which is distributed in food and clothing and in the payment of premiums for the apprenticing of poor boys.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Sandy St. Swithin|
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 Sandy: Baptisms 1538-1917, Marriages 1538-2002, Burials 1538-1933, Banns 1873-1958. 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. Swithin (parish church)
The church of St. Swithin is a cruciform building of native red sandstone, chiefly in the Early English style, erected in the 14th century, and consists of chancel with aisles, nave, aisles, transepts, and a western embattled tower containing a clock and six bells: in the chancel is a double piscina and sedilia and a marble monument to Capt. Sir William Peel R.N., K.C.B. commander of the Naval Brigade during the Crimean War, who died at Lucknow 27th April, 1858: there are six stained windows, the east window, erected in 1890, being a memorial to Adelaide (Dugdale), d. 1890, wife of the Rt. Hon. Viscount Peel P.C. formerly Speaker of the House of Commons, 1884-95; another was presented by the present rector in memory of his deceased wife, and there is one to the late F. A. J. Foster esq. of Sandy Place, killed in the Burmese War of 1890: there are mural tablets to the Pym, Payne and other families: a brass eagle lectern was presented in 1889 by Mrs. Pope: the church was restored and enlarged In 1861, at a cost of £3,300, when the transepts and chancel arch were rebuilt and the aisles enlarged; in the course of the work a beautiful carving in alabaster was found, with figures of soldiers in chain armour, brightly coloured and now in the chancel: the screen filling the tower arch is a memorial to Elizabeth Jefferies. In 1903 a stained window was inserted by public subscription as a memorial to Her late Majesty Queen Victoria.
For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.
Sandy was in Biggleswade Registration District from 1837 to 1974
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Sandy from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, 1848 (Sandy (St. Swithin))
Land and Property
The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Bedfordshire is available to browse.
Online maps of Sandy 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
Sandy was in Biggleswade Poor Law Union. For further detailed history of the Biggleswade Union see Peter Higginbotham's excellent resource: Biggleswade Poor Law Union and Workhouse.
Villages, Hamlets, &cGirtford
A full transcript of the Visitations of Bedfordshire 1566, 1582, and 1634 is available online.