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Shillington, Bedfordshire

Historical Description

Shillington or Shiltington, a village and large parish in Beds. The village stands 3 miles WSW of Henlow station on the Bedford and Hitchin branch of the M.R., and 5½ NW of Hitchin, and has a post, money order, and telegraph office under Hitchin. The parish contains also the hamlets of Pegsdon, Lower Stondon, Apsley End, Upton End, and Holwell Bury. Acreage, 5309; population, 1873. There is a parish council consisting of thirteen members. The manor belongs to the Musgrave family. Large quantities of coprolites have been found. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Ely; gross value, £370 with residence. Patron, Trinity College, Cambridge. The church, which stands upon an eminence, and forms a landmark for the surrounding country, is a large building in the Transitional style consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, and a western tower. It has some ancient brasses, and a fine stained east window. There are a Union chapel used by Baptists and Congrega-tionalists, a Wesleyan chapel, almshouses for four poor widows, and some small charities.

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 parishShitlington All Saints 

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

Church Records

The parish register dates from the year 1563.

The Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service (BLARS) hold the registers for Shillington: Baptisms 1543-1976, Marriages 1543-1991, Burials 1543-1960, Banns 1754-1821, 1890-1950. 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, standing on an eminence, and forming a very picturesque landmark for the district, is a large and fine example of the Transitional style which intervened between the Decorated and Perpendicular periods, and consists of chancel and nave, both with clerestory, under a continuous roof, aisles extending the whole length of the church, and a western tower with plain parapet, rebuilt in 1750, and containing 5 bells: within, the nave and chancel are divided by an arch, and there are corresponding arches across each of the aisles; at the east end of the building rise two square embattled turrets, the wall between, over the east window, being finished with a horizontal cornice displaying the rebus of Matthew Ashton: beneath the chancel is an Early English crypt with groined vaulting, resting on a central pillar: the interior retains some good wooden screen work, with traces of paintings, and the roof of the north aisle has been similarly decorated; there is a large slab with fine brass effigy in cope and hood of Matthew de Asscheton, canon of York and Lincoln, and rector of Schutlingdone, who died Dec. 31, 1400-1: there is another with effigy in cope to Thomas Partington, rector, and treasurer of York minster. The east window is a memorial to John and Fanny Ferrian Lines, and was placed by their daughter Sarah, The brass altar cross and candlesticks were given by the Countess Grosvenor. The brass candelabra and altar rails were presented by Capt. Digby, formerly of Purton Hall, in memory of his wife, and the jewelled processional cross was given in memory of the late Mrs. Annie Lyon Postgate, wife of the present vicar.

Civil Registration

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

Shillington was in Ampthill Registration District from 1837 to 1974

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Shillington from the following:

Land and Property

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


Online maps of Shillington 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

Shillington 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.

Villages, Hamlets, &c

Lower Stondon

Visitations Heraldic

A full transcript of the Visitations of Bedfordshire 1566, 1582, and 1634 is available online.