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Silsoe, Bedfordshire

Historical Description

Silsoe, a village and a parish in Beds. The village stands 3½ miles ESE of Ampthill, and 2 from Flitwick station on the M.R., was once a market-town, and has a post, money order, and telegraph office, under Ampthill, a hotel, and a fair on 13 May for cattle. The parish comprises 2158 acres; population, 589. There is a parish council consisting of six members. The manor, with Wrest Park, belongs to Earl Cowper. The mansion is a fine and spacious edifice in the Italian style, surrounded by extensive pleasure grounds, which were originally laid out by " Capability " Brown, under the Duke of Kent The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Ely; gross value, £250 with residence. Patron, Earl Cowper, K.G. The church, which was rebuilt in 1831, and enlarged and improved in 1884, is a building constructed of local red sandstone, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, and an embattled tower.

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 
Civil parishFlitton 

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

Church Records

The separate register dates from the year 1846 only; the earlier entries are included in the registers of Plitton.

The Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service (BLARS) hold the registers for Silsoe: Baptisms 1846-1988, Marriages 1846-1987, Burials 1846-1988, Banns 1846-1987


Church of England

St. James (parish church)

The church of St. James is an edifice of local red sandstone, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles and an embattled tower containing 3 bells: the east window is stained; the church was rebuilt in 1831, at a cost of £5,000, of which £4,000 was given by the 2nd Earl de Grey (d. 1859), who also endowed the living with £150 yearly: considerable additions and alterations were made in 1884 and the church entirely refloored and reseated: towards the cost of these repairs £400 was contributed by the 7th and last Earl Cowper K.G. (d. 1905), and £100 by the Misses Delmé-Radcliffe, the remainder being raised by general subscriptions.

Civil Registration

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

Silsoe was in Ampthill Registration District from 1837 to 1974

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Silsoe from the following:

Land and Property

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


Online maps of Silsoe 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

Silsoe 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.

Visitations Heraldic

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

CountyCentral Bedfordshire
Postal districtMK45
Post TownBedford