Wilshamstead or Wilstead, a parish, with a village, in Bedfordshire, 4 miles S of Bedford, where there are stations on the L. & N.W.R. and the M.R. It has a post office under Bedford; money order office, Bedford; telegraph office, Cardington railway station. Acreage, 3131; population, 787. There is a parish council consisting of nine members. The manor belongs to the Thynne family. Pillow lace is made by the female inhabitants. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Ely; net value, £200 with residence. The church, dedicated to All Saints, is a building of stone in the Early English, Decorated, and Perpendicular styles. It was beautifully restored in 1873. The nave contains a finely carved roof of hammer-beam style. There is a Wesleyan chapel.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Wilshampstead All Saints|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
The parish register dates from the year 1594.
The Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service (BLARS) hold the registers for Wilstead: Baptisms 1593-1983, Marriages 1593-1998, Burials 1593-1986, Banns 1754-2001. 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 edifice of stone in the Early English, Decorated and Perpendicular styles, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, south porch and an embattled western tower containing 2 bells and a clock, placed in 1898 at a cost of £96, to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Victoria: the hammer-beam roof is a fine example, and richly carved: there is a very ancient font and there are also piscinae in the north and south aisles, and in the north aisle is a brass, with the effigy of a priest, and an inscription in Latin; in 1873 the chancel was entirely rebuilt, and organ chamber and vestry erected, and the nave restored and reseated, at a cost of about £1,800: there is a list of vicars, from the year 1235.
For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.
Wilshamstead was in Bedford Registration District from 1837 to 1974
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Wilstead from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, 1848 (Wilshampstead (All Saints))
Land and Property
The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Bedfordshire is available to browse.
Online maps of Wilstead 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
Wilhampstead was in Bedford Poor Law Union. For further detailed history of the Bedford Union see Peter Higginbotham's excellent resource: Bedford Poor Law Union and Workhouse.
A full transcript of the Visitations of Bedfordshire 1566, 1582, and 1634 is available online.