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Wilstead, Bedfordshire


Historical Description

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.

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 parishWilshampstead All Saints 

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

Church Records

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.

Civil Registration

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:

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:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Bedfordshire papers online:

Poor Law

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.

Visitations Heraldic

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

Postal districtMK45
Post TownBedford