Wootton, a parish, with a scattered village, in Bedfordshire, 4½ miles SW from Bedford, the nearest railway station. It has a post office under Bedford; money order and telegraph office, Kempston. Acreage, 3788; population, 1253. The manor, with Wootton House, belongs to the family of Payne. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Ely; net value, £200 with residence. The church is a fine building, chiefly in the Decorated style, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, porch, and tower. It contains some memorials of the family of Monoux of Wootton House.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Wootton St. Mary|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
The parish registers date from the year 1562.
The Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service (BLARS) hold the registers for Wootton: Baptisms 1562-1981, Marriages 1562-1995, Burials 1562-1942, Banns 1846-1993. 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. Mary (parish church)
The church of St. Mary is a noble edifice, chiefly in the Decorated style, but with portions of Early English and Perpendicular work, and consists of chancel, nave, aisles, porch and an embattled western tower, with spire, containing 5 bells and a sanctus bell: the aisles have been lengthened westward in modern times, and the west window is stained: the chancel and aisles retain piscinae and the former is separated from the nave by an ancient screen of carved oak in the Perpendicular style, restored in 1896 at a cost of £70; the organ, presented by Miss Neale, was rebuilt in 1897 at a cost exceeding £170; the font, pulpit and other fittings are all modern: the church contains many tablets and inscribed slabs to the Monox or Monoux family, who in the 17th and 18th centuries resided at Wootton House, including memorials to six of the baronets, and one to Lieut. Monoux, killed in the Monmouth insurrection of 1685; there are also memorials to two former vicars of the 18th century: the porch, of finely carved oak, is a reproduction of the ancient porch: the church was thoroughly restored about 1860 by the Rev. P. Neale, then vicar, and the chancel rebuilt by the late Sir Coventry Payne bart.: in 1890 a new east window was placed in the chancel to the infant son of Philip Monoux Payne esq. The church will seat 250 persons.
For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.
Wootton was in Bedford Registration District from 1837 to 1974
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Wootton from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, 1848 (Wootton (St. Mary))
Land and Property
The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Bedfordshire is available to browse.
Online maps of Wootton 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
Wootton 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.