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Odell (All Saints)

ODELL (All Saints), a parish, in the hundred of Willey, union and county of Bedford, 1¼ mile (N. E. by N.) from Harrold; containing 501 inhabitants. Odell, anciently called Wahul or Wodhull, was the seat of an ancient barony, belonging, at the time of the Norman survey, to Walter Flandrensis, whose posterity were called de Wahul. A female heir intermarrying with the Chetwodes, of Oakley, in Staffordshire, brought the property to that family, who sold it to the Alstons. Thomas Alston, of Odell, was created a baronet in 1642. The parish is bounded on the south by the river Ouse, and contains 2600 acres, mostly arable land, with some pasture, and 500 acres of woodland; the surface is undulated, the soil various, and the scenery picturesque. Lace is manufactured by some of the females. The place formerly possessed a market, granted in 1222; and a fair is still held on the Thursday and Friday in Whitsun-week. Odell Castle, the seat of the Alston family, a small part of which constitutes the remains of the ancient building of the same name, stands conspicuously on an eminence commanding a fine view of the Ouse. The river here abounds in pike, perch, and eels. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £19; patron, Justinian Alston, Esq.: the glebe consists of 420 acres, of the annual value of £350, with a house. The church has an ancient square tower.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.