UK Genealogy Archives logo

Sandy (St. Swithin)

SANDY (St. Swithin), a parish, in the union of Biggleswade, partly in the hundred of Wixamtree, but chiefly in that of Biggleswade, county of Bedford, 3¾ miles (N. by W.) from Biggleswade; containing, with the hamlet of Girtford and part of Beeston, 1906 inhabitants, of whom 921 are in the township of Sandy. The parish is situated on the river Ivel, and comprises 4026 acres, of which 1838 are arable. The soil is good, and from its sandy nature, cucumbers are cultivated in the open air in such abundance that Covent-Garden market, London, is chiefly supplied with that vegetable from this place; carrots and other vegetables are also grown. The wood is chiefly elm and fir. The substratum contains a curious coarse sandstone, resembling in some degree a conglomerate, and containing a considerable portion of iron and fossil-wood, with small pebbles, in which yellow quartz predominates. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £32. 2. 11.; net income, £769; patron, F. Pym, Esq. The tithes were commuted for land and money payments, under acts of inclosure, in 1789 and 1798; the glebe altogether comprises 323 acres. The church is an ancient structure in the early English style. Galley Hill, here, is the site of the Roman station Salinæ, which commanded another station at Chesterfield, a piece of ground still so called near the village, through which passed the great road from Baldock, in Herts, across this county into Cambridgeshire. The ramparts, which inclose an area of 30 acres, are surrounded by a deep fosse, and in the centre is a mount, probably thrown up for the preetorium. At some distance, on the other side of the valley, are the remains of what is called Cæsar's camp. Several Roman urns, some coins, and fragments of beautiful red pottery, have been discovered at Chesterfield; the pottery, which was ornamented with figures, has been deemed to be the ancient Samian ware.

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