Bletsoe (St. Mary)
BLETSOE (St. Mary), a parish, in the hundred of Willey, union and county of Bedford, 6½ miles (N. N. W.) from Bedford; containing 420 inhabitants. It comprises about 2000 acres: the soil is gravel and clay; the surface is in some parts rather hilly, and the meadows are occasionally flooded by the river Ouse, which runs through the parish. Here are the remains of an ancient castle formerly belonging to Lord Bolingbroke, and part of which has been destroyed for the materials. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £17, and in the patronage of Lord St. John: the tithes have been commuted for £333. 18. 9., and there are 34 acres of glebe. A bequest of £8 per annum is applied to the support of a Sunday school. There is a mineral spring, but the water is seldom used medicinally.
Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.