Arlsey (St. Peter)
ARLSEY (St. Peter), a parish, in the union and hundred of Biggleswade, county of Bedford, 6 miles (S.) from Biggleswade; containing 820 inhabitants. This place is in the Domesday survey noticed as a market-town, and in 1270 Stephen Edworth, then lord of the manor, obtained a confirmation of the grant for its market, and a grant of a fair on the festival of St. Peter and St. Paul, both of which have been long discontinued. The parish is bounded on the north by the river Ivel, and on the west by the Hiz, both of which unite in the north-west extremity. It is intersected by the road from Baldock to Bedford, and comprises by measurement 2303 acres, of which about 1600 are arable, 500 pasture, 20 wood, and 50 common; the sub-soil is gravel and clay. The women and children are employed in the straw-plat manufacture. The living is a discharged vicarage, with the rectory of Astwick annexed, and valued in the king's books at £8 per annum; it is in the patronage of Mrs. Roger Smith. At the inclosure of the parish, 255 acres were allotted in lieu of tithes, and there are 15 acres of grass land round the glebehouse. The church is a neat edifice. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. At Etonbury, near the road to Baldock, are the remains of a Roman encampment; and a spot still called the Hermitage, was the site of an ancient religious house.
Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.