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[From Samuel Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England 1831.]

CHALGRAVE, a parish in the hundred of MANSHEAD, county of BEDFORD, 3¾ miles (N. by W.) from Dunstable, containing 710 inhabitants. The living is a discharged vicarage, united in 1772 to the rectory of Hockcliffe, in the archdeaconry of Bedford, and diocese of Lincoln, rated in the king's books at 12. The church, dedicated to All Saints, is a venerable edifice in the ancient style of English architecture, and contains two antique tombs with statues of knights in armour. There is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists at Tebworth, where was formerly a chapel endowed with thirty-six acres of land. Here is a charity school for forty boys; besides which, four boys from this parish are admitted into Hockcliffe school. There are endowed almshouses for six elderly maidens, and two for six widows. At Chalgrave Field, in this parish, in June 1643, a battle took place between the royalists under Prince Rupert and a detachment of troops from the army of the Earl of Essex, in which the latter was defeated; several officers in the service of the parliament were killed, and the celebrated patriot Hampden was mortally wounded.

Church of All Saints Chalgrave

Parish Chest in All Saints Chalgrave

The church of All Saints is an ancient structure of mixed styles, consisting of chancel, nave of five bays, aisles, porch, and a now ruined western tower of Perpendicular date, containing 3 bells: the chancel is of the Decorated period, with Perpendicular insertions: the north arcade is Early English, the south, Decorated, the aisles are Early Decorated, with some Perpendicular insertions: there are two ancient tombs, one an each side of the nave, with life-sized effigies of knights in armour, in a good state of preservation. In 1889 the tower fell during a thunderstorm, and in falling destroyed part of the nave: the church has not yet been repaired, and services are held in a structure of brick at Tebworth. The register dates from the year 1539. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value 130, with residence, in the gift of and held since 18,98 by the Rev. Edward Tritton Gurney R.A. of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. About 1770, the notorious Dr. William Dodd, executed for forgery 27th June, 1777, was incumbent of tile parish. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]

Photographs Copyright © Pauline Hannaford 2002

The entrance porch to All Saints

The Nave in All Saints Chalgrave

A tomb within the church of All Saints - person unknown


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Last Updated on: 25 September 2002
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