Biggleswade

Biggleswade, Bedfordshire

Historical Descriptions

Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales 1850

Biggleswade, on the Ivel, 45 m. N.E. London. P. 3807. Mkt., Wed.

Source: Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales; Second Edition; C. W. Leonard, London; 1850

A Topographical Dictionary of Great Britain and Ireland 1833

Biggleswade, co. Bedford.

London 43 m. NNW. Bedford 10½ m. ESE. Pop. 2778. M. D. Wed. Fairs, Feb. 14 ; Sat. in East. week ; Whit. Mon.; Aug. 2 ; and Nov. 8, for all kinds of cattle.

A market-town and parish in the hundred of the same name, situate on the high north road to York, and near the river Ivel, over which there is a stone bridge. The town is much benefited by its situation, as a great thoroughfare, and possesses excellent inns. It has a very modern appearance, owing to having been nearly all rebuilt since 1785, in consequence of a great fire which swept away 150 houses in the very centre of the place. Its immediate vicinity being particularly fertile, its corn market is deemed one of the largest in England, and its cattle fairs are almost equally celebrated. The Ivel having been rendered navigable to the Ouse, opens a water-carriage all the way to Lynn Regis, which is very convenient to the trade of this town. The living is a dis. vicarage, exempt from visitation; being a prebend of Lincoln cathedral; valued in K. B. 10l. ; ann. val. P. R. 60l.; patron, the Bishop of Lincoln. The church, ded. to St. Andrew, is a strong and ancient edifice, the date of the erection of which is 1230. It was formerly collegiate, and several stalls are still remaining. Here are two charity-schools, and other minor donations for the benefit of the poor inhabitants. There is little or no manufacture here, except that of thread-lace. The parish includes the two hamlets of Stratton and Holme, and the King is the lord of it. At Stratton, in the year 1770, was discovered a yellow earthen pot, with 300 gold coins of the reign of Henry VI.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of Great Britain and Ireland by John Gorton. The Irish and Welsh articles by G. N. Wright; Vol. II; London; Chapman and Hall, 186, Strand; 1833.