The village church at KNOTTING north of Bedford was the scene of unseemly conduct back in the 17th century, when the rector, churchwardens and several parishioners were caught cockfighting in the church on Shrove Tuesday in 1637. As a result, gates were erected below the chancel arch
to prevent any recurrence.
A tablet on the tower of the parish church at nearby KEYSOE, written in the English of the period, tells the poignant story of William Dickins, who fell whilst re-pointing the steeple of the church in the 18th century and was miraculously saved :
'In Memory of the Mighty hand of the Great God and our Savour
Jefus Chrift. Who prefurved the Life of Wm Dickins
April 17th 1718
When he was Pointiing the Steepol and Fell From the Rige of the Middel Window
In the Spiar Over the South Weft Pinackel he Dropt Upon the Batelmen
and there Broak his leg and foot and Drove Down 2 Long Copein Stone
and Fell to the Ground with his Neck Upon one Standard of his Chear
When the Other End took the Ground Which was the Nearest of killing him
Yet when he See he was Faling Crid Out to his Brother Lord Daniel
Wots the Matter Lord Have Mercy Up on me Chrift Have Mercy Upon
Me Lord Jefus Chift Help me But Now Almouft to the Ground.
Died Novr 29th 1759 Aged 73 Years'.
A small brick built building standing at the side of School Lane at EATON SOCON near Bedford looks very much like a little chapel but it is in fact the old village lock-up. A plaque on the wall reads :
THE EATON SOCON
This ancient lock-up was built in 1826
For the confinement of local malefactors.
Restored in 1963 it is now in the care of
the Bedfordshire & Huntingdonshire Naturalists Trust.
The lovely Congregational church at ROXTON near Bedford was built in 1808 in the style of a thatched Gothic cottage orne.
The lock-up in HARROLD, north west of Bedford, is one of the finest of its type in the country and is regarded as the best remaining example in Bedfordshire. Featuring the common round shape and spire in its design, the structure was built in 1824. A major refurbishment was undertaken in the 1990s after it was revealed that the stones, mortar and woodwork had all deteriorated.
Despite the nature of the building as a place of incarceration, there is a humorous side to the lock-up. In 1967 a local man won a bet after being locked inside the cramped, dark interior. The bet started as a result of a discussion in the Odell pub The Bell, where drinkers argued that people today would never survive a night in such squalid conditions. George Knight, a local window cleaner, believed that they could and proved his opinion by spending 48 hours and one second in the lockup.
AMPTHILL is an historic market town of Anglo Saxon origin situated in the south of Bedfordshire.
An old milestone to be seen in the centre of the town also doubles as a water pump and has a street lamp on top.
In 1664 General Richard Nicolls of Ampthill drove the Dutch out of New Amsterdam in the New World, renaming the town New York after his patron The Duke of York. He was killed eight years later in a naval battle and the cannon ball which caused his demise is preserved on his monument in the church