Place:Arlesey, Bedfordshire, England

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NameArlesey
Alt namesAlriceseisource: Domesday Book (1985) p 29
Alriceseiasource: Domesday Book (1985) p 29
Alriceseiesource: Domesday Book (1985) p 29
Arlseysource: Family History Library Catalog
Arsleysource: Family History Library Catalog
TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish
Coordinates52.017°N 0.233°W
Located inBedfordshire, England
See alsoClifton Hundred, Bedfordshire, Englandhundred in which it was located
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Arlesey is a small formerly industrial town and civil parish in the unitary authority of Central Bedfordshire. It stands near the border with Hertfordshire, about three miles north-west of Letchworth Garden City, four miles north of Hitchin and six miles south of Biggleswade. Arlesey railway station provides services to London, Stevenage Peterborough and northward beyond. The station opened in 1988 under the Network South East branch of the nationalised British Rail company. An earlier station had been called "Arlesey & Henlow" and "Three Counties", a reference to the nearby hospital for people with psychological difficulties (at the time called "mentally ill"). The hospital admitted patient from Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire: hence "Three Counties". The original station was closed to passengers in the 1960s.

Arlesey Town Football Club has their ground to the south of the town.

The Domesday Book mentions Arlesey: The entry reads: Alricesei(a)/eie: Bishop of Durham; Bernard from William d'Eu; Herfast; from Nigel d'Aubigny; Wulfsi. 3 mills.

Spelling variations may include 'Arlychesey', seen in 1430, the home of the complainant William Bocher, husbandman. and 'Arlythesey', seen in 1418. That these refer to Arlesey is suggested in an earlier document: the index to one of the Patent Rolls of King Richard II.

Residents have claimed it to be the longest town in Britain.

St Peter's Church, situated in the Church End part of the town, was built in the 12th century by the monks of Waltham Abbey. Arlesey was the site of Etonbury Castle, of which little trace remains.

Arlesey Old Moat and Glebe Meadows nature reserves are just north of the town.

Major employers in Arlesey used to be the Fairfield Hospital (now re-developed as the residential Fairfield Park) and the former brickworks (producers of the Arlesey Whites bricks seen in many local buildings). Some of the clay pits used by the brickworks are now lakes and there are also two disused Portland Cement Company chalk pits, one of which is the Blue Lagoon, which hosts fishing and sailing clubs. Although the lake is private, large numbers of people go there to swim. There have been a number of drownings that have been reported in the national news. In 2001 three children died when the car they were in was accidentally driven into the lake. Most recently a teenager drowned while swimming in April 2007.

Gothic Mede Academy is the towns Lower School has around 200 pupils aged 5 to 9. Younger children can attend the adjoining Arlesey Nursery School. Etonbury Academy is the town's middle school.

The Arlesey Bomb fishing weight was developed by angler, Dick Walker to catch specimen perch from the local chalk pits.

Research Tips

  • The website British History Online provides three chapters of the Victoria County History Series on Bedfordshire. The first covers the religious houses of the county; the second and third provides articles on the parishes of the county. The parishes are arranged within their "hundreds".
  • GENUKI main page for Bedfordshire which provides information on various topics covering the whole of the county, and also a link to a list of parishes. Under each parish there is a list of the settlements within it and brief description of each. This is a list of pre-1834 ancient or ecclesiastical parishes but there are suggestions as to how to find parishes set up since then. GENUKI provides references to other organizations who hold genealogical information for the local area. There is no guarantee that the website has been kept up to date and therefore the reader should check additional sources if possible.
  • Bedfordshire family history societies are listed in GENUKI.
  • The FamilyTree Wiki has a series of pages similar to those provided by GENUKI which may have been prepared at a later date and from more recent data. The wiki has a link to English Jurisdictions 1851. There is a list of all the parishes in existence at that date with maps indicating their boundaries. The website is very useful for finding the ecclesiastical individual parishes within large cities and towns.
  • A Vision of Britain through Time, Bedfordshire, section "Units and Statistics" leads to analyses of population and organization of the county from about 1800 through 1974. There are pages available for all civil parishes, municipal boroughs and other administrative divisions. Descriptions provided are usually based on a gazetteer of 1870-72 which often provides brief notes on the economic basis of the settlement and significant occurences through its history.
  • These two maps indicate the boundaries between parishes, etc., but for a more detailed view of a specific area try a map from this selection. The oldest series are very clear at the third magnification offered. Comparing the map details with the GENUKI details for the same area is well worthwhile.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Arlesey. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.