- source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
- source: Family History Library Catalog
- the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia
Harrold is now a civil parish and electoral ward in the Borough of Bedford within Bedfordshire, England, around nine miles northwest of Bedford. The village is on the north bank of the River Great Ouse, and is the site of an ancient bridge, linking the village with Carlton with Chellington on the south bank. Immediately to the east of the village is Odell.
- end of Wikipedia contribution
Harrold was originally an ancient parish in the Willey Hundred of Bedfordshire, England.It was an ancient parish with no subsidiary chapelries or townships, but it included the hamlet of Folly.
It was made a civil parish in 1866 and in 1894 it became an urban district/became part of the Bedford Rural District. Since 1974 it has been in the non-metropolitan Borough of Bedford.
A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Harrold from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72:
- "HARROLD, a small town, a parish, and a [registration] sub-district in the district and county of Bedford. The town stands on the river Ouse, 2½ miles ENE of the meeting-point with Bucks and Northamptonshire, 4 WSW of Sharnbrook [railway] station, and 9 NW of Bedford; was formerly called Harewold or Harewood; and has a post-office‡ under Bedford, a neat market-house, a good bridge over the Ouse, a church, a large Independent chapel, national schools, and six alms-houses. The church consists of nave, aisles, and double chancel, with tower and spire; is in good condition; and has an ancient monument to Lady Joliffe. A weekly cornmarket is held on Tuesday; cattle fairs are held on the Tuesday before 13 May, the Tuesday before 6 July, and the Tuesday before 11 Oct.; and lace-making is carried on.
- "The parish comprises 3,240 acres. Real property: £4,242. Population: 1,119. Houses: 244. The landed property is divided among a few. The manor belongs to the Countess Cowper. A small Augustinian priory was founded near the town, in the time of Stephen; and was given, at the dissolution, to Lord Parr. A mansion called Harrold Hall, belonging to the Alston family, and a farm-house, belonging to the Gambiers, are now on the priory's grounds. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Ely. Value: £202. Patron: the Countess Cowper.
- "The [registration] sub-district contains also five other parishes. Acres: 12,100. Population: 3,238. Houses: 708."
- 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.