Shillington is an English village and civil parish located in the county of Bedfordshire. In the south of the parish, the hamlet of Pegsdon is almost encircled by Hertfordshire, and since 1985 the parish has included the village of Higham Gobion to the west. It has a population of 1,831.
The first recorded name of the village (1060) is Scytlingedune, possibly meaning 'The Hill of the Followers of Scyttle'. Scyttle being a Saxon. As local lore has it, this name gradually evolved into Shitlington and was later bowdlerised.
Some people locally claim that 'All roads lead away from Shillington', in which there is some truth, as more efficient routes avoid the village altogether. Because of this, Shillington is still (in parts) a picturesque and rather isolated village, although it does cover a large area.
Its curious size, but small population, is because, originally, it was made up of several 'Ends', as is not uncommon in Bedfordshire. These Ends gradually grew and merged into the Shillington that exists today. Many parts of the village are still referred to by their original names, by villagers and to a lesser extent officially. The elder generation of villagers have developed a colloquial geography of the village, based on the common saying Odds and Ends. The oldest parts of the villages called Ends and the newest parts, built in the twentieth century, Odds.
A list of Ends:
A list of Odds:
The village is home to Shillington Lower School and has several pubs; Noah's Ark, The Crown and The Musgrave Arms. The village has a history of public houses, and at one time was home to seventeen simultaneously, the Five Bells being the most memorable.