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Arlesey Timeline

Places > Arlesey

1180: The church was originally built about 1180 by the monks of Waltham Abbey in Essex.

1220: About this time the church was widened and windows put in.

1646: Sir Samuel Brown, having done well as a judge in London, bought Arlesey Manor and settled down to live the life of a country gentleman.

1750: The parish of Astwick was unable to provide for a priest of its own, so it was combined with Arlesey.

1800: The Church tower fell down and was replaced by a small wooden steeple it was later replaced by a stone tower.

1804: Arlesey Enclosure Act passed.

1805: The White Horse at 243 High Street opened.

1840: The Lamb Hotel opened, the whole site covered some 6 acres of land.

1845: The Three Tuns, 86 High Street opened.

1850: The Great Northern Railway opened linking London to the North via York. It was this railway development that encouraged the growth of the brick making industry in the Arlesey area. The original station at Arlesey was known as Arlesey and Shefford Road.

1852: Brickworks opened in the south of the parish by Robert Beart of Godmanchester, described at the time as "immense works". By 1858 the annual production was estimated to be 8,000,000 bricks plus 1,000,000 agricultural drainage pipes. By the late 1860s Beart's had been joined at Arlesey by three other brickworks all ranged alongside the railway.

1857: The True Briton Public House opened.

1857: The opening of a tramway from the GNR Line to the site of The Three Counties Asylum to carry the construction material and later goods and passengers to the Asylum. The track was lifted in 1953.

1860: Three Counties Asylum opened. On the 8th March the first patients were admitted, six men and six women were transferred from the Bedford Asylum. Their ages ranged from 27 to 77 years and their history of hospitalisation from 7 weeks to 34 years.

1861: There were 460 patients in the Asylum, 212 men and 248 women and during the year 44 patients had been discharged and 47 had died. On average 125 men and 131 women were regularly employed. Of these 66 men worked in the garden and farm while 33 women worked regularly in the laundry and wash house.

1861: St. Peter's National School opened, later named changed to Arlesey St. Peter's Board School.

1863: The Crown Public House opened, it had its own football team and was host to Arlesey Town Band.

1865: The Rose and Crown opens as does The City Arms. The Prince of Wales Public House at 60 Hitchin Road opens; in the mid 1970s there was a miniature railway in the garden of this public house.

1866: On the 1st April Arlesey Sidings Station opened, on the 1st July 1886 the name was changed to Three Counties Station.

1868: The Stag Public House opens.

1876: Arlesey Sidings School opened on the 2nd October.

1876: On the 23rd December there was a railway accident at Arlesey Sidings Station when an express train crashed into the wagons of a derailed goods train. The engine driver, fireman and three passengers on the express train were killed.

1877: Church tower rebuilt to house six bells.

1880: Working Men's Club opened, it was situated in what was then called Straw Street with a reading room, a lecture hall with seating for 300 people and a billiards room.

1884: A serious outbreak of smallpox occurred in the Asylum and thirteen patients and a nurse died.

1895: The number of patients in the Asylum had reached 1,116.

1896: Arlesey Football Club founded.

1910: St. Andrew's Church built at the southern end of the village to cater for people living in the area.

1918: Arlesey Women's Institute formed.

1920: Arlesey's first cinema opened in Hospital Road, it was named the Victory and had a chequered career with several name changes. It was known as the Premier in the 1930s and the Cosy Cinema in the 1950s. It closed several times before the final closure in June 1962.

1925: Owen's Pump Works closes.

1926: The Stag Public House, Davis Row, closes as does The City Arms.

1926: Arlesey St. Peter's Board School closes in December with the pupils transferred to Arlesey Sidings School.

1927: Authority received from the Ministry of Health to change the Asylum's name to The Three Counties Hospital.

1929: Arlesey Women's Institute Hall officially opened in May. During the Second World War it was taken over by the army for billeting troops.

1933: Arlesey and Shefford Road Station renamed Arlesey and Henlow Station.

1950: Arlesey Bury was acquired by Three Counties Hospital as a home for nursing staff.

1955: Etonbury School opened on the 18th April as a county secondary school, the first head teacher was Mr. R.N. Alexander.

1959: The Arlesey & Henlow  and Three Counties Stations were closed for passenger traffic on the 5th January 1959 and for goods traffic on the 28th November 1960.

1960: Three Counties Hospital renamed Fairfield Hospital.

1964: Lamb Hotel closes.

1967: Biggs & Wall, engineering firm move to Arlesey, on a four acre site in Hitchin Road.

1968: Arlesey & District Dramatic Society formed, their first play was "Book of the Month", performed in 1969.

1969: Arlesey Road Bridge opened in October.

1971: Community Centre opened with a village hall, library, youth club and medical centre.

1974: The Old Moat purchased by The Bedfordshire Wildlife Trust and made into a nature reserve.

1975: Etonbury School redesignated as a Middle School. School's heated outdoor swimming pool opened.

1977: Old Steam Shovel was recovered from Arlesey Pit, known as the Blue Lagoon, it was restored went to the Museum of Lincolnshire Life.

1979: The disused primary school demolished.

1981: New Methodist Church opened at a cost of 85,000.

1983: Arlesey Women's Institute Hall re-opened on the 29th October two years after being gutted by fire on 15th April 1981, the cost of restoration and rebuilding being around 24,000.

1985: The Crown Public House closes, the site is now part of a new development called Crown Lodge.

1988: Arlesey Station re-opened on the 3rd October on the site of the old Arlesey and Henlow Station.

1992: Butterley Brick Ltd suspends production at its Arlesey plant from the 1st October.

1993: Preliminary work on the Arlesey/Stotfold Bypass by Bedfordshire County Council starts.

1994: The Rose and Crown,200 High Street closes as does The Star public house also in the High Street.

1995: Work on the Arlesey/Stotfold Bypass finally starts.

1995: Arlesey Town Football Club reach the FA Vase Final at Wembley and defeat the favourites Oxford City 2-1.Pact International closes its warehouse and packaging plant and relocates to Peterborough.

1996: Arlesey/Stotfold Bypass opens to traffic for the first time from lunchtime on Friday March 29th, the construction cost 12 million.

1999: 24th-25th July, Arlesey Town Football Club's new ground in Hitchin Road officially opened.

1999: The Prince of Wales Public House closes.

1999: After a 139 years Fairfield Hospital closes and the site sold to London based developer Wiggins for housing.

1999: In March Arlesey Conservation for Nature purchased Glebe Meadows, this site is now held in perpetuity by The Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Wildlife Trust.

2000: Arlesey First Scout Group's new headquarters officially opened in June.

2004: Work began in April on the former site of Fairfield Hospital to build a new community of hundreds of homes. The development will be known as Fairfield Park.


Page last updated: 21st January 2014