12th Century: The earliest part of the Church of St. James or St. Edmund is the base of the tower dating to c.1100,the nave and aisles date to the fifteenth century.
1270: Hugh the Cobbler drowned when trying to cross Blunham bridge. The present stone structure however is probably of 17th century or early 18th century origin and may occupy a different site from the medieval crossing. It was first shown on an estate map of 1719.
1315: Lord John Hastings, Lord of the Manor of Blunham, was granted the right to hold a market and fair on the festival of St. James. The fair, known as Blunham Feast, continued into the early years of the 20th century.
1622: John Donne, poet, preacher and Rector of St. Paul's Cathedral 1621-1631 was Rector of Blunham from 1622 until his death in 1631.His most well known lines are "No man is an iland intire of its selfe... and therefore send not to know for whom the bell tolls- it tolls for thee.
1751: Baptist Chapel built.
1769: First reference to the Horseshoe Public House.
1796: Blunham Enclosure Act passed.
1805: Mausoleum built in the churchyard for the Thornton family of Moggerhanger whose memorials are in the chancel.
1818: The Rector, R. Beachcroft noted that there was a weekly school for boys and a Sunday School for girls.
1856: Branch of the Ancient Order of Foresters, a friendly society was founded at Blunham, to give help to members when unable to work or because of sickness. The members met at The Salutation Inn.
1862: Major church restoration undertaken. The gallery and ceiling in the nave were removed, the roof restored, the nave and chancel re-seated, the floor tiled and the north porch rebuilt.
1863c: The Railway Tavern Public House built
1862: The Bedford -Cambridge Railway opened 7th July, Blunham was the first station on the line from Bedford.
1872: National School opened.
1873: Blunham Rectory built, it was designed by Blunham born architect John Usher who was by then the county's leading Victorian architect.
1911:A stained glass window was erected in the chancel in memory of the Rev. C. Farmer, rector 1893-1910.
1921: War Memorial erected.
1926: Blunham Village Hall opened on the 14th April, the cost of the building was 650.
1967: Blunham Station closed on the 30th December.
1968: The Railway Tavern closes and becomes a private house, it reopens in the late 1970s as a public house called The Tavern. In 1992 it was renamed The Huntress before becoming a private house again in 2000.
1971: School burnt down.
1992: Major repairs to Blunham Bridge.
1994: Abbey Corrugated granted planning permission to have a 6,000 square metre extension to build new machinery on its South Mills site.
1996: Abbey Corrugated celebrate the opening of the new extension in June.
2000: 14,000 was spent on the refurbishment of the Cemetery Chapel as a Millennium project.
- The Newspaper Cuttings Collection in the Local Studies Library at Bedford Central Library.
- Victoria County History of Bedfordshire 1912.
- Bedfordshire churches in the nineteenth century, part 1, parishes A-G edited by Chris Pickford (BHRS, Vo. 73, 1994)
Page last updated: 23rd January 2014