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Places > Leighton Buzzard and Linslade

1086: In the Domesday Book Linslade was described as a manor with a mill and a population of about 150 villagers

1166: St. Mary's Church was built by the De Beauchamp family who had been given the Manor of Linslade by William the Conqueror following his victory at The Battle of Hastings in 1066

1251: Henry III granted to William de Beauchamp a charter for a weekly market at Linslade on Thursdays 13th Century: The Holy Well near the church attracted large numbers of pilgrims

1800: The Grand Junction Canal dug through the parish. By 1805 the canal was completed and passed through Linslade destroying the Holy Well. The Linslade Canal Bridge was built around 1800. The development of the canal had a stimulating effect on the development of Linslade as locally quarried sand could now be distributed along the can network. Three wharves to handle the trade were built on the west bank of the canal. New industry grew up alongside the canal, including several lime kilns and other small factories

1830: The Globe Inn started off as a Beer House

1838: The London North West Railway was completed after it had been diverted from Leighton Buzzard to the western side of the river in an area of Linslade

1840: The Railway Hotel built, originally called The Swan Inn it became known as The Railway Hotel in the 1870s

1843: Linslade Baptist Church opened

1845: The Linslade Canal Bridge was substantially reconstructed

1849: A new population had grown up around the area of the canal and railway and people were reluctant to travel the two miles to St. Mary's Church. So a new church, St. Barnabas was built across the meadow from the railway station in the area of New Linslade known as Chelsea. After the new church was built the old church was left standing as a mortuary chapel for the old churchyard, which remained in use as a burial ground. Also in this year the National School was built next to the church at a cost of 1,200

1861: Linslade Methodist Church built

1868-69: The church bells of the old church were transferred to St. Barnabas when the new church tower was built

1880c: The Gables, off the Wing Road was built by Henry Finch a wealthy London businessman

1881: An agreement was drawn up between the parish of Linslade and The Grand Junction Canal Company for the parish to widen the roadway over the Linslade Canal Bridge

1890: The Forster Institute at 1 Waterloo Road was built to replace the Parish Reading Room in New Road. The foundation stone was laid on the 11th June

1899: Major restoration of St. Mary's Church paid for by local businessman Henry Finch was carried out

1900c: The Martins, an exotic black and white house in the Chinese style, was built on the canal side by Gordon Cale Thomas, engineer to the Grand Junction Canal Company. In May 1916 Mr. Thomas was charged with embezzlement at Bow Street Police Court

1903: Memorial drinking fountain erected in August in memory of Henry Finch, the town's greatest benefactor

1920: On the 11th of November Linslade War Memorial was unveiled

1920c: The Gables became a Girls School which closed in 1969

1922: The Grand Cinema built, the cinema could seat 500 people. For a few months it was known as The Empire. The Grand was bought out by the owners of The Oriel Cinema and closed in 1932

1934: Foundry Equipment Ltd started manufacturing at its Linslade site, the company was founded in London in 1932

1946c: The Martins converted into flats which were demolished in 1971

1950: On the 21st May a tornado swept across the country. Over two hundred houses were damaged in Linslade with the worst affected areas being Old Road and New Road with many of the houses having their roofs completely ripped off

1955: Linslade War Memorial removed to the Memorial Gardens in Mentmore Road due to ever increasing traffic

1965:  Linslade and Leighton Buzzard were merged and by an Act of Parliament Linslade was transferred from Buckinghamshire to Bedfordshire. The Church Hall, refashioned from the old school, was opened on the 9th April

1982: Foundry Equipment Limited closes, the firm was based at Linslade Works. The driver of a London to Glasgow express train was killed when the train was derailed outside Linslade Tunnel on the 9th December

1991: The Leighton/Linslade bypass opened in November

1992: The Railway Hotel destroyed by fire in October

2008: In October the Post Office announced that Linslade Post Office would close within the next three months


  • The newspapers cuttings collection at Bedford Central Library
  • Dawson, Dick Lost villages of Bedfordshire, 2007
  • Pickford, Chris Bedfordshire Churches in the 19th Century. Bedfordshire Historical Record Society Vol.80, 2001
  • Brown, M & Masters, J. Around Leighton Buzzard and Linslade, 1998
  • Vickers, John. St. Barnabas Church Linslade: the first hundred years 1849-1949, 2006

Page last updated: 3rd February 2014