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Places > Sandy

Prehistoric Period: Earthworks on Galley Hill in Sandy form a univallate (a single encircling rampart) hillfort of the Iron Age period.  A second hillfort known as Caesar's Camp lays approximately 1 km to the north and a third, The Lodge, lays 150m to the east.  Three hillforts in close proximity is a rare occurrence. A cursus monument - the Biggleswade Cursus - would have been visible from Galley Hill (Albion Archaeology, 2006)

Roman Period: During the Roman occupation of Britain there was a small Roman settlement in Sandy and excavations have revealed human remains and objects from the period.

1086: The Domesday Survey records that Eudo Dapifer holds the Manor of Sandy. On his death it passed to the Beauchamp family who continued to hold the Manor until the fourteenth century.

14th Century: St. Swithun's Church founded.

1538: Parish registers started.

1670: Monoux Family move from London to live in Sandye Place. They became Justices of the Peace and served as trustees for the turnpike road.

1671: Population totals 736 persons.

1770: "The parish of Sandy near Northill is much noted for its gardens; there are above 150 acres of land occupied by many is a rich, loose, black sand of a good depth, and very favourable protected from adverse winds by several considerable hills." (Arthur Young from Six Months' Tour through the North of England, 1770)

1801: Population totals 1115.

1811: Population totals 1122.

1821: Population totals 1393.

1831: Population totals 1617.

1838: The Lord Nelson Public House licensed.

1840: A Free School for Girls built and supported by Sir Francis Pym.

1840: "Owing to the sandy nature of the soil, cucumbers are cultivated in the open air in such abundance that Covent Garden Market, London, is almost wholly supplied with that vegetable from this place." (S. Lewis from Topographical Dictionary of England, 1840)

1841: Population totals 1906.

1851: Population totals 1946.

1851: The 'Swiss Cottage' at Sandy Lodge built by Captain William Peel, the son of Prime Minister William Peel.

1861: Population totals 2118.

1861: Church of St. Swithun restored and enlarged at a cost of 3,300.

1862: Sandy to Potton line taken over by the Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Railway.

1869: St. Swithun's School founded.  It was opened as a National Society School in buildings on St. Neots Road.

1869 - 1877: Right Hon. Arthur Wellesley Peel P.C., M.P., D.L., J.P., D.C.L. (Oxford), Speaker of the House of Commons builds Sandy Lodge in 200 acres of grounds. It was designed by the architect Henry Clutton who also designed Shuttleworth College (Pevsner, 1968).

1871: Population totals 2482.

1881: Population totals 2662.

1881: The first fire station built in Sandy at 10 Cambridge Road on land given by Francis Pym.

1886: The Mission Church is erected in London Road at a cost of 800.

1887: Baptist Church built in Bedford Road at a cost of 2,000 (the original congregation dated back however to 1701).

1889: A Burial Board formed on 25th October to decide on the location of a cemetery site.

1891: Population totals 2755.

1891: Cemetery opened in Potton Road, a chapel was erected in 1892 at a cost of 580.

1891: Sandy and District Conservative Club built in Bedford Road.

1895: Sandy Parish Council created.

1901: Population totals 3110.

1905: Sandy Council School (later Laburnum Lower School) opened.

1906: Town Hall (later the Roundabout Club) built.

1907: Floods hit the town and cut it off from many surrounding areas.

1909: Sandy Albion FC formed.

1910: Primitive Methodist Chapel built in St. Neots Road at a cost of 1,000.

1911: Population totals 3377.

1921: Population totals 3409.

1921: The Bedfordshire Times and Independent records the unveiling of the Sandy war memorial "On Sunday, Sandy paid tribute to its hundred and eleven sons who made the great sacrifice".  The parish church memorial was unveiled by the Duke of Bedford and dedicated by the Rev. Canon J.H. Speck.  It took the form of a small stained glass window of two lights in the church.  The figures represented are Courage and Victory.  The window was executed by Percy Bacon Ltd. (Bedfordshire Times and Independent, January 14th 1921, p.10)

1927: The Bedfordshire (Sandy Urban District) Confirmation Order creates an Urban District on 1st April governed by 12 members.

1928: Gunns Bakery opens in Old London Road.  It was based here until 1967 when it moved to the Market Square.

1931: Population totals 3140.

1934: Sandy Lodge sold by the Peel family to Sir Malcolm Stewart, chairman of the London Brick Company.

1939: Children from Hornsey evacuated to Sandy.  The head teacher of St. Swithun's School found places for 140 evacuees.

1951: Population totals 3667.

1954: The fire station moves from Cambridge Road to Ivel Road.

1961: Population totals 3963.

1961: RSPB buys Sandy Lodge for 20,000.

1967: Sandy and District Amateur Boxing Club formed.

1968/69: Everton Park built.  The gardens were designed by Geoffrey Jellicoe.

1970: Prince Charles visits the RSPB

1971: Population totals 5377.

1974: Sandy Upper School and Community College opened with 154 pupils.

1982: Sandy twins with the French town of Malaunay.

1985: The Red Lion public house on the Market Square demolished.

1987: The new St. Swithun's Lower School buildings open on what was part of Sandy Middle School.  The original school - situated in St. Neots Road - was founded in 1869.

1989: Archaeological work starts on Sandy cemetery.  Many Roman remains including human skeletons and animal bones were found.  One particularly important find was a sculpture showing three figures in Roman dress.

1994: Girtford Bridge closed for strengthening and renovation work.

1995: Trevor Brooking visits Sandy to open the town's all weather sports pitch.

2000: Maple Tree Lower School opens.

2001: Sandy Albion FC and Sandy Town FC amalgamate to form Sandy Football Club. Danisco Plant closes in December.

2002: The Sandy Summer Festival organisers announce that due to lack of support there will be not be a Festival in 2003. The Festival has been in existence for over 30 years.

2006: Meller Beauty closes its manufacturing factory in October.


  • Albion Archaeology, Galley Hill Hillfort, Sandy, Bedfordshire, 2006
  • Pevsner, Nikolaus, Bedfordshire, Huntingdonshire and Peterborough, 1968

Page last updated: 4th February 2014