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Places > Westoning

14th Century: The chancel, nave, south porch and aisles of the present church were built in the 14th century but some 12th century carved stones from the previous building have been built into the masonry. In the 15th century the west tower was added. The 13th century font is from the earlier church.

1532: The original building of The Bell Public House constructed. It was some considerable time before the building became a licensed premises.

1660: In the hamlet of Samsell John Bunyan was arrested on the 12th November for preaching and taken to Harlington Manor. He was tried and imprisoned in Bedford gaol.

18th Century: During this century the Chequers Public House was built.

1835: The Baptist Church built.

1843: Westoning Manor built when the old Manor House was pulled down. "Red brick, Jacobean, with shaped porch gable" (Pevsner, 1968)

1846: The village school opened. The school was closed in 1913 when a new school was built in the High Street. The old school became the new village hall.

1857: The church was completely restored under William Slater at a cost of 1757. The works involved repairs of the stonework and roofs, a new roof on the chancel, the addition of a vestry and a new stair turret on the tower.

1863: The Methodist Church built.

1894: Brickworks opened by B.J.Forder. The works closed in 1906. The works are said to have closed because the clay proved unsuitable but it is more likely that Forder's preferred to concentrate on their Fletton works at Elstow and Stewartby.

c1896: The Red Lion Public House closes.

1897: The clock tower built by Major Coventry Campion to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria.

1933: By The South Bedfordshire Order a part of Harlington was added to Westoning.

1937: Seamarks Coaches came to Westoning on the 10th April. Over the years the company continued to expand; this resulted in a much larger garage being built in Dunstable Road, Luton in 1948. As a consequence the main operation of the business moved away from the village. Members of the family continued to live in the village until 1994 when the house and garage were sold.

1950c: The Hop Bine Public House closes in the late 1950s.

1970: Westoning Manor opened as the first MacIntyre School for mentally handicapped children with five children as its first pupils.

1976: On Saturday September 11th shortly after 7.00am a tanker loaded with 5,000 gallons of petrol crashed and exploded in the High Street. In the firestorm that swept the High Street, seven homes including three shops were destroyed but no lives were lost, "it was a miracle" said a police observer.

1989: The New Baptist Church opened in October, it was built on the old car park next to the old church (which was converted into the church hall).

1995: The Phoenix Independent School opened on September 7th. (Bedfordshire on Sunday,  24th September).


  • Newspaper articles in The Local Studies Library at Bedford Central Library.
  • Victoria County History of Bedfordshire 3 Vols. 1912.
  • PICKFORD, Christopher  Bedfordshire Churches in the 19th Century Vol.79 Bedfordshire Historical Record Society. 2000.
  • The Parish of Westoning Chronicle 2002.  2002.

Page last updated: 4th February 2014