History of the Parish of Marston Moreteyne
The acreage of this Parish is larger than most in Bedfordshire, being 4,290 acres. The soil and subsoil are clay, which has proved to be very useful in the manufacture of bricks.
The greater part of the Parish is well below 200ft and in the extreme East barely rises above 130ft. The village is placed on level ground, but in the North West the land rises to a ridge over 340ft. Farms are numerous and often mark the sites of ancient manors. Among the most characteristic names are Manor and Moat. The only considerable piece of woodland in the Parish is Marston Thrift, about 12 acres in extent close to Wood End.
The population is scattered among the various hamlets - Caulcott, Lower Shelton, Upper Shelton, part of Wootton Green, Roxhill, Wood End, Millbrook and Church End which together make up Marston Moreteyne.
A railway line runs through the outskirts from Bletchley through to Bedford and is served by a station close to Millbrook.
Principal buildings are the Church, Church End, Forest End and Shelton lower schools, Methodist chapels are now closed. The disturbed ground to the South of the Church suggests the site of the former village, a theory supported by the fact that the painting of St. Christopher (which is no longer visible) on the wall of the North aisle could only be seen immediately upon entering the Church through the South Porch, which was no doubt the principal entrance. Opposite the rectory grounds, on the West side of the road is the ancient Manor House, built of half timber and brick, entirely surrounded by a moat that still holds plenty of water. The front of this building is a beautiful example of early 16th century work.
In a field to the South of the village, now part of the Millennium Park, is a stone connected with a local tradition of a visit from the Devil. The popular story is that a farmer was playing at ‘jumps’ (probably another name for leapfrog) on the Sabbath, when the Devil took a leap from the Church tower and, alighting on the stone, jumped with the offending party into eternity. So take heed, if you find the stone, whatever you do, DO NOT JUMP OFF IT!
To download a copy of D W Bushby's 1975 publication titled "Field Names at Marston Moreteine Bedfordshire please click here. This document is 16MB so may take some time to download.
Old Photos of Marston can be found here
History of some of the street names in Marston can be found here
Other sites with history of Marston Moreteyne.
War Memorial - Roll of Honour