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Caddington Church

Caddington Church
All Saints church seen from the south in March 2007

Bedfordshire County Council Historic Environment Officer Stephen Coleman, in his study of Caddington and Kensworth, published in 1985 noted that Caddington Manor had its own chapel at Caddington Bury which was noted in an ecclesiastical survey of 1181, the vicar serving there for three days a week when the manor was occupied. The survey of 1181 also noted a vicarage at Caddington and glebe amounting to ten customary acres, though in 1297 [CRT130CAD4/2] this had decreased to six acres, increasing again to 12 acres 3 roods of arable during the 16th century - seven acres of this lay just north of the church, half an acre in Millhill Close and the remainder scattered in large common fields throughout the parish.

Z49-793 Caddington church in the 19th century 
Caddington church in the 19th century [Z49/793]

Caddington church is dedicated to All Saints and is a medieval building, the earliest surviving parts may be Anglo-Saxon (unusually early for the majority of Bedfordshire churches) and dating to the eleventh century. The next oldest part is the south doorway, Norman work of about 1200 and therefore new in the day of the first recorded vicar, Richard de Greneforde (Greenford). The bulk of the church dates to the late 13th and early 14th centuries with considerable additions (tower and aisle to the north chapel) in the 15th. The church was extensively restored by Ewan Christian in 1875 and 1876 when the chancel was rebuilt, the whole fabric restored, the church reseated and a vestry added to the north side of the chancel. A further restoration took place in 1928 and 1929. The church contains a brass to John Hawtt alias Cryscyan (died 1505) and Elizabeth his wife and one to Edward Dormer (died 1523) and his two wives, Johan and Elizabeth. The six bells range in date from 1782 to 1881. Woodside, a hamlet of Caddington, became a separate ecclesiastical parish in 1892 on completion of its new church, St.Andrew, begun in 1890.

Most of the notes on the structural history of the church can be found in greater detail in Bedfordshire Historical Record Society Volume number 73 of 1994 Bedfordshire Churches in the Nineteenth Century: Part I: parishes A to G, put together by former County Archivist Chris Pickford from numerous sources some held by Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service and some held elsewhere or published.

 Z1130-28-8-1 Caddington church seen from the east about 1900
Caddington church seen from the east about 1900 [Z1130/28/8/1]


The first description of the vicarage is in 1708 [CRT130CAD4/5] and is as follows: "The Vicarage House of Cadington hath a Court yard before it forty roods square fenced with Oaken boards Seven foot high which leads up to a hall with a Closet in it. The Chamber over the hall hath two Closets. All the floors were lately laid with Deal. Under the Hall there is a cellar sixteen foot square. The Hall leads into a parlour fourteen foot square with a Closet in it both floored with Deal, a Chamber over it and a Closet in it. Betwixt the Hall and Parlour there is a Passage floord with Deale leading to a Stair case. Under it there is a pantry paved with white bricks, a Kitchen and Brewhouse paved with brick, a Chamber over the Kitchen floord with Oaken boards, the Chamber over the Brewhouse floord with Deal. A Woodhouse consisting of two Bays; a Stable of one Bay; a Barn of three Bays, all adjoining to each other; the lower stort brick walls between the studds, the upper story boarded. All the house and out houses are tiled. There is a Garden on the backside of the Parlour containing near a Rood of ground. There is in it a Necessary house [i.e. toilet] with a Brickt body and well tiled". The property stood south-west of the churchyard adjoining Chaul End Road and was demolished in 1812 and a new vicarage built on the same site, designed by the vicar John Priddon.

The new vicarage was described in a glebe terrier of 1822 [FAC35/11] as: "One substantial brick and tile dwelling house in length twenty four feet, in breadth thirty-six feet, containing on the base Floor a Kitchen, Coal cellar, Dust bin, Scullery, dairy, Beer and Wine Cellar; on the Ground Floor a large Parlour, a dining Parlour, a Study, Staircase and Passage and Recess; on the first Floor, three Bed Chambers, a Library, a Store room; on the Second or Attic Story three Bed-Chambers, a Store loft and Store Closets"

The third vicarage was built in 1865 on demolition of Rev.Pridden's building. This vicarage was rated in 1927 under the 1925 Rating Valuation Act, the valuer found the net value of the living to be £360 per annum. The vicarage contained a drawing room (15 by 14ft), dining room (12 by 14ft), study (18 by 14½ft), kitchen, pantry, bathroom, scullery and wc downstairs with three bedrooms and a servant's bedroom above; outside were a stable and coachhouse, lumber room, barn and earth closet as well as a lawn and woods; water came from a pump in the yard. The Vicar also owned the adjoining bungalow called The Lodge occupied by J.S.Reed together with its allotment. This vicarage was demolished in 1970 and another built close by, the old site being used for housing [P35/2/4/4-6].

 West End of Caddington Church
west end of Caddington church March 2007

List of Vicars of Caddington

  • William de Gudnay;
  • Richard de Greneforde - 1220;
  • Roger, Archdeacon of Colchester - 1226;
  • John Belesmeins - 1228 [subdeacon];
  • Theobald of Milan;
  • Henry de Cornhill - 1229;
  • William;
  • John de [...] - 1248 [capellanus; on ingress of William late Vicar into religion];
  • Thomas de Laxton - 6 Mar 1890 [capellanus; on resignation of John de Stokes];
  • William de Grauele - 27 Feb 1327 [priest; on death of Thomas];
  • Richard atte Seler - 19 May 1370 [priest; on death of William de Grauele];
  • William;
  • Richard Bowode - 15 May 1395 [priest; on death of William];
  • Richard Worthyng [capellanus; on death of Richard Bowode];
  • William Stretele - 21 Dec 1409 [capellanus; on resignation of Richard Worthynge, exchanged to Creslowe, Lincolnshire diocese];
  • Robert Lety - 16 Feb 1420 [priest; on resignation of William Stretle];
  • John Bukby;
  • John White - 2 Aug 1443 [priest; on death of John Bukby];
  • Thomas Horne;
  • John Tapitt - 30 Nov 1459 [capellanus; on resignation of Thomas Horne];
  • ohn Laster - 31 Dec 1477 [on resignation of John White, last vicar];
  • Thomas Elston - 27 Aug 1510 [capellanus; on resignation of John Lyston. Pension of iii xs.];
  • Richard Mertyndale - 15 Apr 1547 [capellanus; on death of Thomas Elmeston];
  • William Pulleyne - 24 Mar 1552;
  • John Parrot - 4 Jul 1554;
  • John Foster - 26 Nov 1557;
  • John Wrighte - 22 Aug 1560 [clerk; on resignation of John Jones, clerk];
  • Maurice Penyall - 14 Mar 1560 [clerk; vacant];
  • Richard Roberts - [B.A., buried 1 Feb 1609];
  • Richard White - 10 Mar 1609 [M.A., will dated 7 Oct 1640, proved 22 Nov 1640, buried 15 Oct 1640; wife, Ann];
  • John Firmin - 18 Mar 1640 [clerk];
  • John Shirman;
  • Joseph Draper - 14 Sep 1661 [will dated 21 Feb 1666, proved 31 Mar 1666];
  • Edward Gibson - 18 May 1666 [M.A., on death of Joseph Draper, clerk];
  • Edward Bowerman - 21 Oct 1690 [M.A., on death of Edward Gibson];
  • John Biby - 14 Jul 1703 [M.A.; on resignation of Edward Bowerman];
  • William Hatfield - 8 Dec 1729 [M.A.; on death of John Biby];
  • Thomas Scott - 23 Dec 1750 [M.A.; Jesus College, Cambridge; not vicar - ordained priest to cure of church];
  • Weldon Champnes - 4 Apr 1767 [B.A.; on death of William Hatfield];
  • Weldon Champnes - 3 Mar 1778 [M.A.; on cessation of said Champnes];
  • John Gibbons - 6 Aug 1795 [M.A.; on cessation of Welden Champneys];
  • John Pridden - 27 Dec 1797 [M.A., on death of John Gibbons];
  • William Ives - 25 Apr 1825 [on death of John Pridden];
  • William Mellard - 2 Jun 1829 [M.A.; on cessation of William Ives];
  • Thomas Prescott - 7 Jul 1862 [M.A.; on death of William Mellard];
  • Thomas Bates - 17 Aug 1889 [M.A.; on death of Thomas Prescott];
  • William Feltrim Sullivan Duckworth - Jan 1911;
  • Robert Precival Waugh - 1925;
  • Francis Neville Greaves - Jan 1928;
  • William George Henry Ward - Jan 1939;
  • Reginald Bridle - Dec 1940;
  • Ernest. Rutter - Jul 1946;
  • Henry Robert Victor Foster - Apr 1950;
  • Kenneth Charles Habermehl - 1956;
  • David Arthur Clendon - 1965;
  • Basil George Alexander - 1972;
  • Austin John Denyer Smith - 1979