Southill, Bedfordshire

Southill, Bedfordshire

Southill is a village in Bedfordshire, England, about convert|5|mi|km|0 from Biggleswade.

The principal residence, Southill Park, was formerly the home of the Viscounts Torrington, but was bought at the end of the 18th century by Samuel Whitbread.

Sir John Byng is buried in All Saints Church.


In 1805, the village was described as follows: "SOUTH HILL, or SOUTHILL, (Bedf.) v [illage] dist [ance] from Shefford 2 m [iles] N [orth] which gives title of baron to Viscount Torrington, whose family seat is here. On a monument in the church is an inscription to the memory of the Hon. John Byng, Vice Admiral of the Blue, who fell a martyr to political persecution, March 14, 1757. Near it is Wardon, or De Sartes abbey, founded by Walter Espec, in 1135, for Cistercian monks. [Oulton, W.C. (1805) "The Traveller's Guide; or, English Itinerary", Vol II, p. 603. Ivy-Lane, London: James Cundee.]

In 1914, the village was described as follows: "Southill, parish and village with railway station (1½ miles north-west, Midland Railway), east Bedfordshire; parish 5734 acres, population 989, ecclesiastical district 954; village 3 miles south-west of Biggleswade; Post Office; Telegraph Office at station. In vicinity is Southill Park, seat". [ Bartholomew, J.G. (1914) "The Survey Gazetteer of the British Isles; Topographical, Statistical and Commercial, compiled from the 1911 census and the latest official returns", Edinburgh: John Bartholomew & Co.]

An event was held in the village in March 2007 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the execution of Admiral Byng, and a special "Admiral Byng" ale was brewed (by B&T Brewery Limited of Shefford) to mark the occasion.

The first mention of a post office in the village is in 1850. The post office national archives record the issue to Southill on 6 August 1850 of a type of postmark known as an undated circle. Rubber datestamps were issued in May 1889 and April 1895. [Mackay, James A. (1986) "Sub Office Rubber Datestamps of England and Wales", pp 340-341, Dumfries: published by the author, ISBN 0 906440 39 4] The village post office closed on 14 October 2008. It was one of about 2,500 compulsory compensated closures of UK post office branches announced by the Government in 2007. [ "Proposed branch closure" (2008) Leaflet issued by Post Office Ltd.]



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