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Bolnhurst is located in Bedfordshire
 Bolnhurst shown within Bedfordshire
OS grid reference TL086597
Civil parish Bolnhurst and Keysoe
Unitary authority Bedford
Ceremonial county Bedfordshire
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BEDFORD
Postcode district MK44
Dialling code 01234
Police Bedfordshire
Fire Bedfordshire and Luton
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament North East Bedfordshire
List of places

Coordinates: 52°13′29″N 0°24′41″W / 52.22481°N 0.41151°W / 52.22481; -0.41151

Bolnhurst is a village in the Borough of Bedford in Bedfordshire, England, about eight miles north of Bedford itself, and eight miles west of St Neots. The village is part of the civil parish of Bolnhurst and Keysoe.

The village's name is derived from bula-hyrst, meaning "wooded hill where bulls are kept".[1]


Bolnhurst grew up around the main road between Bedford and Kimbolton. The village was listed as Bulehestre, or Bolehestre in the Domesday Book, during which time the manor was owned by the Abbot of Thorney in Cambridgeshire, and remained a property of the Abbey until the Dissolution of the Monasteries.[2]

Following inclosure of the parish in 1778, Arthur Young, despite never having visited the village, described Bolnhurst as:

a wet heavy bad country very disadvantageously circumstanced respecting roads, for every way around they are almost impassable... after inclosing fell into bad hands, they laid much of it down to grass in as bad order as possible, and it has continued so ever since in as rough and ill conditioned and unprofitable a state as can be well conceived... It should seem that corn has there been lessened without making amends for the loss by ample products of new grass.[3]


The church, built in the Early Decorated and Perpendicular styles and dedicated to Saint Dunstan, is located on higher ground away from the village itself. The oldest part of the present building is the chancel, dating from the first half of the 13th century. The nave and west tower were added in the 15th century. The tower houses four bells, two of which were made by John Dier in 1587.[2]

Village life[edit]

The village is home to The Plough public house, a building dating back to Tudor times.[4]

Since 1984 Bolnhurst has hosted an annual charity rally for tractors, cars and other vintage vehicles known as the Bolnhurst Vintage and Country Fayre.[5]


  1. ^ A. D. Mills (2003). A Dictionary of British Place-Names. 
  2. ^ a b "'Parishes: Bolnhurst', A History of the County of Bedford: Volume 3 (1912), pp. 124-128.". 
  3. ^ Arthur Young. Annals xlii. p. 41. 
  4. ^ "The Plough at Bolnhurst". 
  5. ^ "Bolnhurst Vintage & Country Fayre". 

External links[edit]