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Parish Church of St Peter - Church End Arlesey - - 72466.jpg
Parish Church of St Peter - Church End, Arlesey
Arlesey is located in Bedfordshire
Location within Bedfordshire
Population5,584 (2011 Census)[1]
OS grid referenceTL190357
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townARLESEY
Postcode districtSG15
Dialling code01462
FireBedfordshire and Luton
AmbulanceEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places
52°00′25″N 0°15′55″W / 52.0070°N 0.2654°W / 52.0070; -0.2654Coordinates: 52°00′25″N 0°15′55″W / 52.0070°N 0.2654°W / 52.0070; -0.2654

Arlesey (/ˈɑːrlzi/ ARL-zee) is a small town and civil parish in Bedfordshire. It is near the border with Hertfordshire, about three miles north-west of Letchworth Garden City, four miles north of Hitchin and six miles south of Biggleswade. Arlesey railway station provides services to London, Stevenage and Peterborough. The Domesday Book mentions Arlesey.[2][3][4][5]


The population of Arlesey was 5,584 in 2,344 households in the 2011 census.[6] In the census of 2011, 94.0% of people described themselves as white, 2.2% as having mixed or multiple ethnic groups, 2.9% as being Asian or British Asian, and less than 1.0% as having another ethnicity.[7] In the same census, 55.8% described themselves as Christian, 34.6% described themselves as having no religion, 6.8% did not specify a religion, 1.2% described themselves as Sikh, and 1.7% described themselves as having a different religion.[8]

Culture and community[edit]

Arlesey Old Moat and Glebe Meadows, adjacent to Arlesey railway station, is a nature reserve managed by the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire, together with Arlesey Conservation for Nature.

The Arlesey Bomb fishing weight was developed by angler Dick Walker to catch specimen perch from the local chalk pits.[9]


Arlesey had a thriving brick making industry through to the mid twentieth century. As of 1900 there were five brickworks around the town. They were known for the Arlesey White bricks produced from Gault clay.[10] Bricks have not been produced there since 1992. Some clay pits have been used for landfill and others are now lakes. On the south east side of the town there were two chalk pits operated by the Portland Cement Company. The Blue Lagoon is now used for sailing and the Green Lagoon for fishing.

Religious sites[edit]

St Peter's Church in Church End was built in the 12th century by the monks of Waltham Abbey. Arlesey was also the site of Etonbury Castle, of which little trace remains. There is also a Methodist church in Arlesey.

Notable residents[edit]

Arlesey at war, 1939–1945[edit]

Halifax Bomber crash[edit]

On 19 December 1943[11][12] a Handley Page Halifax belonging to 138 Squadron was in a collision with a chimney at Arlesey Brickworks.

The aircraft BB364 (NF-R) had left its base at RAF Tempsford on a training mission.

The crew of nine perished in the subsequent crash.

Hudson crash[edit]

On 28 March 1944[12][13] a Lockheed Hudson belonging to 161 Squadron RAF crashed on the Arlesey to Stotfold road killing the crew.

The aircraft FK767 had left its base at RAF Tempsford on a training flight.


The town's football team is Arlesey Town, who play at Hitchin Road. The town also has a Basketball team called North Herts Knights


  1. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  2. ^ The entry reads: Alricesei(a)/eie: Bishop of Durham; Bernard from William d'Eu; Herfast; from Nigel d'Aubigny; Wulfsi. 3 mills.
  3. ^ Plea Rolls of the Court of Common Pleas; National Archives; CP 40 / 677;; first entry
  4. ^ Plea Rolls of the Court of Common Pleas; National Archives; CP 40/629, year 1418;; 4th entry, third line
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Area: Arlesey (Parish), Key Figures for 2011 Census". Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  7. ^ "Area: Arlesey (Parish), Ethnic Group". Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  8. ^ "Area: Arlesey (Parish), Religion". Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  9. ^ Arlesey lake Retrieved 22 May 2009 Archived 30 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "The Locations and Names of Five Brickworks at Arlesey featuring 30 old photos". Arcangelo Lombari. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
  11. ^ Bedfordshire Aicrew - RAF Tempsford, Roll of Honour (website accessed 15.07.10) Archived 16 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ a b National Archives (website accessed 15.07.10
  13. ^ RAF Tempsford aircrew - Roll of Honour (website accessed 15.07.10) Archived 30 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]