Hundred of Willey
The Hundred of Willey is a historical land division, a hundred in northwest corner of Bedfordshire, England. Its northwestern boundary is the county border with Northamptonshire, and its southwestern boundary the border with Buckinghamshire. Some of its parishes and settlements lay on the River Great Ouse which flows through the hundred.
The hundred of Willey was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 and included the parishes of: Carlton, Chellington, Farndish, Felmersham with Radwell, Harrold, Odell, Podington with Hinwick, Sharnbrook, Thurleigh, Turvey, and Wymington.
Later the hundred added the parishes of Biddenham, Bletsoe, Bromham, Pavenham, Stagsden, and Stevington from the ancient hundred of Buckelowe and the parish of Souldrop (near Bletsoe). In 1934 the parishes of Carlton and Chellington merged to become one parish, Carlton with Chellington. Farndish also ceased to be its own parish and was absorbed into the Podington with Hinwick parish.
What was later the northeast corner of the Hundred of Willey was previously the Half Hundred of Bucklow, it had long been associated with the Hundred of Willey and became absorbed into it in 1831, causing it to gain some of the extra parishes. In the 13th century the two were royal hundreds recorded as The bailiwick of Wilie and half bailiwick of Bukkelowe. A man named Hugh de Willey was recorded as The keeper of the bailiwick of Wilie and half bailiwick of Bukkelowe, at his death in 1278 his son Roger succeeded him; making the title appear hereditary.
Although there are many small settlements the majority of land in the hundred remains rural and is still used for farming. There is a railway line running close to the northeast border, however some stations on this line are now closed such as Sharnbrook closed in 1960. Today the area of the Hundred of Willey is within the Borough of Bedford.
The hundred contained the following parishes: