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AilesburyMausoleum Maulden Bedfordshire.jpg
Ailesbury Mausoleum
Grid reference: TL048377
Location: 52°1’48"N, 0°28’12"W
Population: 2,900  (2001)
Post town: Bedford
Postcode: MK45
Dialling code: 01525
Local Government
Council: Central Bedfordshire
Mid Bedfordshire

Maulden is a small village in Bedfordshire, a mile and half east of Ampthill and about 8 miles south of Bedford. It is a place of about 1,100 homes and 2,900 residents according to the 2001 census, though the number of people in the village has increased with a new housing development of some 46 new houses.

Maulden is referred to in the Domesday Book as Meldone and the meanings ascribed to the various versions of the name include "cross on the hill", "high down" and "place of meeting".

Parish Church

St Mary The Virgin

The parish church is St Mary the Virgin. It stands on the Greensand Ridge to one side of the village main road. It has a mediæval tower, but the rest of the church is Victorian.

In 1824 the church consisted of the tower, a nave with a very low roof (it was reported in the Bedford Mercury of October 1858 that during a heavy downpour it was difficult to hear the sermon), a chancel with a slightly higher roof, a north aisle and gallery. This gallery was quite large, and because of the low roof came down to only two feet above the tops of the pews underneath, as well as blocking the light from two of the windows. The pews, some of which faced different ways, provided seating for 248, plus 40 in the gallery. There was no south aisle and no vestry. There was a south entrance with a porch, and a doorway in the north wall, next to the passageway to the Ailesbury mausoleum. The bell tower is in active use and includes a mechanical Westminster "chime" which is a distinctive sound in the village.

In the churchyard stands a 17th-century mausoleum and crypt known as the Ailesbury Mausoleum. The original mausoleum was built by Thomas, Earl of Elgin, in memory of his second wife Diana, daughter of the Earl of Stamford. The mausoleum and crypt are sometimes open to visitors during the summer months.

About the village

  • The White Hart, a 17th Century thatched building,[1]
  • The Dog & Badger
  • Primary school
  • Two small industrial estates to the south east of the village (primarily agricultural)
  • Recreation ground


In former days, many of the women of Maulden were employed in lacemaking and straw plaiting. There were some sandstone quarries. A pleasure fair was held in the week nearest to St Bartholomew's Day.

The living was a rectory, valued in the King's books at £15.9.7; net income £512; patron, the Marquess of Ailesbury. The tithes were commuted for land and a corn rent, under an act of enclosure in 1796. The church, principally in the latter English style, was, with little intermixture, completely restored in 1837. There were places of worship for Baptists and Methodists.[2]

Surrounding scenery

Maulden is surrounded by arable land and rolling pasture hills to the west, allotments and more arable land to the south, and hilly pasture to the east. To the northeast, Maulden Wood stretches over to the ancient road, the A6. Directly north lies Kings Wood and to the Northwest is Houghton House on the Bedfordshire Greensand Ridge Path.

Big Society

  • Amateur dramatics: Maulden Players

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Maulden)


  1. [1] White Hart
  2. A Topographical Dictionary of England – Samuel Lewis – 1831