Southill, Bedfordshire

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Post office and stores, Southill, Beds - - 172168.jpg
Post office, Southill
Grid reference: TL1542
Location: 52°3’50"N, 0°19’44"W
Population: 1,141  (2001)
Post town: Biggleswade
Postcode: SG18
Dialling code: 01462
Local Government
Council: Central Bedfordshire
Mid Bedfordshire

Southill is a village in Bedfordshire, about 5 miles from Biggleswade.

The grand house of the village is Southill Park, which was formerly the home of the Viscounts Torrington, but was bought at the end of the 18th century by Samuel Whitbread, the brewer.

Parish church

The parish church is All Saints. It contains a memorial to Admiral Sir John Byng, who is buried here. Byng was famously tried and convicted of dereliction of duty in 1757, for his failure in the defence of Minorca, and shot on his own quarterdeck.

The church contains some fine stained glass and the Whitbread pew, which belonged to the Whitbread family.


Southill is part of the Wixamtree Hundred.

In 1805, the village was described as follows:

"SOUTH HILL, or SOUTHILL, (Bedf.) village distance from Shefford 2 miles North 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.[1]

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".[2]

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.[3]

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Southill, Bedfordshire)


  1. Walley Chamberlain Oulton (1805) The Traveller's Guide; or, English Itinerary, Vol II, p. 603. Ivy-Lane, London: James Cundee.
  2. 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.
  3. 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