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The Cross Keys, Totternhoe - - 193401.jpg
The Cross Keys, Totternhoe
Grid reference: SP985215
Location: 51°53’2"N, 0°34’16"W
Population: 1,180  (2001)
Post town: Dunstable
Postcode: LU6
Dialling code: 01582 / 01525
Local Government
Council: Central Bedfordshire
South West Bedfordshire
Website: Totternhoe Online

Totternhoe is a village in the Manshead Hundred of Bedfordshire, in the south of the county near Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard.

Thisi is a place of ancient roots. The Totternhoe Knolls have been a fort for many peoples including Romans and Normans. Behind the knoll is a large chalk quarry producing Totternhoe Stone and here too are modern lime kilns.

The village is split in to a number of ends, and the parish had a population of 1,180 at the 2001 census. It has a small lower school, Totternhoe Lower School.

Totternhoe' has two public houses, The Old Farm Inn in Church End and The Cross Keys in Middle End. Another pub in Church End, The Bell, was converted into a private home in about 1992.


The village is long and thin and is separated into three parts:

  • Church End, closest to Dunstable, includes the school and a pub. This area of the village centres around the junction of three of the four main roads into the village: Church Road (leading to Eaton Bray), Dunstable Road and Castle Hill Road (leading to Leighton Buzzard). Dunstable Road becomes Castle Hill Road as one heads west.
  • Middle End has a recreation ground and a Scout Hut, next to where the old school used to be. One entrance to the Knolls is up past the Scout Hut.
  • Lower End, towards Leighton Buzzard, is where the quarry is. It is overlooked by the old fort on the Knoll.

The civil parish includes the foot of Dunstable Downs, where Bedfordshire's county top is to be found.

Parish church

St Giles's Church

The parish church is the Church of St Giles, which dates from the 13th century.

The church is built in stone from local quarries and has a fine exterior. "Flint-flushwork" decoration is used in the gable of the nave. Building began in the 14th century and was not completed until the 16th.[1]


In the parish is the site of Totternhoe Roman villa, built in the fourth century.

The Domesday Book of 1086 recorded the village as Totene Hou, meaning "look out spur", presumably describing forts on the Knoll.

Totternhoe's common lands were not enclosed until 1892.[2]

Sport, leisure and society

  • Cricket: Lancot Park, the home ground of Dunstable Cricket Club, built on farmland in the 1990s.
  • Football: Totternhoe F.C., who play at Church End recreation ground.
  • Scouts and Guides:
    • First Totternhoe Scouts
    • Totternhoe Guides
  • Totternhoe Memorial Hall]

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Totternhoe)


  1. Betjeman, John, ed.: 'Collins Pocket Guide to English Parish Churches; the South' (Collins, 1968); page 106
  2. Taylor, Christopher (1982) [1975]. Fields in the English Landscape. Archaeology in the Field Series. London: J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd. p. 153. ISBN 0-460-02232-6. 
  • Matthews, C. L.; Schneider, J. and Horne, B.: A Roman villa at Totternhoe' (Bedfordshire Archaeology, 20, 41-96, 1992