A History of the County of Bedford: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1912.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
Salford is a small parish of about 975 acres, of which 451 are arable land and 469 permanent grass. (fn. 1) The slope of the ground, which varies little, is from west to east. The soil is gravel and loam, the subsoil gravel. The principal crops produced are wheat, oats, barley, peas and beans. The parish is watered by a tributary of the Ouzel, and has 28 acres of woods and plantations, Salford Wood in the north being of some extent.
The village of Salford is situated in the south-east of the parish. Adjoining the church is the Manor Farm, a pleasant building dating from the early 19th century. The cottages which compose the village are for the most part half-timbered with thatched roofs. Salford Mill, which marked the site of a much older building, was recently destroyed by fire, the house adjoining which is a half-timbered structure with thatched roof. Salford has a Wesleyan chapel built in 1814.
The parish was inclosed by Act of Parliament in 1807–8. (fn. 2)
In 1086 Hugh de Beauchamp held a 5-hide manor in Salford which included a mill worth 9s. 4d. and woodland for 150 swine. His predecessor was Turchil, a thegn of King Edward. (fn. 3) The overlordship of the manor was attached to the barony of Bedford (q.v.) and was held by John de Steyngreve in 1275 (fn. 4) and William de Patishull in 1366. (fn. 5)
No tenant of Hugh is mentioned at Domesday, but this manor was early held by a family who assumed the name de Salford. Nigel de Salford, the first of whom mention has been found, was a 12th-century benefactor of Newnham Priory. (fn. 6) His son, Hugh de Salford, had succeeded his father by 1199, in which year Walter son of Gregory quitclaimed a virgate of land to him in this parish. (fn. 7) His name also appears in the Newnham cartulary, as does that of his son Nigel, who held one fee of the barony of Bedford c. 1240. (fn. 8) John de Salford, probably his son, held in this parish between 1275 and 1303, being succeeded at the latter date by his son Nigel de Salford. (fn. 9) Hugh brother of Nigel acknowledged in 1312 the latter's claim to Salford Manor, (fn. 10) which was held in 1346 by Peter de Salford, who received a grant of free warren here in 1353. (fn. 11) He was still holding in 1366, (fn. 12) and is the last member of his family of whom mention has been found in Salford. In 1428 this manor is described as late belonging to Ankareta, who was wife of Thomas Drakelowe, and whom it has not been found possible to identify. (fn. 13) At this date Oliver Groos and other trustees relinquished their rights to Thomas Widville and others. (fn. 14) Ten years later All Souls College, Oxford, was founded and endowed by Archbishop Chicheley, and this manor, together with Weedon Pinkney, appears to have formed part of the early endowment of the college, to which it belongs at the present day. (fn. 15) Robert Hoveden, warden of the college, brought an action against Robert Johnson c. 1558 complaining that the latter, acting as his steward, had been entrusted with certain rentals that he might keep the courts of Salford Manor and now refused to deliver them to their rightful owner. (fn. 16) All Souls has been in the habit of leasing the manor-house and lands, which were held by the Langfords and Pedders in the 16th and 17th centuries. (fn. 17) In 1662 Thomas Hackett appears to have acquired the lease, (fn. 18) which his family still retained in 1722 when the trustees of Nicholas Hackett were negotiating a transfer on behalf of his daughter and only child Elizabeth Carew. (fn. 19) The manor-house is now used as a farm in the occupation of Barnard Charnock Sturges.
The church of ST. MARY THE VIRGIN has a chancel 24 ft. 6 in. by 14 ft. 2 in., the oldest details of which belong to the 13th century. It has a modern north vestry (1900). The nave, 47 ft. by 16 ft., and the south aisle 7 ft. 10 in. wide, date from the last quarter of the 13th century. There is a north porch. On the west gable of the nave is a wooden frame for three bells, quite modern, which succeeded a low masonry tower apparently of the 18th century, shown in Fisher's drawing of the church (1813) and elsewhere. The building has been considerably repaired in modern times, but much old work has survived. The three-light east window of the chancel with net tracery is of c. 1330, as is a low side window at the north-west, a rather wide trefoiled light, and the trefoiled piscina recess is of the same date, but the oldest feature is the south-west door, which is plain 13th-century work of earlier character than anything else in the church, and suggesting a date in the first half of the century for the building of the chancel. The chancel arch, which is a good deal repaired, is contemporary with the south arcade of the nave, which is of four bays with quatrefoiled piers, moulded capitals and arches of two chamfered orders with labels, c. 1280. The capitals of the responds are well preserved, but those of the three piers are too small for the arches and the shafts, and have probably been cut down to their present shape by way of repair. The nave has two north windows of c. 1300 repaired, one of two trefoiled lights with a pierced spandrel, the other of three uncusped lancets. The west window is of three uncusped lights, with three flattened circles in the head, a good specimen of early tracery, though somewhat repaired.
The porch is of wood on low masonry walls, and was largely repaired in 1633, as appears by a date on one rafter, but a good deal of the construction is older, and a beam now resting on the roof timbers is of peculiar interest, having a line of dog-tooth ornament cut on its lower edge, and a rose, a star and a heart-shaped leaf panel. It seems to be of 13thcentury date, and may be a relic of an original porch contemporary with the church.
There is a coffin-lid in the sill of the north-east window of the nave, which is of early 14th-century date, and has on it a cross and the inscription '[Vous ke pa]sses par ici prie pur la alme Jon Polein ke Deus eit [merci].'
In a modern recess in the north wall of the chancel is the top of a 15th-century tomb, probably meant to lie as a floor slab; on it are a cross and sword with a shield bearing a cheveron on which are three escallops. The slab is about 10 in. thick and has a moulded edge, beneath which are carved similar shields and flowers alternately, and the heraldry is repeated at one end. There can be little doubt that it is a memorial of a Salford. At the west end of the nave is a similar slab, having on it a sword to which is hung a shield charged with a saltire engrailed. In the aisle floor are brasses of John Peddar, 1505, and his wife Alys, and their children, six sons and four daughters; the inscription belonging to the figures is now in the vestry. There are several inscriptions to the Woodward family, the earliest being to Robert Woodward, 1629, and Mary Woodward, 1638.
Salford Church was granted to Newnham Priory by Nigel de Salford in the 12th century, (fn. 20) and was confirmed to the prior by various members of the family, and by the Crown in 1317. (fn. 21) In 1291 it was valued at £4 6s. 8d., (fn. 22) and at the Dissolution at £7 16s. 3d. (fn. 23) The advowson, with which was included the rectory, was retained by the Crown till 1587, when it was granted to Edward Downing, a well-known fishing grantee. (fn. 24) From him it passed shortly after to Robert Barber alias Grigg, who together with his brother Thomas sold the advowson to John Langford, c. 1597. (fn. 25) The latter presented in 1605, (fn. 26) and died seised twenty years later, when his son Robert was his heir. (fn. 27) Christian Langford, the widow of Robert, presented in 1642 and 1646, and Robert Langford, a member of the same family, in 1661. (fn. 28) In 1664 it had passed to Thomas Hackett and Elizabeth his wife, who transferred it at that date to Thomas Sickling. (fn. 29) By 1690 the advowson had passed to Sir Villiers Chernock, bart., (fn. 30) and henceforward followed the same descent as Holcot (q.v.), with which it was united in 1750. (fn. 31) The right of presentation at the present day is vested in Mrs. Chernock Smith.
The town land consists of 3 acres or thereabouts awarded on an inclosure in 1807 in lieu of dispersed lands in the open fields immemorially under the management of the minister and churchwardens. The charity is regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 14 July 1868, the income of which, amounting to £14 a year or thereabouts, is applicable mainly for educational purposes in connexion with the school. (fn. 32)
An annuity of £5 is received from the Bursar of New College, Oxford, charged by the will of Dr. Woodward, dated 4 June 1675, on a farm at Brightwell, Herts., for binding out of poor children apprentices, born in the parish of Salford, male or female.