Barton-le-Clay village sign 2.JPG

The village sign
Barton-le-Clay, Bedfordshire
Barton-le-Clay is located in Bedfordshire
Location within Bedfordshire
Population5,000 (2002 est.)
4,992 (2011 Census)[1]
OS grid referenceTL082310
Civil parish
  • Barton-le-Clay
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBedford
Postcode districtMK45
Dialling code01582
FireBedfordshire and Luton
AmbulanceEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°58′01″N 0°25′27″W / 51.9669°N 0.4241°W / 51.9669; -0.4241Coordinates: 51°58′01″N 0°25′27″W / 51.9669°N 0.4241°W / 51.9669; -0.4241

Barton-le-Clay is a large village and a civil parish in the Central Bedfordshire Borough in Bedfordshire, England, bordering Hertfordshire. The village has existed since at least 1066 and is mentioned in the Domesday Book.


Ancient history

To the southwest of the town, across the A6 is Sharpenhoe Clappers, an Iron Age hill fort.

The Barton Domesday Book entry in Latin and English
The Barton Domesday Book entry in Latin and English

The Domesday Book

Barton-Le-Clay Domesday Book entry, taken from 210d 2.

In FLITT Hundred M. The Abbot also holds Barton (in-the-clay). It answers for 11 hides. Land for 12 ploughs. In lordship 3 hides; 2 ploughs there; a third possible. 20 villagers have 9 ploughs. 7 smallholders and 6 slaves. 1 mill, 2s, meadow for 6 ploughs; woodland, 200 pigs. In total, value £10; the same when acquired; before 1066 £12. This manor always lay in (the lands of) St Benedict's Church. With this manor the Abbot claims against Nigel of Aubigny and Walter the Fleming 12 acres (4.9 ha) of meadow which lay there before 1066, but John of Les Roches dispossessed him wrongfully, and this the Hundred testifies.


Barton-le-Clay is in Central Bedfordshire between Bedford and Luton, 36 miles (58 km) north of London. Nearby villages include Sharpenhoe, Silsoe, Westoning and Pulloxhill. The A6 which runs from Luton (6 miles south of the village) bypasses Barton and continues through Bedford (north of the village) to Carlisle. The village bypass was constructed in January 1990.

In the southeast of the parish are the Barton Hills, which form the northeast extremity of the Chiltern Hills and are designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Much of this area of chalk downland is now a nature reserve, managed by Natural England.

Places of worship


Two major schools are in Barton: Ramsey Manor Lower School[3] and Arnold Academy, a middle school [4] The lower school takes children of the village. The middle school usually also takes those of Westoning, Silsoe and Greenfield, its children and those new to Barton meet ex-school and geographic criteria of Harlington Upper School admission (13+).[5] The village has a pre-school.[6]

A small private nursery and prep school for children aged 0 to 9, Orchard School & Nursery, is in the parish.[7]


The closest railway station is 3.5 miles (5.6 km), somewhat more by footpath, in Harlington. No buses link to this. Bus services through Barton are largely those between Luton, south and Bedford, north. A cross-country route joins Barton to other local villages including Shillington and Shefford. There is a weekly (Tuesday) bus to/from Hitchin in the east.

The roads are well-bypassed so favoured by experienced cyclists, especially in daylight.

Clubs and Groups

Barton-le-Clay has a football club (Barton Rovers), who play their home matches at Sharpenhoe Road. The club currently competes in the Southern League Division One Central.

Organisations[who?] offer karate and football. A Rotary Club meets at The Bull Hotel.[8] Barton Players, the main local amateur dramatics group, hold plays and summer workshops[9] for children in the village hall. However, it is open to new members who wish to join. There is a youth drama group in the village called Up-Stage,[10] including two branches for young people aged 13 and over, called CentreStage and Stage Right. Barton also hosts Scouting and Guide organisations for all ages. A local history group meets in the library on the last Saturday of each month at 10:30 am.

The village saw the start-up of Lea Sports Reserves, an active team.

Public services

War memorials

The high street war memorial.
The high street war memorial.

There are two combined World War matching-list memorials, one near the main road (junction of Luton Road and Hexton Road) and the other in the Parish Church. This list is transcribed on a website.[13]

St Nicholas Church restoration of 1879

This article is in list format but may read better as prose. You can help by converting this article, if appropriate. Editing help is available. (November 2018)

Published by the NOF Digitise Architecture England Consortium.

Local newspapers

Two weekly newspapers are delivered free to many houses in Barton, with news about Barton and the surrounding area.

See also


  • A map of Barton-le-Clay from 1890.
    A map of Barton-le-Clay from 1890.
  • The Bull Hotel in 1902.
    The Bull Hotel in 1902.
  • St Nicholas's Church. The tower in perpendicular style with chequered pattern of ashlar stone and cobbles
    St Nicholas's Church. The tower in perpendicular style with chequered pattern of ashlar stone and cobbles
  • Bedford Road
    Bedford Road
  • Aerial view
    Aerial view
  • Barton Hills showing their proximity to this place
    Barton Hills showing their proximity to this place


  1. ^ "Civil parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  2. ^ "St. Nicholas Church Barton-le-Clay Bedfordshire". St Nicholas Church, Barton. Retrieved 12 November 2006.
  3. ^ "Ramsey Manor Lower School Web Site | about us". 15 July 2010. Archived from the original on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  4. ^ "Welcome to the Frontpage". Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  5. ^ "Harlington Upper School". Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  6. ^ "About Us". bartonleclaypreschool. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  7. ^ "Private School and Nursery: Orchard Independent School & Nursery, Barton Le Clay, Bedfordshire,Beds". Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  8. ^ "Barton le Clay Rotary Club". Barton-le-Clay Rotary Club. Retrieved 11 November 2006.
  9. ^ "Barton Players – Future Productions". Barton Players. Archived from the original on 14 April 2005. Retrieved 11 November 2006.
  10. ^ "Upstage official website". Upstage. Retrieved 11 November 2009.
  11. ^ "Bedfordshire and Luton Libraries' Catalogue – Barton Library: Information". Archived from the original on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  12. ^ "Barton-le-Clay: GP Surgery". Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  13. ^ "Roll of Honour – Bedfordshire – Barton". Lynda Smith. Archived from the original on 17 October 2006. Retrieved 12 November 2006.
  14. ^ Barton-le-Clay Church: Restoration Plan Archived 29 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "". 25 January 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  16. ^ "Luton and Dunstable Express". Luton and Dunstable Express. Retrieved 15 March 2016.