Houghton Conquest
All Saints' parish church
Houghton Conquest is located in Bedfordshire
Houghton Conquest
Houghton Conquest
Location within Bedfordshire
Population1,514 (2011 Census)[1]
OS grid referenceTL047416
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBEDFORD
Postcode districtMK45
Dialling code01234
FireBedfordshire and Luton
AmbulanceEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places
52°03′47″N 0°28′26″W / 52.06315°N 0.47396°W / 52.06315; -0.47396

Houghton Conquest is a village and civil parish located in the Central Bedfordshire district of Bedfordshire, England. The parish also includes the hamlet of How End.


See also: Grammar school § History, Latin school, and Neo-Latin § Latin in school education 1500-1700

In the Domesday Book of 1086, Adeliza de Grandmesnil was tenant-in-chief of Houghton Conquest. It was held of her by one Arnold.[2]

Historically in the hundred of Redbornestoke,[3] the name of the village originated from the Conquest family who held a manor and lands in the area from the 13th century to the 18th century.[4] The Houghton in Houghton Conquest is pronounced 'how-ton', and this has been the official pronunciation since at least 1998.

The Church of All Saints was constructed in the village during the 14th century, and is today the largest parish church in Bedfordshire.[5] Features of interest include the wall paintings, sculpture, stained glass, benches and stalls.[6] In 2018 all of the lead, weighing 21 tonnes, was stolen from the church roof.[7]


The Conquest family owned Conquestbury, a large manor which was left to ruin when the family left the area. The Conquestbury manor house stood near the southeast end of the village on the ground now known as Bury Farm, adjacent to London Lane. The Manor and its lands then passed to the Beauchamp family.[8] Parts of the original house were used to build a house in the 1850s, which today serves as a village shop.[9]

Houghton House was also built in the area in approximately 1615. In 1794, Francis Russell, 5th Duke of Bedford stripped Houghton House of its furnishings and removed the roof. Today, the remains of Houghton House stand as ruins.


The village is located in the northern part of Central Bedfordshire, on the border with the Borough of Bedford. Local amenities include a village shop, post office, Houghton Conquest Lower School, a village hall, and three pubs named "The Knife and Cleaver",[10] "The Royal Oak"[11] and "The Chequers".[12]

See also


  1. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
  2. ^ Ann Williams, G.H. Martin (1992). Domesday Book: A Complete Translation. London: Penguin Classics. p. 585. ISBN 9780141439945.
  3. ^ "Houghton Conquest". GENUKI. Retrieved 12 June 2007.
  4. ^ Plea Rolls of the Court of Common Pleas; National Archives; CP 40 / 677; http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT1/H6/CP40no677/bCP40no677dorses/IMG_1331.htm; 7th entry; "John Conquest, of Houghton, Beds, gent"
  5. ^ "The knife and cleaver bedford pub and guest house". Theknifeandcleaver.co.uk. 1 June 2010. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  6. ^ Jones, Lawrence E. (1965) A Guide to Some Interesting Old English Churches. London: Historic Churches Preservation Trust; p. 9
  7. ^ https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-45744381, 4.10.2018
  8. ^ Beatrice de Beauchamp, d.after 1150, was heiress of the manor of Houghton Conquest in Bedfordshire. Refer: Liber S. Marie de Dryburgh: Registrum Cartarum Abbacie Premonstratensis de Dryburgh, Bannatyne Club, Edinburgh, 1847, 14, p. 9.
  9. ^ "Parishes - Houghton Conquest | A History of the County of Bedford: Volume 3 (pp. 288-296)". British-history.ac.uk. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  10. ^ "The knife and cleaver bedford pub and guest house". Theknifeandcleaver.co.uk. 1 June 2010. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  11. ^ "Royal Oak, Houghton Conquest - Charles Wells Brewery and Pub Company Bedford". www.charleswells.co.uk. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  12. ^ "The Chequers - Emery Inns". Archived from the original on 26 January 2013.

Further reading