Marston Moreteyne
Parish church of St Mary
Marston Moreteyne is located in Bedfordshire
Marston Moreteyne
Marston Moreteyne
Location within Bedfordshire
Population4,556 (2011) census including Lower Shelton and Upper Shelton [1]
OS grid referenceSP995424
Civil parish
  • Marston Moreteyne[2]
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBedford
Postcode districtMK43
Dialling code01234
FireBedfordshire and Luton
AmbulanceEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places
52°03′46″N 0°32′52″W / 52.06273°N 0.54781°W / 52.06273; -0.54781

Marston Moreteyne (or Marston Moretaine[3]) is a large village and civil parish in Central Bedfordshire, England, located on the A421 between Bedford and Milton Keynes. The population was 4,560 at the 2001 census,[4] and 4,556 at the 2011 census.[1] The village is served by Millbrook railway station, approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) away on the Marston Vale Line.

The place-name 'Marston Moretaine' is first attested in an Anglo-Saxon charter of 969, where it appears as Mercstuninga. It appears as Merestone in the Domesday Book of 1086. The name derives from the Old English mersc-tūn meaning 'town or settlement by a marsh'. It was held by the family of Moretaine, from Mortain in Normandy in France.[5] Local roadsigns use either the "Moreteyne" and "Moretaine" spellings inconsistently. The official name of the civil parish was changed in 2018 from Marston Moretaine to Marston Moreteyne following a consultation by Central Bedfordshire Council.[6]

Sir Thomas Snagge lived in the village in the 16th century. He owned the manor of Marston Moreteyne.[7]

Future development

Marston Park was allocated in the Mid-Bedfordshire Local Plan for an extension to the village of Marston Moretaine with a mix of land uses. In 2008, the developers O&H Properties gained outline planning permission for 480 new houses, 3 hectares (7.4 acres) of employment land for offices, a new local centre, a primary school, a community building and a sports ground with cricket field. David Lock Associates were then commissioned to produce a Design Code to guide the development, and this was approved by Central Bedfordshire Council in 2010. David Wilson Homes, Barratt Homes and Bovis Homes have begun[when?] building the houses and the community building, and have created play areas. The land allocated for employment and a local centre are currently reported to be for sale.

The rare feature of a detached tower at St Mary The Virgin in Marston Moretaine - Spring 2007

St Mary's Church

Dating from around 1340, the church of St Mary the Virgin is a 14th-century church with a very rare feature for the East of England, a Grade I listed detached tower to the north of the church located about 70 feet (21 m) from the north wall of the chancel. Grade I listing denotes that the building is of outstanding or national architectural or historic interest.

Though building began c. 1340, the church was more or less rebuilt in 1445. The interior of the nave is very grand. The screen has paintings.[8]

According to legend, the church's detached tower is the work of the Devil, who was trying to steal it. Finding it too heavy, he dropped it where it still remains.[9]

Notable residents


Marston Moreteyne is governed locally by Marston Moreteyne Parish Council. It sends a representative to the Central Bedfordshire Unitary Council. It is represented in the UK House of Commons by the constituency of Mid Bedfordshire.



  1. ^ a b "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
  2. ^ "Marston Moreteyne Parish Council website". Marston Moreteyne Parish Council. Retrieved 5 July 2023.
  3. ^ "The Forest of Marston Vale Trust - Home". The Forest of Marston Vale Trust.
  4. ^ Office for National Statistics: Census 2001 : Parish Headcounts : Mid Bedfordshire Archived 26 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 16 October 2010
  5. ^ Eilert Ekwall, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names, p.316.
  6. ^ "Council minutes, 27 September 2018". Central Bedfordshire Council. 27 September 2018. Retrieved 7 November 2021.
  7. ^ A History of Moreteyne Manor - Moreteyne Manor website, Accessed 03-01-2009
  8. ^ Betjeman, J. (ed.) (1968) Collins Pocket Guide to English Parish Churches: the South. London: Collins; pp. 104-05
  9. ^ Ash, Russell (1973). Folklore, Myths and Legends of Britain. Reader's Digest Association Limited. p. 271. ISBN 9780340165973.
  10. ^ P. W. Handler, The House of Commons, 1558–1603: Members, M-Z (1981), p. 410
  11. ^ Timothy Raylor, Cavaliers, Clubs, and Literary Culture (1994), p. 50: "James Smith was baptized at Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, on 25 July 1605. His father, Thomas Smith, was parson of Marston and a man of some means."
  12. ^ Monumental inscriptions Archived 15 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine at, accessed 15 July 2015
  13. ^ "Coronavirus: Capt Tom Moore finishes NHS fundraiser as it tops £13m". BBC News. BBC. 16 April 2020. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  14. ^ "Captain Tom Moore's 100th Birthday Walk for the NHS". JustGiving. Retrieved 19 April 2020.