The village of Eversholt is situated in rural Mid-Bedfordshire in an area of land that was was in the old kingdom of Mercia. The village was named after the wild boar which used to live in this part of the country and ideed the Boar’s head is still used as the emblem of the village.
The village is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 when Hugh de Beauchamp is listed as the Lord of the Manor of Eversholt. The family had a great deal of property in the Bedford area and their descendants continued to own property in the area until the 13th century when the land passed to Woburn Abbey. The Beauchamps owned the castle at Bedford (the old castle mound is still visible and open to the public). The family’s last male relative died with Simon de Montfort at the battle of Evesham.
Princess Elizabeth, later Queen, took possession of Woburn Abbey after it was dissolved by Henry VIII as part of the “honor” of Ampthill.
Little is known of any action within the village at the time of Cromwell, although it is known that Charles I was imprisoned in Woburn Abbey from July 22 – August 1 1647.
The old Manor stood on the land that is now the recreation ground. The only trace that remains is Linden Lodge near the Village Hall. The Manor House was pulled down by the Duke of Bedford after it passed into his ownership.
The two World Wars have had a major impact on the village. The Great War saw 90 villagers go off to war out of a population of 500. Eighteen of those gave their lives for their county; at least two, Harry Thompson and his cousin Stephen, brought back medals for distinguished gallantry. The Second World War saw evacuees from the London borough of Walthamstow billeted in Eversholt.
Today, the villager’s work far and wide with the M1 and the Midland mainline offering easy access to London and the towns of Bedford, Ampthill and Milton Keynes all close by. However former residents also worked far-a-field, Frank Wild the son of a former schoolmaster took to the sea and his reliability and efficiency saw him chosen by Sir Ernest Shakeleton to go with him on both expeditions to the South Pole. Indeed after Shakelton’s death on the second expedition Wild took charge.
The website Ampthill Images has recently added over 100 old images of the village to their new site. For more information and to view the images go to the Eversholt Gallery*
Information abridged from a number of sources including:
A Short History of Eversholt by The Rev. C H D Grimes MA
St. John the Baptist, Eversholt – a brief introduction