Shefford in 1835
Shefford is 41 miles from London, and 9 from Bedford. It is on the road between these two, and on the river Ivel. The population in 1831 was 763. Besides a market on Friday, it has four fairs, the two first (on the 23rd of January, and Easter Monday) are considerable marts for sheep and cows.
It is a parochial chapelry ; the chapel has been lately much enlarged. There is also an endowed Catholic chapel.
The navigation of the Ivel commences here. Robert Bloomfield, the poet, died here in 1823. At Chicksands near Shefford was a priory of Gilbertines, founded about 1150, by Pain de Beauchamp and Roais, his wife. Its gross yearly value at the Dissolution was £230, 3 shillings and 4 pence. The site was granted to R. Snow, from whom it came to the Osborn family. The present residence of the Osborns retains much of the monastic appearance, and indeed consists in part of the remains of the conventual buildings ; this house contains some valuable portraits.