Kimbolton in 1838
Kimbolton is to the hundred of Leightonstone, on the western side of the county, on a branch leading from the high north road into Northamptonshire and other midland counties : it is 63 miles from Hickss Hall, London. The parish has an area of 6,200 acres, and had in 1831 a population of 1,584, of which from one-third to one-half was agricultural. The town is pleasantly situated, but is small and unimportant. The church has a tower with a lofty spire, and some portions of its architecture are deserving of attention. Kimbolton Castle, an ancient stone building, the seat of the Montagues, dukes of Manchester, was the residence of Catherine of Aragon, first wife of Henry VIII, after her divorce : it has undergone many alterations since that period. Several of the Montague family are buried in Kimbolton church, where they have monuments. There are three or four dissenting meeting-houses. Kimbolton has little trade : some lace is made. The market is on Friday, and there are two yearly fairs. The living is a vicarage, of the value of which no return has been made. There were in the parish, in 1833, eight infant or dame schools, with 93 children ; an endowed grammar-school ; another school endowed for the instruction in reading of nine poor boys of the hamlet of Stonely in this parish, and three other day-schools, with 35 children ; there are also three Sunday-schools with 304 children; and several lace-schools, where the children attending them are taught to read.
There was at Stonely, in this parish, a small priory of Austin canons, containing, at the dissolution, seven canons, and having a revenue of £62, 12 shillings and 3 pence gross, or £46, 0 shillings and 5 pence clear.