This guided walk, designed to be followed using a mobile phone or tablet, starts and ends at St Michael's Church, so why not check out our What's On page and time your walk to coincide with one of our cafés so that you can enjoy some quality refreshment and great company at the start or end of your walk (or both!)?
Shefford is blessed with many listed and beautiful buildings. This walk focuses on the buildings with ecclesiastical connections. At a leisurely pace it will take about 30 minutes to complete and is flat and accessible.On leaving the Church turn left and proceed to...
1. No.15 High Street
Shefford House was used during WWII to accommodate some of the Jewish child evacuees. The soft red brick is very common in Shefford. Notice the children's initials carved into the door surround and that every window is different.
2. No. 23 High Street
The St Francis building is grade II listed. It has been the Nun's house, a school room for St. Francis Boys' Home and is now apartments. Built 1879-84 it is a timber-framed building with a steeply pitched roof of concrete tiles.
3. St Francis Church
The grade II listed building you can see was built in 1884 and replaced the original St. George's Roman Catholic Chapel of 1791.
4. No. 25 High Street
Grade II listed St George's House was built in 1884. Originally a public house in which an upper room was used to say Mass. It is now the Presbytery.
5. The Methodist Church
At just over 100 years old this building replaced a smaller chapel on the same site. The construction and form are typical of Methodist Churches of the period and is grade II listed.
Attractive features within the building include a beautiful stained glass window above the altar.
Walk just beyond the garage and then cross the road to:
6. No 10 Ampthill Road - The Old Vicarage
St Michael's Church Sunday School was held here and the gardens used for bazaars.
Returning towards town you will come too:
7. The Community Hall
Built in 1827 as a schoolroom with a teacher's house attached. In 1911 it was bought by the Parish. It is used for many community activities, and the boundary of the Shefford Conservation Area on this side of the road.
Walking down this side of the High Street, listed buildings include 48, 46, 40, 40a, 38, 34, 28, 26, 24, 22, 20, 18,16, 4 and 2 (!).
Once opposite St Michael's Church turn left along Duck Lane and follow the road to The Meads, a pleasant area to sit for a few moments on a nice day. Follow the path turning right at the weir, then continue until it meets Northbridge Street.
Turn left, crossing the bridge over the River Flit, and at the roundabout you will find:
8. The Baptist Church
Built in 1825 and known as the Meeting House. Initially only the main brick-built Chapel, the rest being later additions.
The Manse was built in 1887 using bricks from the Hoo brickyards in Hitchin Road. Adjacent to the Church is a graveyard, where the first interment was in 1837.
Return to St Michael's Church along Northbridge Street with yet more listed and interesting buildings.
Acknowledgements and thanks to:
John Burgess MA, Tony Dawson, The Shefford History Group, and to Karen Brammer (photography).
This online guided walk has been made possible by the generous support of the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Source: Stephen Lines
Published 6th November 2019