Welcome to Heath and Reach Website
Heath and Reach Village Website
Information and Statistics
YearPopulationPopulation figures taken from Victoria County History of the County of Bedford

In 1904 the 'area' of Heath and Reach is taken as 2390 acres.
1801541
1811586
1821726
1831784
1841856
1851925
1861953
18711120
18811075
18911090
19011062
19111028
1921923
19311022
1941(no census due to WWII)
1951816
1961922
19711103
19811247
19911316


The full entry for Heath and Reach in the Post Office Directory for Bedfordshire 1864 (its good for names, trades and a brief resume of the village):
HEATH and REACH is a hamlet in the parish of Leighton Buzzard, but a separate ecclesiastical parish, one mile north from Leighton Buzzard, in the hundred of Manshead, union of Leighton Buzzard, rural deanery of Dunstable, archdeaconry of Bedford, and diocese of Ely. The church of St. Leonard is a plain built structure, of a very modern period, with a low square tower and 1 bell. The register dates from 1813. The living is a perpetual curacy, value 105, in the gift of the vicar of Leighton Buzzard, and held by the Rev. Joseph Orlando Stallard, M.A., of Lincoln College, Oxford. There is a National school, rebuilt in 1863, and opened in 1864; there are also three Sunday schools, a Baptist chapel, and a Wesleyan chapel. There are charities of about 5 annually. Colonel H. Hanmer, K.H., is lord of the manor. The population in 1861 was 953 ; the acreage is 2279; the assessment is 3070. The land comprises arable, woodland and meadow.
Parish Clerk, John Cook.
National School, Miss Susan Ridley, mistress
CARRIER TO WOBURN. - Paternoster, tuesday

Hanmer Major W. E. J.P.
Lyster Major Henry
Morrice Rev. Andrew Du Carel
Stallard Rev. Joseph Orlando, M.A. [incumbent]

COMMERCIAL
Adams William, farmer
Arnold Thomas, carpenter
Arnold William, boot & shoe maker
Atwell Francis, boot & shoe maker
Belgrove Robert, Red Lion
Brantom Joseph, shopkeeper
Corket Isaac, shopkeeper
Dancer Thomas, Duke's Head
Davis Daniel, butcher
Hickson Thomas, Star
Holmes Thomas, farmer & miller
Hopkins Joseph, baker
Hopkins Thomas, shopkeeper
Major Charles, beer retailer
Mallet William, farmer
Mayier Charles, wheelwright
Miles Richard, carpenter
Powell Joseph, Peacock
Reeve Thomas, beer retailer
Roads William, farmer
Scroxford John, farmer
Simonds James, paper hanger
Simonds Thomas Samuel, farmer
Smith George, horse dealer & farmer
Smith William, farmer
Swinstead Thomas, farmer
Tompkins John, farmer
Ventmore Joseph, shopkeeper
Vinnell Ann (Mrs.), beer retailer
Web William, shopkeeper

Entry for Heath & Reach from Kelly's Directory for Bedfordshire 1890. Being 26 years later than the last it has different details, names etc. The entry is as follows:
HEATH and REACH form a hamlet in the civil parish of Leighton Buzzard, and a separate ecclesiastical parish, situated on the borders of Bucks, nearly 2 miles north from Leighton Buzzard, in the Southern division of the county, hundred of Manshead, petty sessional division, union and county court district of Leighton Buzzard, rural deanery of Dunstable, archdeaconry of Bedford and diocese of Ely. The village is remarkable and picturesque, covering several hills and valleys, with pleasant landscapes stretching away into the distance with beautiful woods and plantations. The church of St. Leonard, rebuilt in the year 1829 (with the exception of the tower), is a plain, modern building in the Gothic style, consisting of chancel and nave, and a low embattled western tower containing one bell; the chancel was added, and the whole church newly seated in 1866. The earlier register is included in that of Leighton Buzzard, which dates from 1562 : there is a separate register from the year 1813. The living is a vicarage, tithe rent-charge 20, net yearly value 290, including 1 acre of glebe, with residence, in the gift of the vicar of Leighton Buzzard, and held since 1863 by the Rev. Joseph Orlando Stallard M.A. of Lincoln College, Oxford. The vicarage house was built in 1852, and enlarged in 1869. There are Baptist, Primitive Methodist, built in 1863, and Wesleyan chapels, built 1877. A cemetery was provided for this place in 1850, the land being the gift of Mrs. Knight, of Mursley. There is a reading room supported by donations and subscriptions. The poor's land produces 13 yearly for fuel. Rushmere Lodge is the seat of Dr. John Walter Pritchard. Sir Edward Henry Hanmer bart. who is lord of the manor, Mr. Swinstead, Messrs. Britten and Claridge and Mr. Bushell are the principal landowners. The chief crops are wheat, barley and roots. The land comprises arable, woodland and meadow. A white sand is dug here at a depth of many feet from the surface, and is use for making glass. The area is 3,190 acres; rateable value, ?; the population in 1881 was 1075. Parish Clerk, James J. Rayner. POST OFFICE - Amos Roberts, receiver. Letters through Leighton Buzzard delivered at 7:25 am. & 4:40 pm.; sundays 7:25 am. Box cleared at 9:10 am. & 6:40 pm. & sundays at 9:20 am. The nearest money order & telegraph office is at Leighton Buzzard. National School (mixed), rebuilt, with house for mistress, in 1862-4, for 100 children; average attendance, 70; Charles Martin, master & Mrs. Martin, mistress; (infants') added in 1876, for 84 children; average attendance, 81; Miss Rosa Derry, mistress
CARRIER TO LEIGHTON BUZZARD. - Stone, daily

PRIVATE RESIDENTS
Bushell John L. Heath House
Castleman Francis
Chew James Fermor, Oakbank
Chew Mrs
Clements Mrs Daisy villa
Eden John Arthur M.A.
Hawkes William, Atterton villa
Pritchard Dr. Jn. Waltr. Rushmere lodge
Smith Mrs Cherry villa
Stallard Rev. Joseph Orlando M.A. Vicarage
Stone Mrs. Cherry villa

COMMERCIAL
Bates Edward, miller (wind)
Belgrove George, butcher
Belgrove Thomas, Red Lion P.H.
Bird William, horse clipper
Bowden John, farmer
Boyce John, general dealer
Brantom Charles, higgler
Brantom Harry, baker
Brantom James, shopkeeper
Brantom Mary (Mrs.), shopkeeper
Britten John, farmer & landowner
Broom Walter F. baker & hay, straw & coal merchant
Broom Walter Francis, school attendance officer for Leighton Buzzard rural 
sanitary committee
Broom William, farmer
Bushell John L. farmer & landowner & silver sand merchant
Clark James, butcher
Croxford John, butcher
Dancer Thomas, blacksmith
Dimmock Amos, bricklayer
Duncombe James, Duke's Head P.H.
Holmes Thomas, farmer & miller (wind)
Hopkins Lizzie (Miss), shopkeeper
Hopkins Mrs. baker
Major Charles, Axe & Crown P.H.
Miles Amos, builder, contractor, undertaker & carpenter
Miller Joseph, photographer
Parrott Robert, farmer
Pearson George, coal & iron agent, Shenley house
Powell Charles, veterinary surgeon
Rayner James, wheelwright; traps & vans thoroughly repaired
Reeve Thomas, junior blacksmith
Roberts Amos, tailor, Post office
Rose John, grocer
Stevens Fredk., shopkeeper & horse clipper
Swinstead Thomas, farmer
Venemore Joseph, shopkeeper
Whitehead Edmund, Star P.H.
Whittaker Frederick, builder & shopkeeper
Williamson Thos., farmer, Overend farm

Extract from the book "Leighton Buzzard and its Hamlets", by Robert Richmond published 1928.

Section on Church History
Heath is the only hamlet not mentioned in the Ordination of the Vicarage of Leighton in 1277, and there is no record of any Church or Chapel until the 17th century, except the name Chapel Ground, at Sheepscote corner.
In 1646, the Committee for Plundered Ministers ordered 50 per annum to be paid out of the sequestered Prebendal Tithes for the maintenance of a godly Divine "to Officiate the Cure of the Chappell of Heath and Reach."
A Marriage in Heath Chapel is recorded in the Leighton Register, May 31st, 1697, but the Chapel does not seem to have been registered for Marriages until a much later date.
A Terrier in 1709 states that the Curate of Heath is paid by the inhabitants. In 1786 the value of the Incumbency was 11.
In 1810 the Prebendal Tithe of 1624 acres of land at Heath was let at 342 per annum. This included 1,148 acres of arable in the open fields and 394 acres of sward, 302 acres of this being old Enclosure.
Heath was made an Ecclesiastical Parish in 1828. The Rev. J. O. Stallard was the first Vicar, the Vicar of Leighton retaining the Patronage.
Licence was granted in 1850 to bury the dead, and in 1851, 81 was raised for the Burial Ground.

Section on other churches (other than All Saints)
The church is dedicated to St. Leonard. There is no early history of the Church (or Chapel) that was situate at Sheepcote Corner, in Chapel Yard (or Chapel Ground), now part of the School playground). This Chapel was removed to its present site in the 17th century. A Terrier of Heath House and the Estate of Mr. Welles, dated 1665, says "The Mansion House, Chapel and Almshouses cost about 2000.
The Tower is the only part that remains of this 17th century Church. The Nave was rebuilt in 1829 (before this date the Church held 140), the Chancel ws added in 1866 and the Porch in 1876.
The Bell has the following inscription "RICHARD WIGE GENTMAN ONER OF ME. 1695."

Section of the Clergy of the hamlets of Leighton Buzzard, the following for H & R
Martin Benson, 1826 (?) Not in Registers, died 1834. Date on Font and on stone in Nave of Church
John Grant Lawford, M.A. 1835
John Charles Orlebar, clerk, 1842. Also perpetual curate of Billington
Thomas John Williams, M.A., 1858. Afterwards Vicar of Waddesdon and Barmouth
Joseph Orlando Stallard, M.A., 1863
William Wallis Richards, M.A., 1900, son of Vicar of Leighton
Canon Lambert Woodward, M.A. 1916
E. G. Meyrick Wood, M.A., 1919
Percy Llewellyn Leakey, M.A., 1926