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Yelden - Overview 1970

The Church of St Mary

Yelden or Yeilden or Yielding village is adjacent to the county boundary in Bedfordshire where it joins the Northamptonshire village of Newton Bromswold to the west. It is bounded to the north by Higham Ferrers and Chelveston in Northamptonshire, to the east by Shelton & Dean and to the south by Melchbourne in Bedfordshire.

The Church of St Mary stands to the west of the village. It was built in the 12th century and this fine church is now a Grade II listed building.

A National School in Church Lane opened in 1845 and had just one room. It closed in 1924 and the children then attended the school at Riseley. A temporary re-opening occurred during the war for the younger children and in 1944 they moved into the Methodist Chapel for a time after the old school was damaged when an American Bomber from Chelveston crashed nearby. The building was closed in 1956 and finally sold, along with two cottages, in 1967, and was turned into a home.

A Village Hall was planned and fund raising allowed a small plot of ground, with an old stone cottage, close to the main road to be purchased in 1920. After the villagers cleared the ground they erected a corrugated iron clad building, which had previously been the Isolation Hospital at Raunds, on the site. It became known as the Institute and regular dances and whist drives were held there. During WWII it was used as an ARP post. [see village halls]

Despite several improvements and additions over the years, the fabric was deteriorating and in 1988 fund raising began for the building of a new hall. Five years later the old hall was closed and it took a further eight years to secure the money for the present new hall to be constructed.

The Chequers public house was originally called the White Horse and was of wattle and daub construction with a thatched roof. On Easter Sunday in 1950 a fire destroyed the whole building and the landlord, Mr George and his wife, lived in a caravan in the paddock behind for a year and half during the rebuilding. Robert Marriott of Rushden took the contract and the new premises, of brick and tile construction, opened in 1952.

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