The Church and its History

St Michael and All Angels




"The first prominent building that is noticed from each of the approach roads into the small Bedfordshire village of Millbrook is its church, standing proudly above the village on the Greensand Ridge. This overlooks what is reputed to be John Bunyan's inspiration for "The valley of the Shadow of Death", in his Pilgrims Progress. The church stands three hundred and sixty feet above sea level.

As you enter through the new picket gate to the church path there is a memorial cross made form granite to your right. This commemorates nine Millbrook men killed in the First World War and one man in the Second World War.

The graveyard appears to be circular, which could indicate this was originally an ancient site, although the grave stones are no earlier than 17th century. The burial ground was extended to the north of the church around 1930's/40's. In 1981 the fence between this area and the field beyond was taken down to extend the burial ground even further.

There are one or two interesting memorials in the church yard, one of which is to the memory of Sir Albert Richardson of Avenue House in Ampthill, a past President of the Royal Academy, who had a great interest in Millbrook Church. To the left of the path, south of the chancel is the grave of Dr John Allen, a Scotsman by birth, who qualified as a medical doctor. He never practised medicine and was well known as a man of letters through his various writings. He was also the first Headmaster of Dulwich College and first knew the Holland family of Ampthill Park House through being recommended as a tutor for their eldest son. He lived with Lord and Lady Holland at Ampthill Park House during the nineteenth century, and was one of the group of literary men known as the "Holland House Set" which included Lord Bryon, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Samuel Rogers and Lord Macaulay. There are recumbent stone effigies of William and Mary Huett d 1602.

The Honourable Romola Russell Memorial Window is situated just to the right of the south door. Romola Russell was the second daughter of the first Lord Ampthill and his wife Emily and a granddaughter of William 8th Duke of Bedford. Honourable Romola Russell was well known for her good works and generosity around Ampthill and Millbrook. She was the founder of the first President of Millbrook Women's Institute from 1929 until her death in 1966 at the age of eighty seven.

Millbrook Church houses the marble monuments of Lord and Lady Holland and their daughter Georgina as well as the stone effigies of William and Mary Huett"

Elisabeth Roberts.

N.B. The story behind this knight and his Lady are re-told in the very informative booklet written by Mrs Elisabeth Roberts entitled "A brief History for the visitor to Millbrook Church" This booklet, with its wealth of historical information. Copies can be found in the church itself.

The church houses four bells within the tower which are operated through an electronic striking system. The history of the bells is fascinating and can found in another booklet by Elisabeth Roberts "The Restoration of the Church Bells"

We manage to have a church service each Sunday and the times for these are printed in the Church and Town Diary each month and on the weekly pew leaflet.

St Michael and All Angels.....WELCOMES YOU ALL.

Carolyn Chappell