Short History of Studham and surrounding area
Studham, situated in attractive undulating and well-wooded countryside south of Dunstable Downs, was originally in both Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, hence the two Manor houses. County boundary changes,
the last ones being 1906, mean that the entire Parish is now in Bedfordshire, although connections with Hertfordshire are still strong.
The Parish Church of St. Mary is the oldest building in Studham, being mentioned in the Doomsday book, 13th century in origin with a fine interior including an earlier Norman font decorated with dragons. It is in St Albans diocese and shares a vicar with Kensworth and Whipsnade. It has recently been ‘discovered’ by an advertising company and is now helping to sell cars.
The Village Hall, right in the centre of the village has had a very chequered history, being both a private dwelling and a petrol station before becoming a well-equipped hall.
The cottages situated on the hill between the Village Hall and The Bell were built to house straw platters for the Luton Hat trade. The detached house at the end of the row being that of the Supervisor, hence the old nickname of ‘witches cottage’.
It was said that as a result of ownership disputes between Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, the Government ombudsman ruled that whichever council could put in electricity first could lay claim to the whole village, needless to say Bedfordshire won and although there are no records available giving the exact date it was very early in terms of that utility. It was not until the 1960’s that mains water was piped to the older houses and cottages, prior to that water was drawn from private wells or from standpipes, which were fed from an artesian pump in the rear gardens of houses in Church Road. Mains sewage was connected in the late 1970’s when the new sewage works were installed at the lower end of the East Common at the junction with Dingfield Lane.