hillington is a village with a history. People have lived here for over 1000 years. It has been sustained by farming, sheep, straw and fertiliser. As in all villages, change has always, and still is occurring.  Some memories of the past are lost but many remain in pictures, records, personal stories and in the very fabric of the village.  But not all change is bad. Farming is still a mainstay of the village, horses have become a feature and new small home based businesses and enterprises have started up. The village is still very much alive and has maintained a character of it own.
Shillington was mentioned in the Domesday Book and there is evidence of nearby settlements going back over 4500 years. The Vikings sailed down as far as Shillington.

It has a Stevenage postcode, is situated in Bedfordshire, uses a Hertfordshire postal address, has 5 'ends' but no centre and has had at least 43 variations in the spelling of its name over the years.

The population in 2007 stands at about 1800 and there are some 800 houses.

Almost within living memory there were at least 17 shops and 8 pubs. Now, the residents are served by just two shops, one of which runs the Post Office; the two garages are still here, three pubs remain open and a there is a riding school. The butchers (2), the bakers (3), the blacksmith, the shoe repairer have been replaced by new small businesses.

Looking down from the top end of Church Street.

The village once supported 4 churches and 2 of them are still active and holding regular services.
The Parish Church of All Saints - dating back to the 12th century.
The Congregational Church - built in the early 1840 and rehoused in 1872
The Wesleyan chapel built in 1840 and closed in 2005
The Primitive Methodist chapel at Bury End
The different influences on the history of the village are explored on the site.
For most of its history the village's economy has been based on Farming. Evidence exists for farming in the area for over 4500 years.
Coprolite The village expanded greatly in the 19th century as a result of the discovery of coprolite, a fertiliser. It brought great activity and prosperity to the village and the surrounding areas.
Straw plaiting for hat making was a major industry in the area and gave much needed employment in Shillington. Nearby Luton Town football team is known as the 'Hatters'.
Shillington has been through many difficult political and social events. Margaret Rees was a local historian who researched the village, local and national history. Margaret died in 2006 but leaves a wealth of information for others to read. Her essays and research papers can be read here.
Shillington History Society organises talks, walks and other events themed around the history of Shillington and the surrounding areas. Meetings and events are posted on this site.


We would like to hear from you if you have information, stories or old pictures which could be added to the site.   Contact us