Leighton-Linslade Past Times: including Billington, Eggington, Heath & Reach and Stanbridge
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St. Leonard's, Heath & Reach

St. Leonard's, Heath & ReachThe Church was originally a private chapel belonging to Heath Manor House. In 1705, Elizabeth Wigg the daughter and heir of Richard Wigg of the Manor, gave the Chapel to the people of Heath & Reach.

Until 1825, when Heath & Reach became an Ecclesiastical Parish, it was a Chapel of Ease to All Saints, Leighton Buzzard.

The church is located in Leighton Road, directly opposite to the Manor House. The oldest part of the structure is the west tower, dating from the 16th century. With the exception of the tower, the church was rebuilt in 1829, and the apsidal brick chancel was added in 1866.

The 19th century nave is 49 ft. by 28 ft. in a Gothic style, with its detail worked in Roman cement. The main entrance to the nave is via a modern south porch. The west window of the tower is of three flat pointed lights probably of the same age as the tower. The belfry windows are single lights covered with Roman cement, like the whole of the tower's exterior.

There is one small bell in the tower dated 1695, this has the inscription "Richard Wige Gentman, oner of me".


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