Skip Navigation

Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

Home > Community Histories > Aspley Guise > Aspley Guise Evangelical Free Church

Aspley Guise Evangelical Free Church


Courtney Memorial Hall

The Courtney Memorial Hall in The Square is an Evangelical Free Church for which Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service holds no records. The building was originally Aspley Guise British School. A memorial tablet outside is dedicated to Miss Emma Courtney "who from 1868 to 1906 preached the Gospel of God's Grace in this Hall".

Clearly the British School was also being used as a mission hall, as it is clear from directories that it as still a school as late as 1877 and may not have closed until after the creation of a School Board for Aspley Guise in 1878. Local historian Arthur Parker, who had access to deeds for Ivy and Lime Cottages, Tilcocks, How Cottage and Saint Christopher and the Courtney Memorial Hall [CRT130Asp19] noted that the property was owned by the How family until 1889 when Lucy How died.

In her will of 1886 she devised it to her nephew Frederic Corder of Ipswich [Suffolk], line draper, along with How Cottage and Saint Christopher. She referred to the property as the building used as the British School. The same year as his aunt died Corder conveyed the two cottages and the "Mission Room, formerly used as a British School" to Henry Paul Harris of Whitechapel [Middlesex], merchant - as a side note this conveyance was enacted just over six months after the last known killing in Whitechapel by Jack the Ripper.

Henry Paul Harris was dead by 1905. In 1907 Stanley Harris of Aspley Guise, J. P. conveyed the mission hall to Agnes Agnew Laws of Aspley Guise, spinster, for £525 [CRT130Asp19]