Picts Hill
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 The history and families of Turvey in Bedfordshire, England

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Picts Hill - Turvey

Picts Hill is at the top of Grimstones Hill, on the East side of Turvey, on the road going to Bedford.

Picts Hill House

Pict’s Hill House was built and occupied by Lt-Col William Bartholomew Higgins (1799-1878).  WB Higgins never married.


In 1851 WB had 4 servants with him:

Elizabeth Gorle, aged 34, housekeeper

William Forward, aged 31, butler

William Simmonds, aged 32, groom

Susan Fordham, aged 44, unmarried housemaid



In the night of the 1861 census, WB was being visited by his brother, Thomas Charles Higgins (who lived at Turvey House). William has 5 servants:

Walter Wall, aged 35, butler

James Dickinson, aged 18, footman (born in Turvey)

Helen Wall, aged 36, housekeeper

Sarah Wilmot, aged 27, housemaid

Elizabeth Chapman, aged 27, kitchen maid (born in Turvey)



In 1901 it was occupied by Ambose Argenti, born 1867, of Paddington London, and his wife, Henrietta (born 1867).  They had two daughters (Marigo and Gina) and a son called Nicholas.

Ambrose kept 7 servants.  A parlour maid, a cook, a kitchen maid, two housemaids, a nurse and a Spanish born governess.


Click here for pictures and more information on the Agenti family.


In 1911 the house was inhabited by William Lambard, born 1869. A chauffeur, and his wife Sophia, born 1870.  They had 3 daughters and 3 sons - Albert, aged 14, Edith, 12, Dorothy, 10, Alexandria, 8, Gerald, 5 and Charles who was 2.


Young Albert later served in the 5th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment during the First World War.  He survived.

Picts Hill Cottage

In 1861, Picts Hill Cottage was occupied by carter, Reuben Sargent, aged 24, and his wife Hannah, aged 27.


Their two children, Charles aged 3 and one year old John were also with them.

Picts Hill Lodge

In 1851 the occupant of Picts Hill Lodge was 35 year old William Wooding, a groom who was born in Turvey, his 33 year old wife, Jane and their daughter Alice aged 8.


In 1911 the Lodge was inhabited by a tree feller called Arthur Burr, aged 37 and his wife of 15 years, Elizabeth Ellen.  They had one son, William Harry aged 9.

Picts Hill Gorse

The 1851 census includes a building called Picts Hill Gorse.  


At this time the Gorse was occupied by agricultural labourer Jesse Sinfield, aged 25, and his wife Jane, 23, 3 year old daughter, Catherine and baby son, Thomas.


They have three logers - William Sanderson, a 32 year old game keeper from Grendon, Northants, Elizabeth Rabbit, a 49 year old gardener's wife from Goldington in Bedfordshire, and Elizabeth’s 8 year old daughter, Louis.


This building is now called Gorse Farm


Picts Hill Farm

In 1911 the farm was occupied by Samuel Hilson, aged 64, his wife Mary Ann and their three children: Samuel aged 32, Fredrick aged 26 and Ernest aged 22.


Fredrick served in the 4th Battalion of the Bedford Regiment in World War I.  He died of wounds in France on 18 July 1917.

Farming at Pict’s Hill


Click any image to enlarge.

For a while the area around Pict’s Hill was part of the parish of Stevington.


In 1946 it was moved back into the Turvey parish.