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Beadlow in General

The River Flitt at Beadlow July 2010
The River Flitt at Beadlow July 2010

Landscape

Beadlow is in a low lying part of the parish of Clophill, lying east and south-east of the main village. The site of Beadlow Priory and the property known as The Old Priory House on Shefford Road close to the boundary with the parish of Campton lies at about 175 feet above sea level. Beadlow Manor is about 170 feet above sea level.

The geology is complex. Much of the area has an underlying, or solid, geology of a sandstone known as Woburn Sands Formation, formed in the Cretaceous Period between 99 and 121 million years ago when the area was covered by warm, shallow seas. Beadlow Manor, however, stands on an underlying geology of Gault - a mudstone formed between 99 and 112 million years ago.

The superficial geology, all formed within the last two million years, is also varied. The area around the point where Shefford Road bends south to run towards the A507 is covered in till. Just south of the bend the soil becomes head - a mixture of silt, clay, sand and gravel. South of this the soil is, very unusually for Bedfordshire, peat, decaying vegetable matter. An area of river terrace deposits of sand and gravel lies south of the river as far as the A507. The superficial geology around Beadlow Manor is called Lowestoft Formation - a type of diamicton.

Beadlow Manor March 2010
Beadlow Manor March 2010

Name

The former name of Beadlow was Beaulieu meaning "beautiful place" and Beadlow is simply the English form of the French name. The name first appears in 1254 as both Beaulieu and the Latin form - Bello Loco. The following variations are recorded:

  • Bealliu: c. 1270;
  • Beleu: 1428;
  • Bedlowe: 1578;
  • Beawlowe: 1578;
  • Bedlow: 1590.

The Old Priory House February 2010
The Old Priory House February 2010

Administrative History

Beadlow has always formed a part of the ancient parish of Clophill. The hamlet was the site of the Priory of Beaulieu or Bello Loco.