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Chalton and South Mills Before 1086

Chalton Farm August 2009
Chalton Farm August 2009

The Heritage Environment Record [HER], formerly kept by Bedfordshire County Council and now separately by Central Bedfordshire, Luton Borough and Bedford Borough Councils is an invaluable tool for those wishing to study the landscape and built landscape of the county. The record is available on-line.

Currently, Chalton has no absolutely identifiable features for settlement before 1086 although it seems reasonable to assume that the mill mentioned in Chalton in the Domesday Book was an existing Anglo-Saxon feature, quite possibly at or near South Mills.

The Historic Environment Record [HER 9786] has a note, written in 1979, about possible Neolithic long barrows known as The Giants' Graves: "A local, Chalton Farm, said when he was a boy there were two long mounds approximately 50-60 yards long, perhaps one yard high lying to the north-west of the farm buildings. They were both ploughed out 30+ years ago".

The only other features identified by the HER are from cropmarks and are assigned to the prehistoric period, but to no more definite era:

  • Cropmarks showing an enclosure of curved and straight lines west of Chalton in an area of smallholdings south of the former railway line [HER 13972];
  • Cropmarks showing a block of rectangular enclosures just east of the former Rose Public House [HER 15421]