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Long Mead Husborne Crawley

Long Mead shown in green
Long Mead shown in green

In 1970 Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service staff carried out research on a number of fields belonging to Woburn Experimental Farm in Husborne Crawley. This seems to have been prompted by an enquiry from The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Plant Pathology Laboratory about Workhouse Field.

Research on Long Mead [CRT130HusborneCrawley2] revealed that in 1760 [R1/42] the ground was occupied by Broad Mead Common and the ends of Broad Mead itself. This was Midsummer land - in other words permanent pasture preserved either for hay or for tethering beasts owned by people with the necessary rights until Midsummer Day when the pasture became common. By 1820 [R1/43] the land had become an inclosed field called Broad Mead

Cropping books forming part of the estate archive of the Duke of Bedford [R4/209, 215, 223 and 229] show that in 1866 the field comprised 3 acres, 2 roods, 35 poles. Between 1866 and 1909 it was either used for grazing or mown for hay as shown below:

  • 1866: hay;
  • 1867: grazed;
  • 1868: hay;
  • 1869-1870: grazed;
  • 1871: hay;
  • 1872-1875: not recorded;
  • 1876: grazed;
  • 1877-1879: hay;
  • 1880: grazed;
  • 1881-1883: hay;
  • 1884: grazed;
  • 1885-1886: hay;
  • 1887: grazed;
  • 1888: hay;
  • 1889: grazed;
  • 1890-1891: hay;
  • 1892: grazed;
  • 1893: hay;
  • 1894: grazed;
  • 1895: hay;
  • 1896-1898: grazed;
  • 1899-1901: not recorded;
  • 1902: hay;
  • 1903: grazed;
  • 1904: hay;
  • 1905: grazed;
  • 1906-1907: hay;
  • 1908: grazed;
  • 1909: hay.