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Kempston Rural in Prehistory

The Bedfordshire Historic Environment Record [HER] contains information on the county’s historic buildings and landscapes and summaries of each entry can now be found online as part of the Heritage Gateway website. Evidence of human activity goes back to earliest times with a number of stone tools from the Palaeolithic period found near the river at Church End in the late 19th or early 20th century [HER 257]. Iron Age pottery was found at Box End in the late 19th or early 20th centuries [HER 246].

A number of cropmarks have been identified at different points in the parish. Marks north-west of Church End include several parallel lines and a possible triple ditch marking a boundary at right angles to the river [HER 13976]. Excavation in May 2004 revealed human remains and forty pits as well as a kiln and a well, all dating from the Iron Age.

Cropmarks south of Rushey Ford Farm at West End comprise both rectangular and circular enclosures and straight lines. Without excavation it is impossible to say which period they date from but they are probably prehistoric [HER16550]. The same interpretation is put on a sub-rectangular feature abutting a linear feature west of Vicarage Farm [HER 16565]. More cropmarks, south of the A421 show complex rectangular shapes either side of what used to be a stream [HER 16323], again these cannot be dated but are probably prehistoric.

Iron Age settlement remains have also been found west of Green End – on the east side of Tithe Road [HER 977]. These comprised a hearth and pit and pottery fragments.