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Cockyards in Potsgrove

The cockyard shown on a map of 1663 [R1-62]
The cockyard shown on a map of 1663 [R1/62]
The thick red line on the left is Sheep Lane near the junction with Watling Street. To see a larger version please click on the image

Cock fighting was a popular blood sport in ages past and often the occasion for heavy betting. 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. Two potential cockyards, used for cock fighting have been identified in Potsgrove.

One of these [HER 2543] is shown on a map of 1663 [R1/62] though no other information survives. It was between Bushycommon Wood and the barns south of the main road to the village.

The other [HER2644] is shown on an estate map of 1731 [R1/268. It is not named but is the sort of small rectangular enclosure consistent with a cockyard. It stood west of Bushycommon Wood and east of Sheep Lane.