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Stanbridge Green

Stanbridge Green December 2008
Stanbridge Green December 2008

Stanbridge Green is of an impressive size today and is still a major feature and community focus in the village; until the 19th century a set of stocks stood here. Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service has a number of archaeological parish surveys compiled by the Conservation Section of the County Council in the 1970s; they are available on the shelves of the Searchroom library. In a piece written of Leighton Buzzard and its hamlets in 1981, Stephen Coleman suggested that the original medieval green was very much larger, defined by three roads today called Peddars Lane, Station Road and Tilsworth Road.

 73 Tilsworth Road
73 Tilsworth Road June 2008

Stephen Coleman reckoned that most of the medieval settlement of Stanbridge may have been along the northern part of the green. This northern row, along the north side of Tilsworth Road, included Stanbridge Manor and the church (then a chapel of ease as Stanbridge was in the parish of Leighton Buzzard), which was on the green itself, was opposite the centre of the row. A number of 17th century timber-framed and brick built buildings survive to the present in this row, such as 21 and 23 Tilsworth Road and 73 Tilsworth Road.

 MA60 centre
The central part of the Stanbridge inclosure map of 1840 [MA60]

In the later Middle Ages, or in the immediately post medieval period, a western row, along the west side of the modern Station Road, was created. A series of fairly neatly defined closes, occurs here, on which homes were built, with larger fields behind them, as shown on the inclosure map above.

Green Farmhouse March 2008
Green Farmhouse March 2008

The three sub-manors of Stanbridge (Kimptons, Morrells and Morteynes alias Reynes) were created in the 15th century. The centre of each of thee sub-manors, fronted onto the green - Kimptons at Green Farm and Morteynes alias Reynes at Ivy Farm and Morrells at Bluegate Farm. Ivy Farm lies in the western portion and Green Farm in the northern portion of the green, just south of the church; Bluegate Farm buildings lie to the to the south-east of the green and separated from it by Peddars Lane

 Stanbridgeford Station March 2008
Stanbridgeford Station March 2008

The area of Stanbridgeford is the exception that proves the rule in Stanbridge settlement. It lies well away from the village, in the southern part of the parish and nowhere near the green where the rest of the settlement lies. It owes its existence to the railway between Leighton Buzzard and Dunstable, which opened in 1848 and closed in 1962. The station for Stanbridge was here, although it stood just inside the parish of Totternhoe.