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The Parish of Stewartby in General

Stewartby brick chimney September 2007
Stewartby brick chimney September 2007

Landscape

The solid, or underlying, geology of Stewartby is composed of a sedimentary rock called Peterborough Member. This is a mudstone laid down approximately 159 to 164 million years ago in the warm shallow seas of the Jurassic Period. As would be expected in an area of clay pits the sub-soil is overwhelmingly clay though around Broadmead Farm and in the middle of Stewartby itself are areas of alluvium and head. These are differing mixtures of clay, silt, sand and gravel brought to their present position by the activity of water in the last 2 million years.

Situated in the clay vale Stewartby is comparatively low-lying. The station stands 126 feet above sea-level. The surface of Stewartby Lake is 111 feet. The roundabout at the junction of The Crescent, Stewartby Way and Montgomery Close is, however, appreciably higher at 154 feet above sea-level.

A steam crane excavating clay in the 1920s
A steam crane excavating clay in the 1920s [X306/78]

Name

The name Stewartby remembers the former chairman of London Brick Company Limited, Sir Malcolm Stewart, who had died the year before the creation of the new civil parish of Stewartby in 1937.

Stewartby Hall 1961 [Z55/4/70]
Stewartby Hall in 1961 [Z55/4/70]

Administrative History

The civil parish of Stewartby was created in 1937 from parts of Wootton, Houghton Conquest, Kempston Rural and Marston Moretaine.

women at work at London Brick Stewartby Works in 1940s
Women working on a brick production line at Stewartby about 1950 [Z50/113/1]

Population

The size of Stewartby was in decline for the first four decades after World War Two, but has recently begun to grow again as these figures, taken from censuses, demonstrate:

  • 1951: 1,638;
  • 1961: 1,235;
  • 1971: 1,083;
  • 1981: 964;
  • 1991: 964;
  • 2001: 1,211;
  • 2011: 1,190.