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Thurleigh Cropmarks

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. Cropmarks are, as the name suggests, features visible in growing crops, areas of disturbance, such as long buried walls or ditches affect the rate of growth of crops and the ghosts of these features can thus be determined from the air by looking at how a crop is growing in a field. There are numerous cropmarks in the parish of Thurleigh which, without excavation, have tentatively been ascribed to the prehistoric era. They include the following:

  • Cropmarks south-west of Waterfall Farm consist of irregular curved lines and, possibly, a circular feature [HER 2039];
  • Cropmarks and slag deposits east of Follyfields [HER 2734]. The presence of slag may indicate that the cropmark is Iron Age in date or it may be unassociated and much earlier. The cropmark is about 40 metres across and may have a pit towards the eastern end;
  • There is a string of rectangular and curved enclosures south of Church End [HER 5139]. They run along the edge of a ridge overlooking a valley to the west;
  • Cropmarks north of the mill cottage show a number of irregular enclosures linked by linear features [HER16611];
  • South-east of Coplar Farm are linear cropmarks forming three sides of a square [HER 16613];
  • A small oval enclosure has been identified north-east of Manor Farm; it is about 50 metres long [HER 16614];
  • West of the sewage works is a rectangular enclosure with a smaller one attached to it [HER 16627];
  • A large enclosure, shaped like a trapezium has been identified north-east of the water tower [HER 16628];
  • North of Cross End a group of small, irregular cropmarks has been identified [HER 16629];
  • A [possible, very irregular, enclosure has been identified north-east of Yew Tree House at Cross End [HER 16630];
  • North-west of School Farm is a large enclosure shaped like a trapezium [HER 16631];
  • An irregular enclosure has been identified west of School Farm [HER 16632];
  • Rectangular and curved cropmarks have been identified south-west of School Farm [HER 16633];
  • Two separate small enclosures, 20 metres apart have been identified east of Bury Farm. One is rectangular, the other curved. They lie on a spur of land facing south, in between two streams [HER 16634];
  • Cropmarks north-west of Robin’s Folly are a mixture of curved and rectangular enclosures on a spur of land facing south-east [HER 16635];
  • An irregular cropmark forming two sides of a rough triangle has been found east of Brook Cottage [HER 16636].