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Caddington in Early 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. The record reveals a number of pieces of evidence for human activity in Caddington from very early times.

The Old Stone Age, or Palaeolithic, lasted from the appearance of modern humans, around 2.5 million years ago, to somewhere around to about 10,000 BC and was succeeded by the Middle Stone Age, or Mesolithic. At this remote time, humans began to make stone tools and began to domesticate animals in agriculture. It is currently thought that modern humans first entered Britain about 25,000 BC.

In the 19th century a small quantity of Palaeolithic flints and a small quantity of implements was found in a clay pit north-east of Folly Farm [HER 2037]. A small number of Palaeolithic flints was also found in another brick pit north of Hawthorn Crescent [HER 2042].

More Palaeolithic flakes were found at Buncer’s Farm in the 19th century - in 1889 the great Dunstable antiquarian and amateur archaeologist Worthington George Smith noted an implement which he described as being oval in shape with “an ochreous crust and a pale indigo colour” He described it as being as sharp as a knife. Below this he discovered a thin layer of other Palaeolithic implements [HER 13557].

More Palaeolithic implements were found near Tipple Hill Farm and, thus, today’s boundary with the civil parish of Slip End [HER 13558] and more from the vicinity of Littlegreen farm [HER 13559]. The latter were included in a list of finds W. G. Smith made in 1903.

The Middle Stone Age, or Mesolithic, lasted from about 8000 BC to about 4000 BC and was succeeded by the New Stone Age, or Neolithic. At this time, families of hunter gatherers roamed across the country, making brief stops before moving on. A Mesolithic blade was found at Mill Field Farm as a result of field walking [HER 16071]. A scatter of Neolithic or Bronze Age flints found south of Luton Road may include some Mesolithic material [HER 16059]