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Medieval Harlington

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

A moated site at Upper East End believed to be the original site of the Harlington Manor house was excavated in 1958. The investigations found a hall 64 feet long and 22 feet wide with partitions 12 feet from either end, of timber-framed construction on a chalk foundation and with a central hearth of tiles set on edge. Beside the hall was a detached kitchen block with a midden containing mussel, oyster and limpet shells. Other enclosures contained farm buildings. Finds made on the site included iron knives and arrowheads, fragments of bronze cauldrons, an iron flesh-hook on which meat would have been turned over the fire, ox shoes, and a silver penny of Edward I or II. It is thought that this building was the home of Pyrot family who held the manor of Harlington in the middle ages, and was occupied from the late 13th century to the end of the 15th century. After these excavations were carried out the site was levelled and ploughed over. Harlington Upper School was later built on this site [HER234]. 

The historic core of Harlington village was focused on and near the crossroads where Station Road, Church Road, Westoning Road and Sundon Road meet [HER17007]. Recent excavations at 32 Sundon Road, found a series of pits containing pottery dating to the early medieval period, and medieval pottery sherds were found across the site. A 12th century chessman carved from a walrus tusk was found in the 19th century at Bury Orchard, adjoining the churchyard. The original is now in Northampton Museum, and a replica is held in Luton Museum [HER20554]. 

There may also have been a medieval settlement at Harlington Woodend (now in Westoning), suggested by the former presence of a green, however when archaeological work was carried out at Harlington Wood End Cottage nothing significant was found [HER8564]. 

A hollow way, Long Lane, formed the parish boundary between Harlington and Westoning, then turned south and runs through Goswell End. It is likely that this lane was the boundary between two manorial estates, or within an estate, and has medieval origins [HER9720]. The route can be clearly seen on the Harlington enclosure map of 1810 [MA45].