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Mill Dam Close Husborne Crawley

Mill Dam Close Shown in green
Mill Dam Close Shown in green

In 1970 Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service staff carried out research on a number of fields belonging to Woburn Experimental Farm in Husborne Crawley. This seems to have been prompted by an enquiry from The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Plant Pathology Laboratory about Workhouse Field.

Research on Mill Dam Close [CRT130HusborneCrawley2] revealed that in 1760 [R1/42] the ground comprised 4 acres, 1 rood, 35 poles and was called Duke of Bedford's Mill Pightles and the mill stream flowed through it. The land also included part of Mill Way Common (a common of pasture which included a track to Brogborough) and the ends of six strips in Lansome Furlong.

When Husborne Crawley was inclosed in 1799 [MA75] the land was shown two pieces of old inclosure with a piece of newly inclosed land  which formed part of the seventh allotment to the Duke of Bedford and the three inclosures were thrown together to form Mill Dam Close. In 1820 [R1/43] the field was described as "mill, orchard and Lansome Moor".

Cropping books forming part of the estate archive of the Duke of Bedford [R4/209, 215, 223 and 229] show that throughout the period 1866 to 1909 the close was simply used for grazing animals.