Skip Navigation

Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

Home > Community Histories > LittleBarford > Little Barford Before 1086

Little Barford Before 1086

There has been human habitation in Little Barford since very early times which is not unexpected given its location on a major river - the Great Ouse. The Bedfordshire Historic Environment Record, now on-line on the Heritage Gateway site records all the prehistoric and Roman finds and sites in the parish.

The earliest evidence of human activity comes in the form of two Mesolithic cores, four flakes and a scraper now in BedfordMuseum [HER 9765]. Another prehistoric flake was found in 1984 on a surface being scraped for a carriageway at Alington Road [HER 15380]. At that time the site lay in Cambridgeshire but after boundary changes in 1991 the area now lies in Bedfordshire.

Cropmarks north of Top Farm [HER 13994] show an extensive area of mainly rectilinear enclosures, either side of a former watercourse and these are believed to be prehistoric. To the east of Top Farm cropmarks show a conjoined group of small sub-rectangular enclosures, again believed to be prehistoric [HER 16821]. South of Little Barford Power Station is an area of cropmarks showing a possible ring ditch [HER 637]. Ring ditches are usually assumed to be the remains of round barrows and are Bronze Age in date.

The Viatores, a group dedicated to discovering Roman roads surviving in the modern landscape, highlight a major Roman road between Sandy and Godmanchester [Cambridgeshire], which survives for much of its course as field boundaries, but has not been re-used in modern times [HER 505]. This road has also been traced between Sandy and Baldock [Hertfordshire]. It enters Bedfordshire from Radwell [Hertfordshire] and is marked by modern roads as far as Biggleswade. North of Biggleswade the line is more conjectural. At Sandy the line of the road runs to the east of the town and to the north of Sandy it is traced as a series of hedgelines, partly on aggers [causewayed Roman roads]. This conjectural road runs through the parish

A site consisting of three intercutting ditches occupying a known cropmark site was excavated at Glebe Farm. The site was first located as a single ditch with Roman pottery being found in the topsoil up to 40 metres north of the ditch. A small amount of pottery and bone was found in another ditch. All ditches were aligned east-west. The site is located on a gravel terrace [HER 9072]

Finally, a coin of the Emperor Vespasian (69-79 AD) was found at an unspecified date. It came from a gravel pit near the church at Little Barford [HER 478].