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Stagsden in Prehistory

The Bedfordshire Historic Environment Record [HER] details every prehistoric find and site in the county. It is now available on-line as part of the Heritage Gateway website. The earliest evidence for human activity in what is now Stagsden may date to the Bronze Age. Cropmarks south-east of the village and east of Wickend Bridge may denote a ring ditch. These are generally Bronze Age features, often the remains of ploughed out round barrows. In this instance, however, there is no material evidence to support the theory.

Which is the problem with the remaining prehistoric sites in the parish. Aerial photography has highlighted a number of cropmarks which may be prehistoric but none can be accurately dated. The sites are as follows:

  • a group of irregular cropmarks lie at Up End, south-east of Grange Farm [HER 15049];
  • an extensive scatter of small cropmarks lie on a ridge between two valleys east of Ducksworth [HER 15050];
  • a rectangular cropmark, with an entrance to the south-east lies north of Meadow Farm Cottages and straddles the old parish boundary with Kempston Rural and links to a known trackway [HER16516];
  • a curvilinear enclosure and linear cropmarks south of Lambert's Spinney [HER 16518];
  • an oval cropmark on a ridge between two streams north-east of Firs Farm; the enclosure has an entrance to the south-east [HER 16521];
  • a small sub-square enclosure with attached linear features and an entrance to the north-east lies on top of a ridge south-west of the village [HER 16522];
  • a trapezoid shaped enclosure on a slight ridge stands out as a cropmark south of North End [HER 16523];
  • two fairly large conjoined rectilinear enclosures show as cropmarks north of the former Bird Gardens [HER 16524];
  • a cropmark west of Burdelys Manor shows a small, irregular enclosure [HER 16525];
  • a cropmark south-east of Hill Farm shows a large curvilinear enclosure [HER 16537];
  • cropmarks west of the line of the Bromham Bypass may show a group of enclosures but are very indistinct [HER 16553].