A Look at the Past: Unearthing a noble past

PUBLISHED: 17:24 05 October 2006 | UPDATED: 10:57 06 May 2010

Warren’s Pond

Warren’s Pond

The story of Stratton – additional facts THIS week, to finish off the Stratton story, our history expert Ken Page gives us some additional facts about the area. The Chapel of St Mary Extracted from The Victoria History of Bedfordshire There was an ancie

An extract from the 1901 OS map of Biggleswade with the pond marked in blue and Hitchmead Road to the north

The story of Stratton - additional facts

THIS week, to finish off the Stratton story, our history expert Ken Page gives us some additional facts about the area.

The Chapel of St Mary

Extracted from The Victoria History of Bedfordshire

There was an ancient chapel at Stratton dedicated to St Mary. In 1317, Thomas de Northfleet, prebend of Biggleswade and canon of St Paul's, left money to repair the chapel. In 1473 his widow, Maud obtained a licence to found a chantry for the souls of John Enderby and others.

Strange finds at Stratton

Two items extracted from the parish directory of 1862.

In 1790, a ploughman turned up about 300 gold coins of Henry VI enclosed in a yellow earthen pot while digging near the Manor House.

We now know that they were Rose Nobles. These are now eagerly sought by collectors.

A singular discovery was made in 1824 by some labourers who, while digging the foundations of a farmhouse near Biggleswade, suddenly struck against something hard, which proved to be a helmet of exquisite workmanship.

Some human bones next attracted their attention, and upon cleaning away the earth a ponderous metallic oval, supposed to be a shield, was taken up.

Next the complete skeleton of a gigantic warrior clad in armour, together with his horse, was discovered.

A long and ponderous sword lay next to the horse.

The next day, several more armed skeletons and their horses were found, all of which were in a perfectly upright position, and, consequently, must have been in some horrible pitfall contrived by the enemy. Whatever happened to the find?

We might be able to date the discoveries by looking at similar finds at Lakenheath in October 1997.

Archaeologists discovered a grave of a Saxon nobleman in which a horse and rider were buried together with a shield, sword and spear. The cemetery was dated from the fifth to seventh centuries.

There were two brickworks at Stratton; the best known is along Hitchmead Road towards Sunderland Farm.

After the works closed about 1890 the clay pit was known as Warren's Pond and noted for fishing - there was a notorious pike in residence.

Mr Arthur E Warren lived in a bungalow at what he called Hitchmead Lake in 1910. He later owned boats on the river before the Lido opened in 1929.

The urban district council filled Warren's Pond with domestic rubbish and the site was levelled in 1950.

Up my street

THE DELLS

THIS comes off of Dells Lane. The name is derived from that of a medieval field, the Delves.


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