Stotfold's History, Stotfold of Today, Stotfold Walks, Places of Interest
The name of Stotfold is thought to have been derived from the practice of northern cattle drovers breaking their journey at this point along the A1 Great North Road and penning their cattle (stots) in enclosures (folds) before continuing their journeys southwards.
The Archaeological team of the former Bedfordshire County Council have found traces of long forgotten settlements around the outskirts of today's town. These bear witness to the fact that people settled with their families and animals on land in this area as long ago as the Stone Age, approx. 2700BC.
The River Ivel, which runs through the town, was probably a great factor in the decision to settle and in later years the Great North Road linking the south with the north ensured continuing inhabitation. The Doomsday Book of 1086 records STOTFALT as having a population of 200.
The Stotfold of today is a growing town situated in the south east of Bedfordshire, close to the border with Hertfordshire.
The town extends over an area of 2207 acres making this a large parish. The present population amounts to some 7,600 people, and this number is increasing as new, large developments are completed.
Local Government in Bedfordshire has recently undergone a review, and from April 2009 the new unitary authority Central Bedfordshire Council came into being. This replaces the former Mid Beds District and Bedfordshire County Councils. Further details on their roles and contact information can be found on the Council page of this site.
Many of the buildings around the town bear witness to the Stotfold of Yesteryear:
The oldest surviving building is St Mary's Parish Church which dates back to Norman times and still contains traces of its traditional architecture.
Randall's Mill, though now damaged by fire, dates back to the Industrial era of the 1800's. The Mill is being restored to its former working glory by a group of local residents who have formed the Stotfold Mill Preservation Trust.
Many of the old cottages around the town date back to a gentler time when you can imagine the annual Stotfold Feast being held on the Village Green. The Green is now in the ownership of the Town Council and the date of the Stotfold Feast, the first Friday after the second Monday in July, is still marked by a fun fair.
Stotfold Cemetery dates back to 1898 and the Town Council and residents are justly proud of the sympathetic way it has been landscaped and its tidy condition.
Historical Maps 1891 -1892
The best way to explore the beauty of old Stotfold and the surrounding countryside is on foot and pamphlets on walks are available from the Town Council Offices.
Stotfold Walks Return to top
Members of Stotfold's conservation group,Teasel, have produced six short linked walks in and around Stotfold, and leaflets for each of the walks can be downloaded below. As well as the six walks, there is a combined map, showing how they link together and nature notes of the creatures and plants that may be seen at different times of the year.
Teasel members work to maintain and enhance green areas of Stotfold, including Centenary Wood, Millennium Green, parts of the Kingfisher Way and Stotfold Watermill Local Nature Reserve. For more information about Teasel's work, contact their website directly on http://www.teasel-info.co.uk/ .
(leaflets are reproduced here by permission of Teasel)
Places of Interest
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Stotfold Mill, formerly known as Randall's Mill, was the town's last working watermill, ceasing operation in 1966. A watermill at this point on the River Ivel is one of four in Stotfold which are listed in the 1086 Domesday Book.
Stotfold Watermill Local Nature Reserve
Established in summer 1999, the meadows are being managed for wildlife. The site includes a wetland of inter-connected ponds, a small woodland and a wildflower meadow.
St Mary's Church
The oldest part of the parish church was built in the 12th century with additions being made up until the 19th century.
The church has 8 bells with the oldest bell dated 1484.
Situated along the High Street and includes a supermarket, takeaways, estate agents, hairdresser, florist and craft shop.
Stotfold boasts 4 recreation areas which includes a skate park, river side, play areas and sport facilities.