Thursday, 4 July 2013

The Washbrook, Bedwell, 1762

The Washbrook is clearly identified on the 1762 survey map of Houghton Regis Parish, copied in 1766, and now held at the County Archives in Bedford. Today's Bidwell was then known as "Bedwell".

The Washbrook appears to have been a pond opposite the end of today's Thorn Road at its junction with Lords Hill and Bedford Road. Back in 1762 Thorn Road was labelled on this map as Dog Lane.



To get here the stream starts just before the "Chaulton Parish" boundary. Rain falling to the West of Chalton Heights permeates down and becomes the start.

Then flows west through The Font.

Then west through Little Crixsey, with "The Camp Headons" to the north.

Then west through Great Crixsey Cow Common. (top picture).

Land between the track and today's Dunstablians Rugby Club is labelled "Washbrook Headons", and to the north is the southern edge of "Carcutt Farm" (nowadays known as Calcutt Farm).


Another source of The Washbrook (pond) is still visible as a ditch cutting between the two pitches of today's Rugby Club. Part of the Rugby Club's grounds was then known as Great Crixsey Cow Common.

At this point it would appear to go underground, flowing somewhere between the Sewerage Works and Thorn Road. From there it is thought it runs much of the way underground to a lake on the way to Leighton Buzzard.





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