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Shillington, Bedfordshire


The parish of Shillington today includes the formerly separate parish of Higham Gobion and the village of Pegsdon.  The present village of Shillington is a large attenuated settlement extending over more than 2km along a succession of streets and lanes which together form a large polygon. The majority of housing today lies at Hillfoot End (east of the church) and north of the road to Marquis Hill, with housing being continuous between these. A chalk hill rising c.20m above the surrounding land dominates the centre of the settlement, from the top of which the 14th century parish church of All Saint's affords clear views of the surrounding landscape and is visible from some distance. Settlement elsewhere in Shillington is arranged in several 'Ends' including Apsely End, Hanscombe End, Hillfoot End, Woodmer End and Bury End.  Discrete farms sited around the settlement include Hanscombe End Farm, Moorhen Farm, Northley Farm, Lordship Farm, Upton End Farm and Clawders Hill Farm. The modern parish is large, encompassing these Ends and farms, as well as the hamlet of Pegsdon and the formerly separate small village of Higham Gobion.

The 19th century settlement of Shillington, as depicted on the first edition Ordnance Survey 6” map, was equally extensive but contained fewer houses and hence retained a very much more dispersed character. The greatest concentration of housing lay east of the church along Church Street, forming a nucleated double row but with several plots north of this street notably devoid of housing. Further contiguous housing lay along the lane leading north towards Hillfoot End.  There were no houses north or west of the church.  To the south, housing was intermittent along the north side of High Road, with none south of this road which continued as an interrupted row all the way north-east to Marquis Hill where the settlement petered out.  Hillfoot End was an entirely separate hamlet of a dozen or so tightly abutting properties, comprising around a dozen or so cottages mostly south-east of a tiny triangular green where three lanes meet. Hanscombe End was extremely dispersed with a handful of properties of varying size arranged along a winding lane. Woodmer End comprised around 20 properties along a single lane, arranged as an interrupted row at the south end and a more compact double row to the north, where it merges with the smaller Bury End, which displayed a similar dispersed plan.  Upton End comprised no more than five larger farm-like properties either side of the road towards Marquis Hill, where there was very little settlement at all. Northley Farm, Shillington Bury Farm were isolated sites with no near neighbours.



Local Information Websites

Shillington History Society

Shillington Village Website

British History Online

Heritage Gateway


Projects by Year



Test Pit Pottery Distribution Map 2013-2014

Test Pit Animal Bone Distribution Map 2013

Test Pit Flint & Burnt Stone Distribution Map 2013


Click here for the full write up of the Shillington test pitting