This is a summary of just some Biggleswade streets, yards and corners and their origins:
Anne Street Named after Princess Anne.
Back Lane Later Brewery Lane, now Church Street
Back Street The back way to Stratton Street, Victoria Place was named after Queen Victoria.
Banks Road Isaac Banks put up 67 freehold building plots for sale by auction on 19th June 1901 he died in 1905.
Barnett Close Named after Squire Charles Barnett and his wife Lucy (nee Gregory) of Stratton Manor, they were here from 1764 until 1908. Find out about Lucy in our booklet Townsfolk of Biggleswade Volume 1.
Baulk, The Originally an unmade roadway between fields; was Cemetery Road and reverted to the old name on 22/12/1900.
Benson’s Row A row of cottages that ran from Chapel Fields toward Shortmead Street. They were named after Samuel Benson (a note that his second daughter, Mary Ann, married on 6th November 1851 at the Baptist Meeting House in Biggleswade to Robert Coates Mitton of Wellingborough, Northants).
Boddington Gardens Boddington Piece was the Land between The Baulk, Drove Road and London Road. Winton Hayes Ltd owned Boddington Works in Drove Road and they built Boddington Gardens.
Bond’s Lane John Bond was a baker at 15 Hitchin Street from about 1839. His son John carried on until 1915, when he sold the business to Maurice Bennett. Fred Knott of Letchworth bought it in 1929. In recent years it was The Granary now Lucy Mays tea room. Originally Bonds Lane ran from Hitchin Street to the New Inn Yard. A previous name was “Flander’s Lane”; source “History of Our Church- Old Meeting Baptist”, 1909.
Boothey Close “ Honest” John Boothey was a prominent town councillor.
Brewery Lane Earlier the Backway, Backside or Back Lane, changed to Brewery Lane now Church Street.
Bridge Street This appears in census records but is not mentioned in contemporary records. It is not always separated from Shortmead Street, but it seems to have been from The Black Swan/Ivel Hotel and Royal Oak to the bridge.
Brunswick Close Brunswick House is nearby.
Brunts Lane William Brunt was a china and glass dealer in Shortmead Street in 1877.
Chapel Fields The first Wesleyan Chapel was built in Cowfairlands in 1795 and the vicinity was known asChapel Place. A new Chapel was built in Shortmead Street in 1834 and the old building was converted into four houses; it was demolished 1957.
Chapman’s Corner On one side of Crab Lane, William Chapman lived at Stratton House
Church Street Originally the southern end of Shortmead Street until Brewery Lane was re-named, previously Back Lane
Crab Lane The road from London Road to Sun Street, possibilities Shaped like a crabs claw, Crab Apple trees grew there.
Dark Lane This lane leads from Shortmead Street to the river; It was enclosed on both sides by brick walls.
Dells Lane Leading to an old field called The Delves.
Down’s Maltings Now it is just called The Old Maltings in Church Street.
Eagle Farm Road The Spread Eagle Inn was there, later, Spread Eagle Farm then Eagle Farm, demolished in 1960.
Empire Close Built on the site of the Empire Cinema.
Fairlands It was once called Cowfair Lands and was previously a meadow and possibly where the Wet Shod Fair for cattle was held in November. Another contender for the Wet Shod Fair is Fairfield on the other side of Sun Street
Fairfield Road Leading to Fairfield House.
Flander’s Lane See Bond’s Lane.
Foundry Lane Morton & Kinman’s foundry was at the end of Palace Street now only 1 Foundry Row remains.
Franklin Road Named after Henry Franklin the miller.
Furzenhall Road Leading to Furzenhall Farm.
George Court Site of the old George Hotel.
George Street A temporary street populated with “Pre-fabs”in 1948; it linked the two ends of Holme Crescent extending parallel to the railway. It joined the footpath which still run from what was the southern edge of the George Hotel (now George Court) through to the western end of Saffron Road. It is still shown on the 1968 town map but had gone by 1971.
Havelock Road Quite probably named after Major General Sir Henry Havelock (1795 – 1857) – see hereand here (Thanks to Rob Cooper for the information)
Hick’s Pit Today it is the rough car park in front of what was Rose Lane School (now residential); it was a pit and belongs to the Lord of the Manor.
High Street, The Town Centre, Market Square or Market Hill Henry I granted the manor of Biggleswade and Holme to Bishop Hugh of Lincoln in 1132. There was a Town Development Scheme 1190 to 1200 with burgage plots rented out at a shilling a year. King John (1199 to 1216) granted right to hold a market. The southern side bounded the manor of Holme.
Hitchin Street Previously Holme Street and Hitchin Lane.
Hogge’s Garden The opposite side of Crab Lane to Stratton House, Mr . William Hogge lived at Ivel Bury.
Holme Court Avenue Holme Court is a large house at Holme Green.
Kayser Court Site of wartime Kayser Bondor factory; the original works was opposite.
Kitelands Road Old field name.
Lawrence Road Earlier, Cemetery Street.
Lindsell Crescent The Lindsell family who were partners in the brewery and lived at Fairfield House and Holme Court.
London Road was known as Baldock Lane in 1755 when the turnpike road opened from The Spread Eagle (now Eagle Farm Road).
Mill Lane Leading to Franklins Mill.
Newtown later Potton Road; it was once the new part of town at its northern edge.
Palace Street Extended from The New Inn Yard to Taylors the saddlers in Station Road and included the narrow lane through to Saffron Road. Biggleswade used to be in the diocese of Lincoln covering a vast area and the Bishop had a residence in Biggleswade when passing through. Part changed to Bonds Lane sometime after 1957.
Railway View or Railway Bank Beside the railway.
Redman Gardens The Redman family were controlling shareholders in Wells & Winch Ltd. Dudley Redman was chairman of the Biggleswade Urban District Council
Rose Lane The Rose & Crown coaching inn was at the corner, now rebuilt and renamed The Rose. The two rows of workmen’s houses, Rose Terrace and later Alexandra Terrace, date back to the wedding of The Prince of Wales and Princess Alexandra in 1863. Alexandra Rose Day in aid of hospitals commemorates her charitable work.
The Rowlands Old field name
Royal Oak Close Site of Old Inn.
Ryland’s Corner Corner of Market Square & Hitchin Street. John Ryland was trading as a grocer and tea dealer here by 1827.
Saffron Road Another new Road from the Railway Station to Hitchin Street on the site of Saffron Fields. (The saffron crocus)
St Andrews Street This area was connected with the parish church. The Conservative Club was called St Andrews. It was last in the private hands of Dr James.
St. John’s Street St. John’s Church was there
Shortmead Street This ran from just before the Methodist Church to Ivel bridge and Shortmead End. There is another Victoria Place here. Note that the sale plan for Ivel Bury (now the site of Millennium House, previously the Drill Hall and TA offices) included the garden opposite on the corner of Shortmead Street and Sun Street. This was earlier The Sun Inn garden, described in 1787 as a “handsome garden in front of the house, well fenced” The Biggleswade Chronicle mentions on17th July 1929 a”wall built around a dangerous gravel pit”The Sun closed in 1836. H A Collings opened his tractor depot on the site in 1935, it is now Hamilton Cars.
Spring Close Spring’s nursery was here.
Station Road Access to the Railway Station in 1850, created by The Great Northern Railway.
Stonelands Avenue Old field name.
Stratton Street Ran in the direction of the manor of Stratton from Camden House to Rose Lane but became part of High Street in 1947.
Sun Street Here was The Sun Inn.
Swanbourne Close Swanbourne was the private residence of George Thomas, landlord of Swan Hotel. It was demolished.
Whitfield’s Corner. Dr Whitfield was a former occupant.
Wilshere’s Road Miss Wilshere owned land in the area, she had a connection with Hitchin. (Note that the road was incorrectly named Willsheres by the Mid Beds District Council who failed to consult with the Biggleswade History Society but has eventually been corrected in 2009).
Windmill View The finest and tallest windmill in Bedfordshire (1858-1967) was between Hitchin Street and the river Ivel. It is quite likely that residents would have been unable to see the windmill from their houses in this road.
Ken Page 3rd August 2005 and others.