Caldecote, Hertfordshire

Caldecote, Hertfordshire

Caldecote is one of the smallest parishes in Hertfordshire, England. It covers only 325 acres.

Situated to the west of Ashwell. Caldecote consists of a cluster of cottages around the now disused church dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene, this is partly 14th century but mostly 15th century and in the perpendicular style.

The church is now in the care of the charity Friends of Friendless Churches and there are pictures of it on their web site.

There is a Manor house dating from the 14th century to the south of the church.

In the year 1724, several Roman urns, containing burnt bones and ashes, were discovered in this parish.

During the 1970s archaeological excavations were carried out for a number of summers under the direction of Professor Guy Beresford.

These revealed that during the 12th and 13th centuries there were approximately nine crofts lying to the north of the church and possibly three others close to the northwest boundary of the present manor garden. The population had declined by the mid 14th century (it it was decimated during 1349-50 due to The Black Death): no subsidy was paid in 1428 indicating that there were then less than ten householders. The excavations demonstrated that after the manor was granted to the Priory the lands of the peasantry were gradually amalgamated.

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