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.