Waterfurlong - from Bradcroft to Brassicas 

Waterfurlong is a quiet lane to the west of Stamford town centre, outside the ancient St Peter's Gate. Sometimes the only sounds are bell-song, birdsong and, if the wind is in the south, the hum of distant traffic on the A1. But it hasn't always been as peaceful.

 

 

On our history pages you can discover how Waterfurlong follows the line of Roman Ermine Street, how the bread-ovens of medieval Bradcroft helped keep Stamford safe from fire, how the Sack and later the Austin friars tended souls and orchards, how Stamford's infamous Bull-run followed the Waterfurlong route, and how the gardens finally came to be created. Read about the punishments meted out for scrumping, the gardening neighbour from hell and the horticultural experiments Thomas Laxton carried out for Charles Darwin. 

As well as tracing the history of this little-explored corner of Stamford, we are also researching the lives of the many gardeners who preceded us. It is all a work in progress and if you can help us fill in gaps in our knowledge we would love to hear from you. 

TIMELINE

AD 45 - AD 60

894

1180

1272

1304

1323

1342

1446

1461

1538

1598

1640

1712

1831

1836

1839

1841-1850

1866

1871

1875

1876

1877

1878

1883

1884

1967

2016

2017

The Romans build Ermine Street on what is now Waterfurlong

 

Vikings raid ‘the western side of a place called Staneford’

The hamlet of Bradcroft first appears in written records

The Sack Friars settle outside St Peter's Gate

Bradcroft pays 100s rent to the Abbot of Peterborough for its

public ovens

The Sack Friars leave Stamford

Edward III grants a licence for the founding of an Austin friary

 

Last known land transaction for Bradcroft

The town is sacked in the Wars of the Roses and Stamford's economic decline accelerates

The Austin Friars leave Stamford following Henry VIII's 

Dissolution of the Monasteries

Elizabeth I grants the former Austin friary to William Cecil, Ist Baron Burghley

A new Mill Stream is cut and Mill House rebuilt by the Cecils

The former friary is excavated by Alderman Richard Feast

Rutland Terrace is completed - Thomas Laxton's father rents one

of the new houses

John Stevenson Esq rents 'a large garden in Waterfurlong' from

Lord Exeter

The last Bull-run takes place through Waterfurlong - William Haycock is prosecuted

Boundary garden walls are built either side of Waterfurlong road

Thomas Laxton corresponds with Charles Darwin about his pea trials

Parliament passes the Stamford Enclosure Act

The Enclosure Act comes into force and Lord Exeter creates 40 more allotment gardens to the west of Waterfurlong

Richard Brown establishes 12 acres of nursery beds on Roman Bank

Thomas Laxton is imprisoned and subsequently moves to Bedford

St Peter's Terrace is built at the top of Waterfurlong

Thomas Laxton names a long-podded bean after fellow gardener John Harrison

Sergt John Harrison is pistol-whipped near Henry Johnson's garden

40 gardens are transferred to the newly-created Cecil Family Estate Trust

The first Waterfurlong Apple Day is held

Natural England awards the gardens Traditional Orchard Status 

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