Remains of Stone Age flint working have been found in Caddington dating to the Lower Palaeolithic period. The flint tools and flakes were found in a number of locations around the village by the Dunstable antiquary, Worthington George Smith, between 1890 and 1910.
In one pit Smith found flint scatters just as they had been left by the original toolmakers and he was able to join many of the flakes back together again. In one instance it was possible to pour plaster of paris into a hollow inside a group of flakes to see the shape of the original tool.
In 1970 and 1971 a team of archaeologists from the University of Oregon re-excavated at Caddington. They were able to confirm the existence of Worthington George Smith's Palaeolithic working floors. The excavations also found the remains of elephant, rhinoceros and deer. Environmental samples indicated that at the time the Palaeolithic people were using the site it was an area of rough grassland surrounded by forest in which were a number of small water holes.
The site is dated to between 70,000 and 125,000 years ago. There was no evidence for any permanent settlement so it has been suggested that the site was a temporary camp site used by a group of hunter-gatherers.
- A history of Caddington and its people by Frank Sutton (1994, Perfect Print)
- Bedfordshire by James Dyer (Shire Publications, 1995)
- Man the primeval savage: his haunts and relics from the hill-tops of Bedfordshire to Blackwall by Worthington George Smith (Stanford, 1894)
- Notes on the Palaeolithic floor near Caddington by Worthington George Smith in Archaeologia Vol. 67 pp49-74 (1916)
- Paleoecology and archaeology of an Acheulian site at Caddington, England 1978 by C.G. Sampson (Southern Methodist University, USA). Copy held in Bedford Central Library.
Palaeolithic Caddington, by Bedfordshire Libraries, 2005
Page last updated: 23rd January 2014