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Sandy - History of the Early Times

Sandy History

History of Sandy: Early times

Sandy lies in a central position, by the River Ivel, and on a cross roads between Cambridge and Bedford to the east and west, and on the Great North Road between London and Edinburgh.

Sandy probably had settlements from Iron Age times and was probably occupied by the Casii tribe, who inhabited much of what we know to be 'The Three Counties - Beds, Bucks & Herts' . It would have formed part of the area known as Caswallon (Cassivelaunus of Roman times). The settlement may not have been of much importance until the arrival of the Romans from AD 43. There was a hill fort, known as Caesar's Camp, one of four camps in the area, which was an earthwork built on an outcrop overlooking the Ivel. The site is now occupied by private dwellings.

[The Victorian villa on the Caesars Camp site was built in 1861, by the Peel family, and passed into the Pym estate a few years later, when it was lived in by Charles Pym, MP for Bedford between 1895-1906. In the 30's, the property was leased by Sir Frederick Liddell, father of "Alice" (Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll 1865), until his death in 1950. When the Pym estate was sold up in the 1970's, the villa was also sold off. It is now occupied by the former MP and Deputy Speaker, Michael Morris and his wife (now Lord & Lady Naseby)].

The Roman settlement, with a road link between the two important centres of Godmanchester (Durovigutum ?) and St Albans (Verulamium), was probably quite an important staging post. Recent excavation work by archaeologists on the site of the current town cemetery, has unearthed interesting finds, including Roman coins and other artefacts dating back to the reign of Emperor Nero. This has added to finds made when the original G.N. Railway station was built during the last century. Examples of some of these finds are on display in the extended offices of Sandy Town Council, at 10 Cambridge Road.

For more on Roman Sandy, visit the Roman Sandy website.

There is also an unrelated site with information about Romano- British settlements. For more details and a map showing Romano-British sites in this region, click on the link.

A book has been published, giving a full background to the early history of Sandy, and is available from Sandy Town Council offices Tel: 01767 681491.

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