around the new settlement was certainly well wooded and uncultivated.
Perhaps there were small areas of land roughly cleared by the
previous settlers but much of the land to be cleared was virgin
forest and scrub land.
It took many
years of hard labour to remove the natural vegetation and create
fields on which crops could be grown and stock grazed.
were no easy crossings of the river Chamble our early Camptonians
did not seek to possess land south and east of it. This land went
to Meppershall. Nor did they attempt to win any land north of
the river Flitt, and such land was later owned by Chicksands Priory.
Seventh Century A.D. central England, including our area had become
the single kingdom of Mercia. In 653 A.D. it was converted to
Christianity. When the faith reached our district Camptonians
built a church of wood - most probably on the same site as the
present one. Later they built a water mill.
In 835 the
eastern part of Mercia was attacked by the Danes who won many
victories. For many years Campton lay within the Dane law and
had to pay tribute to the Danish overlords.
In 924 the
Danes lost control of Eastern England and our area became a Saxon
administrative unit known as Bedanfordscir which later became
the County of Bedfordshire. The county was divided into "hundreds"
and our village together with our neighbours was placed in the
In 975 a
long period of relative peace was broken as the Danes renewed
their attacks and many places were devastated. Peace was not restored
until 1017 when Canute, already ruler of Denmark and Norway, conquered
all England. On the whole he ruled well and his reign was relatively