Bedwell Hey
"How To Find A Lost Village"
 
 
by Brian Watson

Preliminary Research.

My first step was to ask around as to whether anyone had any knowledge of the places, and this I did in the Ely On-line e-list. A couple of the readers kindly gave me my start by telling me that on the A10 Ely to Cambridge road there are still both a Bedwell Hey Farm and a Braham Farm.

Further information supplied to the e-list was that there is a Bedwell Hey Lane in Witchford - it's the lane that leads to, and past, Witchford Village Hall - and that it used to be a favourite, and quite well used, cut-through to the A10 Cambridge-Ely Road just north of Little Thetford.

Armed with this preliminary information that some clues do still exist on the ground, the first village I chose to look for was Bedwell Hey as it seemed to be the easier option. No sense in knocking myself out...

I contacted Ely Museum on what they had there, but was told that all their material on Bedwell Hey and/or Brame has been passed to Cambridgeshire County Records Office (see the end of this article for their, and other, contact details).

I obviously needed a map for my walk, so I took a trip into Burrows' Bookshop in Ely and purchased the Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 226 (Ely & Newmarket, Mildenhall & Soham). It has an orange overwrap cover in its latest edition. It's scale is 1:25,000 which is approximately 4cm to 1Km, or 2.5 inches to the mile for those who have not yet gone metric. The map cost me £6.99 but it really is a must for anyone interested in the "what's where and what used to be where?" of this area.


Checking the map it can be seen how the original route of the lane has been diverted round the south side of the old airfield (which is now Lancaster Way Industrial Estate)

 

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