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Utopia Britannica

British Utopian Experiments 1325 - 1945

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BEDFORDSHIRE

Dunstable Diggers Colony 1649-50?
One of a series of 'other' Diggers colonies. (See St George's Hill, Surrey for more details)
GRID REF: Location Unknown
REF : World Turned Upside down

Moravian Community House C1740
Five newly-wed couples from the Bedford Moravian Congregation lived together in one community house.
GRID REF: Location Unknown
REF : Moravian Pamphlet / http;//www.moravian.org.uk

Cardington 1763-4
FOUNDER/ LEADER : John Howard.
Cottages built around a green by prison reformer John Howard.
GRID REF: TL089477
REF Villages of Vision

Shortstown 1917
Garden Village development by Short Bros. aircraft-makers - later became RAF property.
GRID REF: TL 064452
REF : Villages of Vision

The Panacea Society 1920s - Present
Group set up by ex-lunatic asylum patient Mabel Barltrop who claimed to be the incarnation of the shiloh 'born' to the prophetess Joanna Southcot - changing her name to Octavia she gathered around her a group of followers to carryout the final works of Southcot. They claim to have the 'Ark' containing the prophetesses final words which will save England and the world from all ills, hence the name the 'Panacea society' - the box can only opened by getting together 24 Bishops - a feat that has so far defeated the Panaceans - despite them building a house for the purpose with 24 bedrooms and a special ark opening room. Barltrop gathered around her 12 female 'disciples' and with donations from followers built and purchased a number of houses in Bedford, which had been declared the ancient site of the garden of Eden by Barlthrop. The society is still in exsistence with its elderly members still calling for the Bishops to heed thier call and save us all from "Crime and Banditry".
GRID REF: Albany rd /Rothsay Road &Newnham Road.Bedford.
REF : Maidens of the lost Ark. C4 / Bedfordshire libraries digital archive

Chawston Land Settlement Scheme 1935 - 82?
Government sponsored experiment in Land Settlement. Schemes were set up throughout the country providing group smallholdings for the unemployed. Each scheme was planned on a similar layout, leading to an identifiable Land Settlement scheme landscape.
The plots are usually laid out on a grid pattern with small cottages and vast acres of greenhouses. Success of the schemes was patchy; depending on quality of the land, proximity to markets and experience of the smallholders. Some schemes had joint marketing and distribution set-ups. The whole Land Settlement programme was wound up by the Thatcher government in the 1980s with holders forced to buy their leases or leave. Some of the schemes have thriving horticultural businesses still operating from them, but more than a few have derelict holdings on them.
GRID REF: TL 153559
REF: Colin Ward D&D 94/95

Stewartby 1927
Model factory village built by London Brick company.
GRID REF: TL020424
REF : Villages of Vision

Potton 1935 - 82?
Land Settlement Association smallholding scheme. (See Chawston Beds.)
GRID REF:
REF: Colin Ward D&D 94/95 / Utopian England

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Site last updated 3.1.2007