Priory House, Central Bedfordshire Council offices
Chicksands is located in Bedfordshire
Location within Bedfordshire
OS grid referenceTL124389
Civil parish
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtSG17
Dialling code01462
FireBedfordshire and Luton
AmbulanceEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places
52°02′13″N 0°21′36″W / 52.037°N 0.360°W / 52.037; -0.360

Chicksands is a village and former civil parish, now in the parish of Campton and Chicksands in the Central Bedfordshire district of Bedfordshire, England. The village is on the River Flit and close to its parish village of Campton and the town of Shefford.

In 1961 the parish had a population of 607.[1] In 2007, the population was estimated to be 2,510.[2] By the 2011 census the figure was 1,699.[3]

Mid Bedfordshire District Council moved to a new office building on a part of the former RAF Chicksands sportsfield, adjacent to the A507, having previously been based in offices at Ampthill and Biggleswade. The new office, named Priory House, was officially opened by the Queen on 17 November 2006 accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh.[4] The offices are now home to Central Bedfordshire Council.[5]


Chicksands is mentioned in the Domesday Book the entry reads: Chichesana/e: William de Cairon from Bishop of Lincoln; Three freemen and Walter from Azelina, Ralph Tailbois' wife (it is of her dowry). Mill.[6] It means "Cicca's sands", where Cicca is a personal name.[7]

Chicksands was the site of RAF Chicksands, an RAF station during World War II. The station was used by the United States Air Force from 1950 to 1995.[8] It was the location for its first huge FLR-9 direction finding antenna from 1963 to 1995. The antenna was known as the 'Elephant Cage' and was dismantled before the USAF left in 1995.[9] It is now home to the Joint Intelligence Training Group (JITG) and the Headquarters of the British Army's Intelligence Corps.[10]

Chicksands Priory, a monastic house built in 1150, is located within the grounds of the Joint Intelligence Training Group.[11] It is open to the public, by appointment only, on the 1st & 3rd Sunday afternoons, April–October.[12] Chicksands Priory was formerly an extra-parochial tract,[13] from 1858 Chicksands Priory was a civil parish in its own right, it was later renamed to just "Chicksands", on 1 April 1985 the parish was abolished and merged with Campton to form "Campton & Chicksands".[14]


  1. ^ "Population statistics Chicksands ExP/CP through time". A Vision of Britain through Time. Retrieved 30 January 2023.
  2. ^ Bedfordshire County Council, Population Estimates and Forecasts Archived 5 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine, estimate for 2007.
  3. ^ UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Campton and Chicksands Parish (1170221044)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Her Majesty the Queen in Bedfordshire". Bedford Today. 17 November 2006. Archived from the original on 5 August 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  5. ^ "Customer Services Centre". Central Bedfordshire Council. Archived from the original on 28 May 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  6. ^ "Chicksands in 1086". Bedfordshire Borough Council. Archived from the original on 20 April 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  7. ^ "Hosted By Bedford Borough Council: The Parish of Chicksands in General". Bedfordshire County Council. 7 October 2015. Retrieved 7 January 2024.
  8. ^ Beatty, Gavin (2010). "Bedfordshire - Defence Intelligence and Security Centre". Sanctuary. No. 39. Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom). p. 67. ISSN 0959-4132.
  9. ^ "Chicksands Wood". Visit Shefford. Archived from the original on 6 May 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  10. ^ "Campton & Chicksands Parish Plan" (PDF). Campton & 2010. p. 3. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  11. ^ "Chicksands Priory". Historic England. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  12. ^ "Visiting Chicksands Priory". Friends of Chicksands Priory. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  13. ^ "History of Chicksands in Mid Bedfordshire". A Vision of Britain through Time. Retrieved 30 January 2023.
  14. ^ "Biggleswade Registration District". UKBMD. Retrieved 30 January 2023.

Media related to Chicksands at Wikimedia Commons