[From Samuel Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England 1831.]
EASTCOTTS, a chapelry in the parish of CARDINGTON, hundred Of WIXAMTREE, county of BEDFORD, 3½ miles (S. E.) from Bedford, containing, with Cotton-End, Harrowden, and Fenlake, 588 inhabitants.
Kelly's Directory of Bedfordshire 1898 - EASTCOTTS
EASTCOTTS (formerly Eascotts) is a parish comprising three hamlets, viz.: FENLAKE and NEW FENLAKE, one mile south-east from Bedford;HARROWDEN, one mile and a half south-east, on a feeder of the river Ouse, and COTTON END, 3 miles south-east, all on or near the road from Bedford to Hitchin : it is in the Northern division of the county, hundred of Wixamtree, and petty sessional division, union and county court district of Bedford. The parish is ecclesiastically annexed to Cardington. At Cotton End is a large Baptist chapel, re-built by subscription in 1836, and seating about 600 persons. A Sunday School with large class rooms was erected in 1894, and is also used for parish purposes. Forster£s charity, of £30 yearly, derived from land here, is distributed in two sums of £25 to, this district and £5 to Cardington. Pillow lace was formerly made here, but this handicraft is now almost extinct. Samuel Whitbread esq. D.L., J.P. of Southill Park is lord of the manor and principal landowner. The soil is clay; subsoil, gravel and clay. The chief crops are wheat, barley, beans and turnips. The area is 2,802 acres of land and 14 of water; rateable value, £3,712; the population in 1891 was 830.
POST OFFICE, Harrowden, Frederick Shreeves, sub-postmaster. Letters arrive from Bedford at 8.30 a.m.; dispatched at 5.35 p.m.; Sundays, 12.45. p.m. Cardington is the nearest money order 1 mile distant, & telegraph office at Elstow, distance 19 miles
WALL LETTER BOX, Fenlake, cleared at 5.50 p.m. on weekdays; 12.35 p.m. on Sundays. Letters arrive from Bedford about 7.30 a.m. The nearest money order & telegraph office is Bedford
WALL LETTER BOX, Cotton End, cleared 4.15 p.m. week days only
WALL LETTER BOX, New Fenlake, cleared at 8 & 11.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; sundavs, 1 p.m.
A School Board of 5 members was formed here November 14, 1873; Mark Sharman, St. Paul£s square, clerk to the board
Board School (mixed), Cotton End, built in 1874, at a cost of £1,174, for 140 children; average attendance, 83; there is a master£s house attached; Frederick William Clench, master; Mrs. Clench, infants£ mistress; Miss M. J. Chapman, assistant mistress
CARRIERS TO BEDFORD - Barnes, Cambers, Barber, Finding & Whittemore, tuesdays, fridays & saturdays
Clench Frederick William
Ballard & Son, farmers
|Hallwortb George, farmer, Herring grn
Hilton Frederick, farmer
Simms Walter, baker & farmer
Simpson John, farmer, Rook Tree farm
Stimson Samuel, farmer, Manor farm
Smith Sarah (Mrs.), beer retailer
Summerfield Frederick, farm bailiff to Samuel Whitbread esq. D.L., J.P. Wood farm
Thody Samuel, farmer
Tompkins Jesse, grocer
Duberly Maj. Arthur Grey j.p. The Barnes
Busbby James, Bricklayers£ Arms p.h.
Harper Joseph, dairyman