Mill Road is one of the shortest (and steepest) roads in Oakington. There are just four houses, numbered confusingly 1, 2, 7 and 15.
However up till the second world war, Mill Road was actually one of the longest lanes in the village – it led past where Church View is now to a windmill, and a path continued beyond. Another road, Drift Road, branched right to a sand or gravel quarry. This all disappeared when the airfield was built, but plans for Northstowe include a footpath/cycle track along the old Mill Road route.
From the 1834 enclosures map you can see that Mill Road used to be called Gravel Pit Lane and the plot on which all the houses on the west side of Mill Road stands was called Town End Close.
Mill Road is on a peninsula of green sand that projects south from the airfield, whereas most of the village is on clay. The plots of 1 and probably 7 were used for gravel extraction. When a test pit was dug in No. 7 there was no archaeology at all – whereas at the top of Mill Road test pits revealed lots of archaeology: early Saxon archaeology thorough to medieval.
The Radfords who lived at number 15 in the middle of the twentieth century had an orchard and a market garden on the west side of the road. Asparagus was grown and sent off on an early train at the village station.
The Radfords’ land was divided into three building plots around the 1960s. The one at the top of the road was bought by Mrs Olive Doggett next door. In the middle plot and lower plots, Ruby had her bungalow built, and then in the late sixties, number 1.
JP, LW, NH, HA