Chawston is mainly situated on the western side of the A1 trunk road, although the settlement does have a number of residential properties on the eastern side of the A1. Chawston is some 8 miles from Bedford in the west and some 3 miles from St Neots due north east.
The Chawston manor estate dates to 1186, though the current Chawston Manor House is a 17th-century Grade II listed building. A former M.P. for Bedfordshire, Robert Hunt, owned Chawston Manor in 1414. The manor passed to his son, Roger Hunt, who was Speaker of the House of Commons in 1421 and 1433. He also became baron of the Exchequer.
During the 1930s, much of Chawston was incorporated into the Land Settlement Association Scheme (LSA). The scheme provided smallholdings of five acres in Chawston to unemployed miners from Kent and North East England. The new tenants of the land were required to sell any produce they grew through the LSA scheme. Approximately fifty years later, the LSA was abolished, and the properties in Chawston were sold on the open market, though some were secured by existing tenants. Many of the original LSA cottages have been extended and renovated since this time.
Chawston forms part of the Wyboston, Chawston and Colesden civil parish, and is mainly residential. The nearest shops and local services available to residents of Chawston are mainly located in the neighbouring village of Wyboston.
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- "Hosted By Bedford Borough Council: The Manor of Chawston". Bedfordshire.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 2012-02-22. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
- "plan". Wccparish.co.uk. 2007-05-03. Archived from the original on 2011-10-07. Retrieved 2012-08-06.