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Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
(/ˈbɛdfərdʃər, -ʃɪər/; abbreviated Beds.) is a county in the East of England. It is a ceremonial county and a historic county, covered by three unitary authorities: Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, and Luton. Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
is bordered by Cambridgeshire
Cambridgeshire
to the east/northeast, Northamptonshire
Northamptonshire
to the north, Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire
to the west and Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
to the east/southeast. It is the fourteenth most densely populated county of England, with over half the population of the county living in the two largest built-up areas: Luton
Luton
(236,000) and the county town, Bedford
Bedford
(102,000).[2] The highest elevation point is 243 metres (797 ft) on Dunstable Downs
Dunstable Downs
in the Chilterns.

Contents

1 History 2 Geography

2.1 Climate

3 Politics

3.1 Police and Crime Commissioner 3.2 Local government 3.3 Emergency services 3.4 Parliamentary constituencies

4 Economy 5 Traditional Dishes 6 Visitor attractions 7 Transport

7.1 Roads 7.2 Railways 7.3 Taxis 7.4 Waterways 7.5 Air

8 Settlements in Bedfordshire 9 Education

9.1 Bedford
Bedford
and Central Bedfordshire 9.2 Luton 9.3 Higher education

10 Landmarks

10.1 Cardington airship sheds 10.2 St Paul's Church Bedford 10.3 Millbrook Proving Ground

11 Sports and Leisure 12 Notable people from Bedfordshire 13 Bibliographical references 14 See also 15 References 16 External links

History[edit] Main article: History of Bedfordshire The first recorded use of the name in 1011 was "Bedanfordscir," meaning the shire or county of Bedford, which itself means "Beda's ford" (river crossing). Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
was historically divided into nine hundreds: Barford, Biggleswade, Clifton, Flitt, Manshead, Redbornestoke, Stodden, Willey, Wixamtree, along with the liberty and borough of Bedford. There have been several changes to the county boundary; for example, in 1897 Kensworth
Kensworth
and part of Caddington
Caddington
were transferred from Hertfordshire to Bedfordshire. Geography[edit] The southern end of the county is on the chalk ridge known as the Chiltern Hills. The remainder is part of the broad drainage basin of the River Great Ouse
River Great Ouse
and its tributaries. Most of Bedfordshire's rocks are clays and sandstones from the Jurassic
Jurassic
and Cretaceous
Cretaceous
periods, with some limestone. Local clay has been used for brick-making of Fletton
Fletton
style bricks in the Marston Vale. Glacial erosion of chalk has left the hard flint nodules deposited as gravel—this has been commercially extracted in the past at pits which are now lakes, at Priory Country Park, Wyboston
Wyboston
and Felmersham. The Greensand Ridge is an escarpment across the county from near Leighton Buzzard
Leighton Buzzard
to near Gamlingay
Gamlingay
in Cambridgeshire. Climate[edit] Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
is relatively dry, being situated in the east of England. Average annual rainfall is 597.6 millimetres (23.53 in) at Bedford.[3] October is the wettest month with 62.5 millimetres (2.46 in), February the driest with 36.7 millimetres (1.44 in). While there is little difference from month to month there are more wet days in autumn and winter but often heavier individual falls in spring and summer, of note were the 1998 Easter floods.[4] Average temperatures in Bedford
Bedford
range from a low of 0.8 °C (33.4 °F) overnight[3] in February to a high of 22.1 °C (71.8 °F) during the day in July.[3] In the last 20 years the highest temperature recorded was 35.9 °C (96.6 °F).[5] The lowest temperature on record in Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
is −20.6 °C (−5.1 °F) at Woburn on 25 February 1947.[6] Politics[edit] Police and Crime Commissioner[edit] The Bedfordshire Police
Bedfordshire Police
and Crime Commissioner is Kathryn Holloway who is a member of the Conservative Party. Local government[edit] For local government purposes, Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
is divided into three unitary authorities: the boroughs of Bedford
Bedford
and Luton, and the District of Central Bedfordshire. Bedfordshire County Council was abolished on 1 April 2009, although the three districts continue to form a county for ceremonial functions such as lieutenancy and High Sheriff.[7] Many services in the county, such as education and public libraries, continue to be provided jointly by Central Bedfordshire
Central Bedfordshire
and Bedford
Bedford
as if they were a single local authority.[8] Emergency services[edit] Policing, fire and rescue services continue to be provided on a county-wide basis, with Bedfordshire Police
Bedfordshire Police
governed by the Bedfordshire Police
Bedfordshire Police
and Crime Commissioner and Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
and Luton Fire and Rescue Service governed members of the three councils.[9] Parliamentary constituencies[edit] For elections to the House of Commons, Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
is divided into six constituencies, each returning a single member of parliament:

Constituency Member of Parliament

Bedford   Mohammad Yasin

Luton
Luton
North   Kelvin Hopkins

Luton
Luton
South   Gavin Shuker

Mid Bedfordshire   Nadine Dorries

North East Bedfordshire   Alistair Burt

South West Bedfordshire   Andrew Selous

The present constituencies date from 1997.[10] The boundaries were slightly modified for the 2010 general election.[11] See also: Category:Parliamentary constituencies in Bedfordshire (historic). Economy[edit] This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Bedfordshire at current basic prices published (pp. 240–253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.

Year Regional Gross Value Added[12] Agriculture[13] Industry[14] Services[15]

1995 4,109 81 1,584 2,444

2000 4,716 53 1,296 3,367

2003 5,466 52 1,311 4,102

Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
is the location of a number of notable UK and international companies who have either headquarters or major bases in the county. Autoglass, Boxclever and Charles Wells Pubs are all based in Bedford, while the Kier Group
Kier Group
and Kingspan Timber Solutions are based in Sandy, and Jordans Cereals are based in Biggleswade. EasyJet, Impellam, TUI Airways
TUI Airways
and Vauxhall Motors
Vauxhall Motors
are all based in Luton, while Whitbread
Whitbread
(including Costa Coffee) is based in nearby Houghton Regis. UltraVision is based in Leighton Buzzard, while Moto Hospitality is based at Toddington service station. Traditional Dishes[edit] The " Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
clanger" is a local dish consisting of a suet crust pastry filled with meat in one end and jam in the other. Visitor attractions[edit]

Key

Abbey/Priory/Cathedral

Accessible open space

Amusement/Theme Park

Castle

Country Park

English Heritage

Forestry Commission

Heritage railway

Historic House

Museum (free/not free)

National Trust

Theatre

Zoo

Bedford
Bedford
Castle Bedford
Bedford
Corn Exchange Cecil Higgins Art Gallery & Bedford
Bedford
Museum Bedford
Bedford
Park Cardington ( R101
R101
hangar) Chicksands Priory Chiltern Hills De Grey Mausoleum Dunstable
Dunstable
Downs Elstow Moot Hall Harrold-Odell Country Park Houghton House Leighton Buzzard
Leighton Buzzard
Light Railway Luton
Luton
Hoo Luton
Luton
Museum & Art Gallery Marston Vale Community Forest Mossman Collection Priory Country Park RAF Henlow RSPB The Lodge, Sandy Someries Castle The Shuttleworth Collection Stockwood Craft Museum Wardown Park Waulud's Bank Whipsnade Wildlife Park Whipsnade Tree Cathedral Willington Dovecote & Stables Woburn Abbey Woburn Safari Park Woodside Farm and Wildfowl Park Wrest Park Gardens

Transport[edit] See also: List of future transport developments in the East of England Although not a major transport destination, Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
lies on many of the main transport routes which link London
London
to the Midlands and Northern England. Roads[edit] Two of England's six main trunk roads pass through Bedfordshire:

The A1 London
London
to Edinburgh
Edinburgh
road (the Great North Road) runs close by Biggleswade
Biggleswade
and Sandy The A5 London
London
to Holyhead
Holyhead
road (Watling Street), passes through Dunstable

To these was added in 1959 the M1 motorway, the London
London
to Leeds motorway. This has three junctions around Luton, one serving Bedford and another serving Milton Keynes. Former trunk roads, now local roads managed by the local highway authority, include A428 running east–west through Bedford
Bedford
Borough, and A6 from Rushden to Luton. Railways[edit] Three of England's main lines pass through Bedfordshire:

The West Coast Main Line
West Coast Main Line
has but a short section in the far west of the county. The one station at Leighton Buzzard
Leighton Buzzard
is served by London Midland trains to London
London
Euston and Northampton. The East Coast Main Line
East Coast Main Line
has stations at Arlesey, Biggleswade
Biggleswade
and Sandy, served by Great Northern services to King's Cross and Peterborough The Midland Main Line
Midland Main Line
serves Luton
Luton
and Bedford
Bedford
with trains to many destinations operated by East Midlands Trains
East Midlands Trains
and Thameslink.

There are rural services also running between Bedford
Bedford
and Bletchley along the Marston Vale Line. Taxis[edit] Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
is served by a large number of taxi companies. Luton
Luton
is reported to have the highest number of taxicabs per head of population[citation needed] in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
with a number of firms competing for work in the town and from London
London
Luton
Luton
Airport. Waterways[edit] The River Great Ouse
River Great Ouse
links Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
to the Fenland
Fenland
waterways. As of 2004 there are plans by the Bedford
Bedford
& Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes
Waterway Trust to construct a canal linking the Great Ouse at Bedford
Bedford
to the Grand Union Canal
Canal
at Milton Keynes, 14 miles (23 km) distant.[16] Air[edit] London
London
Luton
Luton
Airport has flights to many UK, European, Middle Eastern and North African
North African
destinations, operated largely but not exclusively by low-cost airlines. Settlements in Bedfordshire[edit] Main article: List of places in Bedfordshire Further information: List of Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
settlements by population and Civil parishes in Bedfordshire Education[edit] The state education system for all of Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
used to be organised by Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
County Council. Unlike most of the United Kingdom, Bedfordshire County Council operated a three-tier education system arranged into lower, middle and upper schools, as recommended in the Plowden Report of 1967, although Luton
Luton
continued to operate a two-tier system. The three-tier arrangement continues in the rest of the county, though in 2006 a vote was held with a view to moving to the two-tier model, but this was rejected.[17] After the 2009 structural changes to local government in England, Bedfordshire County Council was abolished, and its responsibilities for education were passed to Bedford
Bedford
Borough Council and Central Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
Council. Though Central Bedfordshire
Central Bedfordshire
plans to continue with the three-tier model in its area, Bedford
Bedford
Borough Council voted in November 2009 to change to the two-tier model in its area.[18][19] The change was due to be introduced over a five-year period and be completed in 2015.[20] However, with the cancellation of the Building Schools for the Future programme in 2010, the borough has changed its proposals, and the switch is now proceeding on school by school basis where council funds allow. Bedford
Bedford
and Central Bedfordshire[edit] Until the division into two unitary authorities in April 2009, education in the area continued to be administered by Bedfordshire County Council. All of the two councils' upper schools offer 6th form courses (such as A Levels), though Bedford
Bedford
College, Central Bedfordshire
Central Bedfordshire
College and Shuttleworth College also offer a range of further education courses. Additionally, Stella Mann College is a private college (based in Bedford), which offers a range of further education courses relating to the performing arts.[21][22] There are a number of independent schools, many of which have links to the Harpur Trust. These are Bedford
Bedford
School for boys (formerly Bedford Grammar School), Bedford
Bedford
Modern School (co-educational), Bedford Girls' School and Pilgrims Pre-Preparatory School (co-educational). Luton[edit] Main article: Education in Luton Luton
Luton
also operates a three-tier education system, though its organisation of infant, junior and high schools mirrors the traditional transfer age into secondary education of 11 years. However, most of Luton's high schools do not offer sixth-form education. Instead, this is handled by Luton
Luton
Sixth Form College, though Barnfield College and Cardinal Newman Catholic School also offer a range of further education courses. Higher education[edit] There are two universities based in the county – the University of Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
and Cranfield University. These institutions attract students from all over the UK and abroad, as well as from Bedfordshire. Landmarks[edit] Cardington airship sheds[edit] The enormous Cardington airship sheds are situated to the south of Bedford, near the villages of Cardington and Shortstown. They were originally built for the construction of large airships during WW1. Since falling out of their intended use, one has been used for many purposes including housing film sets for 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' and 'Batman Begins' and as a rehearsal space for Take That, with the other having been extensively refurbished and now accommodating Hybrid Air Vehicles, a British modern airship design and manufacturing company. St Paul's Church Bedford[edit] St Paul's Church, Bedford
Bedford
is a Church of England
England
parish church and the Civic Church of the Borough of Bedford
Borough of Bedford
and the County of Bedfordshire. Located on St Paul's Square, the large medieval and later church of cathedral proportions and iconic spire dominates the town and area, exercises a ministry of welcome to thousands of visitors and pilgrims from far and wide each year, and is a focus for special commemorations and celebrations in the borough, county, region and wider community, as well as being a central venue for concerts, recitals and exhibitions. Historically, St Paul’s played a key part in the life of the British nation during the Second World War as the church of the BBC. Millbrook Proving Ground[edit] The Millbrook Proving Ground, near Junction 13 of the M1, has 70 kilometres (43 mi) of varied vehicle test tracks.[23] Sports and Leisure[edit] Main article: Sport in Bedfordshire Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
is home to Luton
Luton
Town F.C. and Bedford
Bedford
Blues rugby team amongst other various sporting teams. Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
boasts a 40-mile (64 km) walk traversing the county from Leighton Buzzard
Leighton Buzzard
at the southern end point and Sandy, Bedfordshire/ Gamlingay
Gamlingay
in southern Cambridgeshire
Cambridgeshire
to the east. This is called the Greensand Ridge Walk. For cyclists, a parallel route following minor country roads is also available, Greensand Cycle Way. Notable people from Bedfordshire[edit]

Harold Abrahams Mick Abrahams Steve Askew Ronnie Barker Martin Bayfield Lady Margaret Beaufort Matt Berry John Bunyan John Byng Alastair Cook Kerry Dixon Tim Foster Barry Fry George Gascoigne Lucie Green Damon Gough Arthur Hailey Sir William Harpur Jaymi Hensley Asher Hucklesby Trevor Huddleston Sir Alec Jeffreys Jeremy Irvine Andy Johnson Wayne Larkins John Le Mesurier Steve Linsdell Sir William Morgan John Oliver Monty Panesar Sir Joseph Paxton Victoria Pendleton Paula Radcliffe Mark Rutherford Robert Sedgwick Elkanah Settle Matt Skelton Noel Stanton Sir Malcolm Stewart Carol Vorderman Charles Wells Paul Young Ben Whishaw Samuel Whitbread

Bibliographical references[edit]

Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
Magazine (quarterly)[24] Elstow Moot Hall
Elstow Moot Hall
leaflets on John Bunyan
John Bunyan
and 17th century subjects[24] Guide to the Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
Record Office 1957 with supplements.[24] Guide to the Russell Estate Collections Published in 1966.[24] Conisbe, L. R. (1962) A Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
Bibliography (supplement, 1967)[24] Dony, John (1953) A Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
Flora. Luton: Corporation of Luton Museum & Art Gallery[24] Dony, John (1942) A History of the Straw Hat Industry. Luton: Gibbs, Bamforth & Co.[24] Freeman, Charles (1958) Pillow Lace in the East Midlands. Luton: Luton Museum and Art Gallery[24] Godber, Joyce (1969) History of Bedfordshire 1066–1888[24] White, H. O. Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
Historical Record Society (published annually)[24]

See also[edit]

England
England
portal

Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire High Sheriff
High Sheriff
of Bedfordshire Healthcare in Bedfordshire

References[edit]

^ " Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
2017/2018". High Sheriff's Association of England
England
and Wales. Retrieved 9 June 2017.  ^ http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/census/census-2001-key-statistics/urban-areas-in-england-and-wales/urban-areas-in-england-and-wales-ks01-usual-resident-population.xls ^ a b c Met Office Bedford
Bedford
Averages 1981–2010 http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/averages/19812010/sites/bedford.html ^ Met Office: Easter 1998 – Heavy rainfall http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/interesting/easter1998/ ^ CLIMATE BEDFORD – Weather http://www.tutiempo.net/en/Climate/BEDFORD/35600.htm ^ Climate Extremes – Met Office http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/climate-extremes/#?tab=climateExtremes ^ "The Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
(Structural Changes) Order 2008 (S.I 2008 No. 907)". Office of Public Sector Information. 27 March 2008. Archived from the original on 2 May 2009. Retrieved 27 March 2009.  ^ " Bedford
Bedford
Borough and Central Bedfordshire
Central Bedfordshire
and Libraries – About Your Library – Bedfordshire's Virtual Library". Galaxy.bedfordshire.gov.uk. Retrieved 25 September 2010.  ^ "The Local Government (Structural Changes) (Areas and Membership of Public Bodies in Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
and Cheshire) Order 2009 (S.I 2009 No. 119)". Office of Public Sector Information. 28 January 2009. Retrieved 27 March 2009.  ^ "The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 1995". Office of Public Sector Information. 1995. Retrieved 31 March 2009.  ^ "The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 2007". Office of Public Sector Information. 2007. Retrieved 31 March 2009.  ^ Components may not sum to totals due to rounding ^ includes hunting and forestry ^ includes energy and construction ^ includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured ^ " Bedford
Bedford
& Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes
Waterway Trust". B-mkwaterway.co.uk. Retrieved 25 September 2010.  ^ "Two-tier school proposal rejected". BBC News. 13 July 2006. Retrieved 10 February 2008.  ^ "Middle schools to be abolished – Biggleswade
Biggleswade
News". Bedford Today. Retrieved 25 September 2010.  ^ "'Momentous decision' for schools". BBC News. 17 November 2009. Retrieved 26 April 2010.  ^ "Tiers to be shed in school restructure? – Local". Bedford
Bedford
Today. Retrieved 25 September 2010.  ^ "Education in Bedford". Bedford
Bedford
Borough Council. 2004. Archived from the original on 18 March 2009. Retrieved 31 March 2009.  ^ "Education and Schools Information" (PDF). Creating Central Bedfordshire. Central Bedfordshire
Central Bedfordshire
Council. Retrieved 31 March 2009.  ^ "About Millbrook Group". Millbrook Proving Ground. Retrieved 30 August 2016.  ^ a b c d e f g h i j Detail from a copy of History of Bedfordshire published by Bedfordshire County Council in 1969

External links[edit]

North Beds Online Local Information for North Bedfordshire Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
at Curlie (based on DMOZ) Images of Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
at the English Heritage
English Heritage
Archive

Neighbouring counties

Northamptonshire Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire Cambridgeshire

Buckinghamshire

Bedfordshire

Cambridgeshire Hertfordshire

Buckinghamshire Hertfordshire Hertfordshire

v t e

Ceremonial county of Bedfordshire

England
England
Portal

Unitary authorities

Borough of Bedford Borough of Luton Central Bedfordshire

Major settlements

Ampthill Arlesey Bedford Biggleswade Dunstable Flitwick Houghton Regis Kempston Leighton Buzzard Linslade Luton Potton Sandy Shefford Stotfold Wixams See also: List of civil parishes in Bedfordshire

Topics

Parliamentary constituencies Places SSSIs Tourist attractions Country houses Grade I listed buildings Grade II* listed buildings History Lord Lieutenants High Sheriffs Museums Sport County flag

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