16 Facts About Bedford


Bedford was founded at a ford on the River Great Ouse and is thought to have been the burial place of King Offa of Mercia, who is remembered for building Offa's Dyke on the Welsh border.

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Bedford Castle was built by Henry I, although it was destroyed in 1224.

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Bedford was granted borough status in 1165 and has been represented in Parliament since 1265.

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Bedford was a market town for the surrounding agricultural region from the early Middle Ages.

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The new Bedford Castle was razed in 1224 and today only a mound remains.

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Brickhill elects its own parish council, while the rest of the town of Bedford is an unparished area.

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The current Member of Parliament for Bedford is Mohammad Yasin, who is a member of the Labour Party.

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Bedford is 46 miles miles north-northwest of London, 65 miles southeast of Birmingham, 25 miles west of Cambridge and 19 miles east-southeast of Northampton.

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Bedford is home to one of the largest concentrations of Italian immigrants in the United Kingdom.

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Bedford Park is the town's largest urban park and is located directly to the north of the town centre.

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Bedford previously operated a three-tier education system, which was arranged into lower, middle and upper schools, as recommended in the Plowden Report of 1967.

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Bedford has the largest Sikh gurdwara in the United Kingdom outside London, alongside two other Sikh gurdwaras; one of which is in Kempston.

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Bedford is the former headquarters of the Panacea Society, founded in 1919, who believed that the town would have an important role in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and that Bedford was the original location of the Garden of Eden.

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Since 2004, Bedford has a rugby league team, Bedford Tigers, who compete one tier below the National Conference.

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Bedford and the surrounding borough was a major host of national teams preparing for the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.

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Bedford Hospital is a district general hospital that operates from two sites in the town, providing a wide range of services, although patients requiring advanced health services are referred to specialist units elsewhere, particularly Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, which has a partnership with Bedford Hospital.

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