Powerflush nearby to Bedford
Bedford is a market town in the English county of Bedfordshire. According to the 2011 Census, the Bedford built-up area (including Biddenham and Kempston) had a population of 106,940, making it the second-largest settlement in Bedfordshire after Luton, while the Borough of Bedford had a population of 157,479. Bedford is also a historic county town in the county of Bedfordshire.
Bedford was founded at a ford on the River Great Ouse and is thought to be the final resting place of King Offa of Mercia, who is best known for constructing Offa’s Dyke on the Welsh border. Henry I built Bedford Castle, but it was destroyed in 1224. Bedford was granted borough status in 1165 and has had a Parliamentary representation since 1265. It is well-known for its large Italian-descent population.
Bedford is on the Midland Main Line, with Thameslink operating stopping services to London and Brighton and East Midlands Railway operating express services to London and the East Midlands.
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The town’s name is thought to be derived from the name of a Saxon chief named Beda and a ford crossing the River Great Ouse. Since the early Middle Ages, Bedford has served as a market town for the surrounding agricultural region. In 796, the Anglo-Saxon King Offa of Mercia was buried in the town, either in his new minster, now the Church of St Paul, or on the banks of the Great Ouse, where his tomb was soon washed away by the river. It became a boundary town between Wessex and Danelaw in 886. It was the Barony of Bedford’s seat. In 919, Edward the Elder constructed the town’s first known fortress on the south bank of the River Great Ouse and received the area’s submission there. The Danes destroyed this fortress. Paine de Beauchamp was given the barony of Bedford by William II, and he built a new, strong castle.
Bedford was granted a borough charter by Henry II in 1166, and two members were elected to the unreformed House of Commons. The new Bedford Castle was destroyed in 1224, and only a mound remains today. Bedford and much of Bedfordshire became one of the main centres of England’s lace industry in the 16th century, and lace remained an important industry in Bedford until the early 20th century. John Bunyan was imprisoned for 12 years in Bedford Gaol in 1660. This is where he wrote The Pilgrim’s Progress. In 1689, the River Great Ouse was made navigable all the way to Bedford. Wool’s importance declined as brewing became a major industry in the town. Bedford grew into an important engineering centre during the nineteenth century. The Great Fire of Bedford in 1802, which destroyed 72 properties in the St Loyes area, severely damaged the northern part of town. The Great Flood of Bedford, which occurred 21 years later, flooded the majority of the town when the River Ouse burst its banks. The former Phoenix public house on St Johns Street has a stone marker almost two metres above ground level in its wall, representing the maximum height of the floodwater in 1823. Gas lighting was introduced in 1832, and the railway reached Bedford in 1846. In 1849, the first corn exchange was built, and in 1864, the first drains and sewers were dug.
Mary Milligan, Bedford’s first female town councillor, was also the secretary of the local Women’s Citizens League in 1919.
Bedford is located 46 miles (74 kilometres) north of London, 65 miles (105 kilometres) southeast of Birmingham, 25 miles (40 kilometres) west of Cambridge, and 19 miles (31 kilometres) east-southeast of Northampton. Kempston, as well as the villages of Elstow, Renhold, and Ravensden, are close to Bedford. Wixams is a new town being built to the south of Bedford. Biddenham, Bromham, Clapham, Elstow, Oakley, Sharnbrook, Shortstown, Wilstead, and Wootton were villages in the Borough of Bedford with populations greater than 2,000 in 2005. The borough also contains a number of smaller villages. The borough’s villages are popular with commuters to Bedford, as well as those who commute to Milton Keynes, London, and towns in Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire.