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Facts

BEDFORDSHIRE

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FUN FACTS


Bedfordshire is the 41st largest county or metropolitan borough in England.
Bedfordshire has the 36th highest population in England.
Bedfordshire is in 14th place for density of population.

  1. The Royal Connection
  2. Woburn Abbey and all the land surrounding it was given by Henry VIII to John Russell when Henry closed all the monasteries. The Russell family subsequently took on the title of Duke of Bedford. The house, as it is now, was largely rebuilt in 1744. Queen Victoria had been Queen for 4 years when she and her husband, Prince Albert, paid a week long visit to Woburn Abbey. The then Duchess of Bedford had been a Lady of the Bedchamber, a personal attendant of the Queen since she came to the throne in 1837. She and the Queen were good friends. A special meeting was held on the tennis courts for the 200 tenants of the Duke to greet the Queen.

    Wobrun Abbey and grounds are normally open to visitors but are now closed for refurbishments until 2022. The estate also has a deer park, breeding deers for sale all around the world.

  3. Bedfordshire Eats
  4. Bedfordshire is probably most famous for something known as the Bedfordshire Clanger. It was originally eaten by farm labourers in the 19th century and possibly before. It is a pastry made into a roll and then filled with a savoury filling at one end and a sweet filling at the other and could easily be eaten while they were out working in the fields. As such it served as a main course and a dessert all in one bake.

    The savoury end is filled with meat, diced potatoes and vegetables while the sweet end is made up of fruit, often apple but any fruit that is in season. Usually a suet crust is used for the pastry and the bake is tradionally steamed but can be baked.

  5. Bedfordshire VIPs
  6. Seven random people who were born in bedfordshire in the last 100 years:-
    Emily Atack (Actress), the late Harold Abrahams (1924 Olympic Gold Medallist), Carol Vordemann (TV Presenter), the late Ronnie Barker (Comedian), Stacey Dooley (TV Presenter), Faye Tozer (Singer with Steps) and the late Bishop Trevor Huddleston (Cleric and Anti-Apartheid Campaigner)

  7. Now That's Weird
  8. In the early nineteenth century most wealthy people only had two main meals a day, breakfast and dinner. It is said that Anna Russell, the 7th Duchess of Bedford who lived at Woburn Abbey, complained about getting a sinking feeling during the late afternoon.

    It was also the time when more and more people were drinking tea. The solution for her sinking feeling was to have a pot of tea and a light snack in her bedroom during the afternoon. She then began to invite friends to join her, no longer in her bedroom but most likely in the drawing room at the Abbey and it was all so popular that, when she returned to London she continued to do this. She would write and send little cards to her friends asking them to join her for "afternoon tea". Before long all the fashionable people in London were sipping tea with friends and nibbling sandwiches and cakes in the afternoon.

  9. It Happened Here
  10. On 23 May 1533, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, formerly a chaplain to the family of Anne Boleyn, arrived at Dunstable Priory. When the Romans built their massive road, Watling Street, from London to Chester, it crossed a little track which had been used by the people who lived through the Iron Age to travel across England. A small settlement grew up there and then, in 1109, King Henry I created a new town at the crossing and called it Dunstable. In 1123 he built a royal residence there and also founded a priory in 1131.

    But in 1533 Cranmer was sitting at a special court which was to rule on whether Henry VIII's marriage to Catherine of Aragon was valid (you can read more about this in the Times Past section in the Tudor period). Since Henry had already married Anne Boleyn it wasn't surprising that Cranmer ruled the Catherine marriage illegal and five days later he said Henry and Anne Boleyn were legally married. In 1539 Henry closed Dunstable Priory along with most other monasteries in England.

  11. Richard Remembers
  12. There are certain counties in England that I haven't really spent much time and one, you'll have to wait to find out which, that I have never even driven through. Despite being fairly close to where I lived when I was young, Bedfordshire is one of those seldom vsited and not often driven through counties. However, if house prices had been a little lower there in 1971, I might have ended up living there. Sometime in October 1971 I was house-hunting for my first house. The first weekend my fiancee and I went out, with my father, and we went to look at some properties in and around Luton. We both worked in London so we had to be within commuting distance. Now, please don't laugh, but we couldn't find anything under 12,000 pounds. Next weekend we went to Essex and found a charming little bungalow, pictured on the left, for just under 6,000 pounds, made an offer, bought it and moved in early in 1972. That bungalow is now worth over 200,000 pounds.

  13. Owlbut's Birdwatch
  14. There are no birds I could find that were special to Bedfordshire so I decided to choose the Green Woodpecker which can certainly be seen there. It is the largest of the three woodpeckers that breed in England. As you can see it has a long, strong bill, or beak, and a fairly short tail. It is green on its upper parts and has a red patch on top of its head. It has a pale green belly and a bright yellow rump.

    They eat ants, lots of ants and use their strong beak to dig into ant's nests. They are about 30cm long, have a wingspan of 40cm and weigh, when adult, between 180 and 220 grams.

We have asked the local Tourist Board(s) for a small contribution (50 pounds) to the cost of running this project and, in anticipation of their agreement, we are providing a link to their site(s) for the next five years. I can assure you we won't see anywhere near everything when we are there, so, if you fancy taking a trip into Bedfordshire check it (them) out for some great information. Apart from anything else it will get you out in the fresh air, walking around and one day you might be over 70 and still enthusiastically mobile.

All figures the latest available as at July 2020