Bedford Borough Council logo Central Bedfordshire Council logo

The Virtual Library

Follow us on Pinterest Follow us on Twitter Contact us on Facebook Home Page What's On Contact Us Help


Places > Biddenham

1086: The manor of Biddenham in possession of William Speck or Le Espec at the time of the Domesday Survey.  His tenants were Ralph and Serlo de Ros

1281: The Dunstable Chronicle records that during a severe frost an ice flow carried a woman from Biddenham to Bedford "when she was seen no more", a distance of four miles!

1303: Henry Bobbe of Lower Caldicote hanged Robert de Bole on Biddenham Gallows. They were taken down in 1801.

1349: Vicar of Biddenham Church dies of the plague

1675: Bromham Mill built

1700 (approx.): Village pond built.  It was originally the Carp Pond for Manor Farm House (now Manor Hospital)

1706: Dovecote built close to the pond.  It would have provided a source of pigeons for Biddenham Manor House

1766: Biddenham Houses built. According to tradition it was once the hunting lodge of a Duke of Marlborough

1832: St. James's V.A. Lower School built. It originally consisted of one classroom. The school was enlarged in 1966

1847: The 'Three Tuns' becomes a public house (it was once a family cottage dating back to the 17th century)

1857: A 40ft shaft discovered containing a Roman sculpture, pottery and a skeleton north of Bromham Road

1861: James Wyatt finds old stone age (palaeolithic) implements and remains of long extinct animals in Biddenham river gravels

1880: First village post office opened

1894: Biddenham Parish Council formed with seven members

1900-1901: 'Three Gables', no. 17 Biddenham Turn built.  The house was included in Gertrude Jekyll and Lawrence Weaver's 'Gardens for small country houses (1912) as a good example of a house that had a close connection between house and garden.  The house was designed by Charles Edward Mallows and George Grocock in the arts and crafts style

1902: Lectern designed by Charles Edward Mallows for St. James's Church in the arts and crafts style

1911: Kempston-Biddenham detachment of the Red Cross formed by Lady Ampthill

1914-18: Scottish and Welsh regiments billeted in the village

1922: Biddenham Women's Institute founded

1930-32: Electricity supply installed for the village

1932: Biddenham Dovecote restored under the direction of Professor Richardson

1934: Piped water supplied to the village

1952: St. Gregory's Middle School opened

1957: Main sewer installed

1961: Biddenham Society founded

1961: Biddenham Guides founded

1966: Biddenham dovecote demolished. It had been built in the 18th century and stood in a field near the village pond. The building was timber framed and could house 461 nests

1966: Biddenham Manor sold on the open market for 24,500. In the latter part of the nineteenth century it was owned by Charles Howard (son of the industrialist John Howard). It became a nursing home and is now a private hospital

1967: Parts of Biddenham designated a conservation area under the Civic Amenities Act 1967

1967: The village smithy demolished on the village green. The last blacksmith was Mr. Herbert who died in 1966

1967: Biddenham Cricket Club founded

1971: The census records 730 inhabitants in the parish of Biddenham, 84% of which own a car.

1972: Bromham Mill purchased by Bedfordshire County Council

1974: Bromham Mill destroyed by fire

1980: Biddenham House and its contents auctioned

1988: Biddenham Upper School opened

1990: Biddenham Rugby Club founded

1991: Biddenham Tennis Club founded

1993: Cricket pavilion and leisure centre opened costing 450,000. The complex was funded by Beazer and Twigden Homes

1995: Bovis Homes Ltd gain permission to build an 18 hole golf course, country park and 100 detached houses, representing the first phase of the Biddenham Loop development

1995: A medieval manuscript dating to 1280 is discovered in Biddenham Church. The  British Museum examine it and find it to be a page from a lectionary (a book read out loud by monks over dinner). It is not known how it came to be in the church.

1998: Biddenham Loop Country Park opened. The park was developed by Bovis Homes and covers 75 acres

2003: On 26th October H.M. Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Mr S.C. Whitbread unveiled a commemorative plaque to Bedford Group Royal Observer Corps who had occupied premises on the edge of Day's Lane from 1942-1992.  Before the purpose built headquarters were built in 1942 the Royal Observer Corps had operated from what was the Post Office in Dame Alice Street, Bedford


Further reading:

  • History of the Willey Hundred by W.M. Harvey

Page last updated: 23rd January 2014