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15 Century market cross, Leighton Buzzard - geograph.org.uk - 956627

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Leighton Buzzard Factfile:

Location: Bedfordshire (Beds), East of England, UK.

Population: 37,000

Located in the county of Bedfordshire, the smallish town of Leighton Buzzard sits near to the county boundary betwixt Bedfordshire and Bucks, beside the Grand Union Canal, Leighton Buzzard has a resident population of about 37,000 and a heritage harping back to the Roman era, when the ancient A5 (then known as Watling St) passed by the town. Nowadays Leighton Buzzard is linked to the nearby town of Linslade it is about mid-way between Milton Keynes (Bucks) and Luton (Beds), it lays near the Chilterns (Chiltern Hills) and boasts a substantial quarrying industry (sand).

Leighton Buzzard History: It is believed that there existed settlements in or around what's now called Leighton Buzzard harping back to unrecorded times, early artefacts and coinage unearthed nearby offer proof of this. The old Watling Street (fashioned by the Romans), now identified as the A5, ran through the nearby towns of Hockliffe and Dunstable around two thousand yrs ago, and the Romans would have at least been aware of the village at that time.

The Anglo-Saxons came after the Romans, and it was they who used the market place during the 10th Century, and artifacts unearthed show that they were living in the region possibly since the sixth century. The settlement as it was is not remarked upon till 906 when the Danes made a peace treaty at Tiddenfoot, the Domesday Book of 1086 listed Leighton Manor.

The parish of Leighton Buzzard, in times past, covered a way wider area than merely the town itself, and contained the hamlets of Heath & Reach, Stanbridge, Billington and Eggington. The "Leighton" in the name of the town seems to come from the old English meaning "a clearing in the woods", the "Buzzard" component wasn't appended until the 12th Century at which time the Dean of Lincoln wanted to differentiate it from another "Leighton" which was inside his diocese. The Manors of Leighton would be tenanted to a variety of tenants through the generations, for example the Leighs of Stoneleigh, who supported Charles I during the English Civil War (1642-1645).

Leighton Buzzard trainLeighton Buzzard continued to grow during the succeeding decades and the coming of a railway line and a canal during the 19th Century saw it grow and develop. Twenty-first century Leighton Buzzard can be described as a successful market town that has seen accelerated development in current times.

Leighton Buzzard Places to Visit: The All Saints Church which dates from 1277, along with its one hundred and ninety foot spire, the well known Leighton Buzzard Light Railway, a narrow guage heritage railway line which extends for approximately 4 miles from the station in Pages Park, to two now disused sand quarries at Double Arches, the line employs renovated steam engines, Stockgrove Country Park, a forty acre park at close by Heath and Reach with a lake, woodland walks and a picnic area.

Also: Great Adventure Game, Whipsnade Zoo, Lancot Meadow, Woburn Abbey, Pitstone Windmill, C2 Gallery, Woburn Heritage Centre, Snakes and Ladders at Bedfordshire, Ascott House, Rushmere Park, Bluebell Wood, Aspley Woods, Tiddenfoot Leisure Centre, Totternhoe Knolls, Dunstable Downs, Mead Open Farm.

A selection of Leighton Buzzard streets and roads: Oakridge Park, New Road, Sandhills, Mentmore Gardens, Mardle Road, North Street, Ash Grove, St Leonard's Close, Meadow Way, Goodman Drive, Brook Street, Corbet Ride, Eden Way, Baker Street, St Andrew's Street, Dingle Dell, Melfort Drive, Greenhill, Wing Road, Miletree Court, Adastral Avenue, Lake Street, St George's Close, Apple Tree Close, Windsor Avenue, Claridge Close, Hockliffe Street, Ullswater Drive, Plum Tree Lane, Hydrus Drive, Heath Court, Doggett Street, Milebush, Russell Way, Soulbury Road, Crossway, Millbank, Billington Road, Ashwell Street, Edward Street, Bewdley Drive, Cygnus Drive, Stanbridge Road, Bassett Road, Falcon Mews, Beech Grove, Bedford Street, Chestnut Rise, Knaves Hill, Steppingstone Place, White House Court.

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The above facts could be relevant for nearby villages and towns e.g: Milton Bryant, Horton, Stoke Hammond, Wing, Little Brickhill, Bragenham, Eggington, Toddington, Briggington, Eaton Bray, Stewkley, Luton, Tebworth, Linslade, Burcott, Wingrave, Clipstone, Battlesden, Hockliffe, Little Billington, Dunstable, Heath and Reach, Houghton Regis, Cheddington, Mentmore, Great Brickhill, Stanbridge, Soulbury, Billington, Grove, Slapton, Wingfield. Map - Weather