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Langford shown within Bedfordshire
|Population||2,882 (2001 census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Unitary authority||Central Bedfordshire|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Dialling code||01462 and 01767|
|Fire||Bedfordshire and Luton|
|Ambulance||East of England|
|EU Parliament||East of England|
|UK Parliament||North East Bedfordshire|
The village is of Saxon origin, first mentioned in 944 AD and at one time it had one or more fording points across the river. The name is based on the words long ford from the length of the settlement. At the time of the Domesday Book 1086, the population was around 21. The parish church is St. Andrew's. Before 1066 the lord of Langford was Lewin, a thane of Edward the Confessor. William the Conqueror granted the village to Walter le Fleming. In 1142 Walter's descendant Simon de Wahull gave land to the Knights Templar, who established themselves as Lords of the Manor of Langford Rectory.
The entry in the Domesday Book reads: Langeford: Walter of Flanders. 2 mills.
Langford is three miles (5 km) south of Biggleswade and has been a settlement on the east bank of the river Ivel since Saxon times. It is a long straggling village which at one time had two or three fording points over the river, hence its name. The village now starts at the Baulk corner and it is nearly three miles to the Running Waters at the north end of the village.
On the west side of the river Ivel is part of the Ivel Valley countryside project, namely, Henlow common and Langford meadows local nature reserve. This is a 47-acre (190,000 m2) reserve and despite its name, Henlow common is situated in Langford parish. It came to Langford in 1985 after an exchange of land between the two parishes, as a registered common it keeps its original name. Dams ditch, earlier called Adams ditch, runs through the middle of the reserve. It is more like a small river than a ditch.
The village has grown enormously since 1961 when the population was 1,250, then the housing estates were taking over the fields and meadows, so that by 1976 it had doubled to 2,500 and in 2001 it was 4,000.
Sport and recreation
This is the home of Langford Youth, the local youth football side, they play here from September through to the end of April and during the summer months it is the home of Langford Cricket Team, who play from May to the end of August. At the bottom of the field is a cricket score board. The Bowls club's bowling green is at the bottom of the field next to the village hall.
The village also has its own Non-League football team Langford F.C. who play at the football ground, Forde Park, this can be found South of Langford almost in Henlow. It is the home of both the men's and women's Football sides. The women's team currently play in the South East Combination Women League, A few seasons ago the women's side was in the FA Nationwide Women's Premier League, playing teams like Chelsea L.F.C.. Forde Park is one of the biggest[according to whom?] parks in England.
Langford Tennis Club has two floodlit courts, and play in the Bedfordshire LTA leagues.
- 'The People at the Long Ford' by Michael Rutt – pub. Bedfordshire County Council 1975.
- R. M. Cook, ‘Lawrence, Arnold Walter (1900–1991)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, May 2009
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