Newnham, Bedford

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Coordinates: 52°08′16″N 0°25′45″W / 52.1379°N 0.42904°W / 52.1379; -0.42904

Newnham
Bedford-Fire-Station.jpg
Bedford Fire Station, located in Newnham
Newnham is located in Bedfordshire
Newnham
Newnham
 Newnham shown within Bedfordshire
Population 5,510 [1]
OS grid reference TL076500
Unitary authority Bedford
Ceremonial county Bedfordshire
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BEDFORD
Postcode district MK41
Dialling code 01234
Police Bedfordshire
Fire Bedfordshire and Luton
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament Bedford
List of places
UK
England
Bedfordshire

Newnham is an electoral ward and area within the town of Bedford, Bedfordshire, England.

The boundaries of Newnham are approximately Goldington Road to the north, the River Great Ouse to the south and east, with Denmark Street and George Street to the west.

The Riverfield housing estate, and Bedford's Priory Country Park and Marina are within the boundaries of Newnham ward as well as a number of other key facilities for Bedford town. After boundary changes in 2011, the Newnham area also includes the western section of the Castle Road neighbourhood.

History[edit]

A Neolithic henge was erected on the site of the current Tesco Supermarket on Riverfield Drive dating between 4000 and 2000 BC.[2] Despite this there is very little evidence of any major settlement in Newnham in pre-historic times.

Risinghoe Castle was built in the area sometime after the Norman Invasion of 1066. Newnham derives its name from Newnham Priory which was established on the banks of the River Great Ouse by Simon de Beauchamp, Baron of Bedford in 1165. The de Beauchamp family were the owners of Bedford Castle as well as Risinghoe Castle, and were an important family in medieval Bedford and England. The priory was dissolved by King Henry VIII in 1541.

Much of the western section of the Castle Road neighbourhood was developed in the 19th Century. The rest of Newnham remained as undeveloped farmland and a site for gravel extraction until the 20th Century. By then the expansion of Bedford required more housing and land either side of Newnham Avenue was developed in the interwar period.[3] Bedford's old power station was built in the area in 1955 and was subsequently demolished in 1987.[4] The final stage of Newnham's development happened during the early 1990s. With the demolition of the old power station, the land was redeveloped into the Priory Marina and country park and the Riverfield housing estate.

Governance[edit]

Newnham is an unparished area, with all community services under the direct control of Bedford Borough Council. Newnham elects two councillors to Bedford Borough Council, both of which are currently from the Conservative Party.

Economy[edit]

There are a number of shops and services located on Newnham Avenue, including a post office, a supermarket, a pub called The White Horse, and a 24-hour BP Petrol Station and a Marks & Spencer 'Simply Food' store. There are a few more shops located on Wendover Drive, including a hairdressers, and a cafe. There are also some smaller independent shops and businesses located in the western section Castle Road neighbourhood.[5]

The Aspects Leisure Park is situated in Newnham. This entertainment complex (located on Newnham Avenue and Barkers Lane) houses Bedford's Cineworld Cinema,[6] a Bingo Hall, a Fitness First Gym,[7] plus a Pizza Hut and a McDonald's restaurant. It is also the site of Bedford's main fire station and a car dealership. Further along Barkers Lane is a small industrial estate, Bedford's Marina,[8] a Beefeater restaurant and a Premier Inn.

There are a number of businesses located on Riverfield Drive, including a large Tesco superstore, a Waitrose supermarket, a Homebase DIY store, and a Harvester family pub and restaurant called The Orchard.

Education[edit]

Unusually there are no state schools or independent schools in Newnham. Newnham Middle School is not even in Newnham, it is located in De Parys.

Most lower school age children in the area attend a school in nearby Goldington or Castle. For older children the area is served by either Goldington Academy or Newnham Middle School. Newnham's upper school students generally are in the catchment areas for Bedford Academy and Biddenham Upper School.[9]

Religious sites[edit]

  • Priory Methodist Church, located on Newnham Avenue[10]
  • Bedford Christ Church (Church of England), located on Denmark Street[11]
  • Russell Park Baptist Church, also on Denmark Street[12]

Community facilities[edit]

The Bedford International Athletics Stadium is located in the Newnham area, on Barkers Lane.[13] The stadium has played host to many important athletics meetings in the past and Paula Radcliffe has trained there. It is also home to Bedford Tigers RLFC and the Bedfordshire Blue Raiders American Football team.

The stadium was an official training site for the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics. The venue accommodated athletes training for the event, and complemented other training sites in the Bedford area.[14][15] The Maldives National Olympic Committee based its competing athletes in Bedford, while Paralympic athletes from Angola, the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, The Gambia, Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Jamaica, Lesotho, Morocco, Niger, Pakistan, Senegal, Tunisia and Uganda were also based in the area. With the exception of Weymouth (which hosted various sailing events) Bedford accommodated more Olympic teams in 2012 than any other town or borough in the UK.[16]

Priory Country Park is located on Barkers Lane,[17] and is Newnhams main open space. There is also a provision of allotments further along Barkers Lane.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Neighbourhood Statistics. "Neighbourhood Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  2. ^ "Bedford Timeline: Modern - Digitised Resources - Bedfordshire's Virtual Library". Galaxy.bedfordshire.gov.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  3. ^ A History of Priory Methodist Church[dead link]
  4. ^ "Brief History of Bedford". Bedford.gov.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  5. ^ http://comearoundtobedford.moonfruit.com/ 'Featured Business'
  6. ^ "Cineworld Cinema, Bedford". Cineworld.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  7. ^ "Newnham & Bedford Fitness First Gym". Fitnessfirst.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  8. ^ "Priory Marina, Bedford". Bwml.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  9. ^ 'Bedfordshire School Catchment Areas'[dead link]
  10. ^ http://www.priorychurch.org.uk/ Priory Methodist Church
  11. ^ http://www.christchurchbedford.org.uk/ Bedford Christ Church
  12. ^ http://www.russellpark.org/ Russell Park Baptist Church
  13. ^ http://www.athleticstadium.bedford.gov.uk/ Bedford International Athletics Stadium
  14. ^ Published on Monday 3 March 2008 18:25 (2008-03-03). "Bedfordshire to host Olympic training camps". Bedford Today. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  15. ^ "Bedfordshire News | Latest Bedford News Headlines | Bedfordshire Sports, Jobs, Weather & Business News | Town eyes Olympic ring of confidence". Bedsonsunday.com. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  16. ^ "On Your Marks! Bedford Borough to host teams from around the world ahead of London 2012". Bedford.gov.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  17. ^ http://www.priorycountrypark.co.uk/ Priory Country Park, Bedford

External links[edit]