Toddington, Bedfordshire

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Toddington
Toddington is located in Bedfordshire
Toddington
Toddington
 Toddington shown within Bedfordshire
Population 4,590 (2011)
OS grid reference TL009289
Civil parish Toddington
Unitary authority Central Bedfordshire
Ceremonial county Bedfordshire
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town DUNSTABLE
Postcode district LU5
Dialling code 01525
Police Bedfordshire
Fire Bedfordshire and Luton
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament Mid Bedfordshire
List of places
UK
England
Bedfordshire

Coordinates: 51°57′N 0°32′W / 51.95°N 0.53°W / 51.95; -0.53

Toddington is a large village and civil parish in the county of Bedfordshire, England which is situated 5 miles NNW of Luton, 4 miles (6 km) north of Dunstable, 6 miles (10 km) south west of Woburn and 35 miles NNW of London on the A5120 and B579. It is 0.5 miles from Junction 12 of the M1 motorway and lends its name to the nearby motorway service station. The hamlet of Fancott also forms part of the Toddington civil parish.

It is situated near the motorway and many larger towns, however is built around a large village green, on which sits the parish church and four of the village's six public houses. The Dunstable Northern Bypass taking heavy traffic bound for Dunstable from the M1 away from the village was delayed but a restart was announced in September 2011.[1] A large-scale housebuilding programme has been proposed by the government for the environs of Luton, Dunstable and Milton Keynes, and proposals to build a 20,000 seater football stadium was withdrawn in 2007.[citation needed]

Toddington has experienced a rise in house prices due to its reputation as a quiet English village and the easy commute into London. The Icknield Way Path passes through the village.

For local government purposes it is in the Central Bedfordshire unitary authority, and is in the Mid-Bedfordshire parliamentary constituency, represented since 5 May 2005 by the Conservative MP Nadine Dorries.

Amenities[edit]

There are five churches, Church of England (St George), Anglican, Methodist, Baptist, and a Christian Fellowship.

Toddington reputedly had the most pubs per head of population of any village in the United Kingdom, although recently one has closed indefinitely and another turned into a restaurant. The remaining pubs are: the Oddfellows Arms; the Angel; the Griffin;[2] the Bell (upper floors were badly damaged by fire on 21 January 2010 but the pub opened again soon after) and the Fancott Arms.[3] The former pubs are the Nag's Head, the Sow and Pigs (closed in 2011), the Red Lion (which turned into Ritzy Bar in 2011) and the Bedford Arms (closed in February 2012).

St George's Church

Toddington also has its own theatre - Tads Theatre, situated on Conger Lane. The theatre is owned and run by the charity group Tads Theatre, formerly known as the Toddington Amateur Dramatics Society. The group puts on between 4 and 6 in house productions a year, including an annual family pantomime.

Another well known entertainment feature of Toddington is the brass band. The Toddington Town Band (or TTB as it is known colloquially) performs regularly at village events. The Toddington Town Band has existed in one form or another since 1856.

The nearest mainline rail station is Harlington, which is located in the nearby village of Harlington and is served by Thameslink. From Harlington station, you can travel north to Flitwick and Bedford, or south to Luton, Luton Airport Parkway, St Albans, St Pancras International, Gatwick Airport and Brighton. The Fancott Arms hosts the ridable miniature railway at (Fancott).

Dropshort Marsh lies immediately south of the village (51°56′19″N 0°32′16″W / 51.9385°N 0.5379°W / 51.9385; -0.5379 (Dropshort Marsh)). It is managed as a nature reserve by the local Wildlife Trust, and is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.[4][5]

Toddington is blessed with an excellent rights of way network so there are many walks around the village. A range of suggested walks are available on the website Lets Go, then search for Toddington. The Icknield Way Path passes through the village on its 110 mile journey from Ivinghoe Beacon to Knettishall Heath. The Icknield Way Trail, a multi-user route for riders and off-road cyclists also passes through the village.[6]

Schools[edit]

The village is served by two schools, Toddington St George Lower School and Parkfields Middle School which provide education for children aged between 4 and 13 years of age. After year 8, children transfer to Harlington Upper School located in the nearby village of Harlington.

Geography[edit]

Toddington is situated on a chalky plateau, Totternhoe Stone, which rises up to 100 ft above the other Mid-Bedfordshire villages (e.g. Westoning, Harlington, Flitwick).

Other information[edit]

Toddington Castle was a timber motte-and-bailey castle built before the 13th century in Toddington. Today only earthworks remain of the castle, known as Conger Hill. Chalgrave Castle was built to the south of the village during the 11th century, however no visible remains of the structure exist today.

Elizabeth I is reputed to have stayed in Toddington Manor.[citation needed] William Blake is said to have drunk at the Angel.[citation needed]

References[edit]

External links[edit]