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Wilstead is a village and civil parish in Bedfordshire, England, just off the A6 Bedford to Luton road, about five miles south of Bedford town centre, and within the Borough of Bedford. The name of the village has been spelled in many different ways, including Wilshamstead, Wylhamstead, and Willshamstead. Wilstead is now the usual name of the village, but the civil parish is named Wilshamstead. The council estimated the population of the parish at 2,550 in 2005. Most of the inhabitants live in the main village, but some live in other hamlets and isolated houses.
Near the centre of the village are a small shop that incorporates a sub post office with a sorting office, two pubs, a pharmacy/convenience store, an Indian takeaway, a Chinese takeaway and a small used car lot. There is a primary school, two churches and a village hall. A large number of allotments are close to the village playing fields.
Housing types include traditional farms, older houses (including thatched cottages and several Listed Buildings) and more modern, estate-type housing. Dwellings on the estate are generally of a more spacious character than the most modern developments. There is also a small caravan park and mobile home center called Briar Bank Park on the southern end of the village.
On the other (Western) side of the A6 is a large development of new, high density housing called Wixams. The new town is being developed in phases, and is expected to eventually become a civil parish in its own right. However, for now, Wixams is part of the Wilshamstead parish.
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