Pub with thatched roof in Biddenham
|Biddenham shown within Bedfordshire|
1,634 (2011 Census)
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Fire||Bedfordshire and Luton|
|Ambulance||East of England|
|EU Parliament||East of England|
The village largely serves as a dormitory settlement for Bedford, and also for commuters to London, being on the same side of the town centre as Bedford railway station. Biddenham is seen as a desirable location, with quaint thatched cottages in the older, southern end of the village, and a high proportion of large detached houses in the modern, northern end.
Biddenham is the location of the Manor Hospital, a BMI Healthcare private hospital. The village also contains St James Church, a community centre, The Three Tuns pub, and a sports pavilion with a cricket pitch and a rugby field (interchangeable depending on the season). Biddenham holds an annual 10 km run starting from Biddenham Pavilion in September of each year. After going through the village, the course heads down the River Great Ouse, crosses over to the Kempston side heading towards Bedford then returns on the north side of the river after crossing again near the Gurdwara in Queens Park.
Biddenham has one of the few remaining village ponds in Bedfordshire, located just off Gold Lane behind the Manor Hospital. Created as a carp pond by the Boteler family in 1700 to supply fish for the Biddenham Manor table, it eventually became known as the village pond but fell into disuse and became overgrown. In 1986 a group of villagers began a project to restore and maintain it as a nature conservation area and village amenity. The village pond is still going strong today under the guardianship of The Friends of the Biddenham Village Pond, a voluntary organisation. The pond is home to two rare species - the protected great crested newt and the introduced midwife toad. The dovecote built in a field next to the pond by Elizabeth Boteler in 1706 to provide meat and eggs for the manor table was demolished in 1966.
Biddenham International School and Sports College is located on Biddenham Turn. It is a state secondary school for Biddenham and the western part of Bedford. The school was originally named John Howard Upper School, but was renamed after a merger with another school in 1988. St Gregory's RC Middle School is also located on Biddenham Turn. This Roman Catholic school has no catchment area, and has pupils attending from all over the Borough of Bedford. St. James' Lower School, located on Main Road, is the village's lower school.
A sundial was installed in the village in 2000, inscribed with the location (Latitude North 52° 08' 40", Longitude West 000° 30' 05") and the phrase "Times Change and We With Them."
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