Great Barford

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Great Barford
Post Office and High Street, Great Barford - - 449735.jpg
Post Office and High Street
Great Barford is located in Bedfordshire
Great Barford
Great Barford
Location within Bedfordshire
Population1,930 [1]
2,003 (2011 Census)[2]
OS grid referenceTL126545
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBEDFORD
Postcode districtMK44
Dialling code01234
FireBedfordshire and Luton
AmbulanceEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places
52°09′29″N 0°21′11″W / 52.158°N 0.353°W / 52.158; -0.353Coordinates: 52°09′29″N 0°21′11″W / 52.158°N 0.353°W / 52.158; -0.353

Great Barford is a village and civil parish in Bedfordshire, England, a few miles north-east of Bedford. It lies on the River Great Ouse at grid reference TL129523. It is twinned with Wöllstein, Germany. The village is bypassed by the busy A421 road on the way between Bedford and St Neots in Cambridgeshire, the bypass opening on 24 August 2006.

The village is known for its All Saints Church, with a 15th-century tower, and its similarly ancient bridge[citation needed]. The surroundings and historic buildings make it a favoured destination for canoeing, angling and picnics. Nearby places include Renhold and Blunham.


Great Barford was mentioned in the Domesday Book as an important site, probably as a means of crossing the river that skirts the village. Although the area of the original ford was dug up in 1973, the bridge has existed since at least the 15th century.

The village itself is large and scattered but the majority of the houses are in the south-east of the parish. Throughout the village there are a large variety of houses some dating to the 17th century.

The village was once home to Great Barford Castle[citation needed], a Norman motte and bailey castle, which stood to the north of the village, but a priory has since been built on its location.

A very early reference to Barford may perhaps be found in a charter by which Offa, King of Mercia, in 792[citation needed] confirmed various lands to the monastery of St. Albans. The charter purports to have been granted in the place which is called 'Æt beranforda.' The text of the charter is certainly spurious, but the witnesses and dating clause may well have been taken from a genuine instrument. Even so, however, the identification with the present Barford cannot be considered certain.


As part of Bedfordshire, Great Barford no longer shares a three-tier schooling system and is now home to a primary school (Great Barford Primary Academy).

For secondary school education, students of Great Barford are in the catchment area of Sandy Secondary School in the nearby market town of Sandy.


  1. ^ Bedfordshire County Council, Population Estimates and Forecasts Archived 21 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine, estimate for 2007.
  2. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". National Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 8 November 2016.

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