Bedford Fire Station, located in Newnham
Newnham shown within Bedfordshire
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Fire||Bedfordshire and Luton|
|Ambulance||East of England|
|EU Parliament||East of 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.
A Neolithic henge was erected on the site of the current Tesco Supermarket on Riverfield Drive dating between 4000 and 2000 BC. 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. Bedford's old power station was built in the area in 1955 and was subsequently demolished in 1987. 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.
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 whom are currently from the Conservative Party.
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.
The Aspects Leisure Park is situated in Newnham. This entertainment complex (located on Newnham Avenue and Barkers Lane) houses Bedford's Cineworld Cinema, a Bingo Hall, a Fitness First Gym, 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, 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.
- Priory Methodist Church, located on Newnham Avenue
- Bedford Christ Church (Church of England), located on Denmark Street
- Three Rivers Church, also on Denmark Street
The Bedford International Athletics Stadium is located in the Newnham area, on Barkers Lane. 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. 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.
- Neighbourhood Statistics. "Neighbourhood Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
- "Bedford Timeline: Modern - Digitised Resources - Bedfordshire's Virtual Library". Galaxy.bedfordshire.gov.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
- A History of Priory Methodist Church Archived April 23, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Brief History of Bedford". Bedford.gov.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
- http://comearoundtobedford.moonfruit.com/ 'Featured Business'
- "Cineworld Cinema, Bedford". Cineworld.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
- "Newnham & Bedford Fitness First Gym". Fitnessfirst.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
- "Priory Marina, Bedford". Bwml.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
- http://www.priorychurch.org.uk/ Priory Methodist Church
- http://www.christchurchbedford.org.uk/ Bedford Christ Church
- http://threeriversbedford.uk/ Three Rivers Church
- http://www.athleticstadium.bedford.gov.uk/ Bedford International Athletics Stadium
- Published on Monday 3 March 2008 18:25 (2008-03-03). "Bedfordshire to host Olympic training camps". Bedford Today. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
- "Bedfordshire News | Latest Bedford News Headlines | Bedfordshire Sports, Jobs, Weather & Business News | Town eyes Olympic ring of confidence". Bedsonsunday.com. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
- "On Your Marks! Bedford Borough to host teams from around the world ahead of London 2012". Bedford.gov.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
- http://www.priorycountrypark.co.uk/ Priory Country Park, Bedford