Shefford High Street
Shefford shown within Bedfordshire
|Unitary authority||Central Bedfordshire|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Fire||Bedfordshire and Luton|
|Ambulance||East of England|
|EU Parliament||East of England|
|UK Parliament||Mid Bedfordshire|
Shefford is a small town and civil parish located in the Central Bedfordshire district of Bedfordshire, England. At the 2001 census it had a population of 4,928, and was estimated to have grown to 5,770 by 2007.
Roman remains were discovered in Shefford in the early 19th century.
Sir William Lyle was Lord of Camelton (Campton) and Shefford in 1399.
Robert Bloomfield the poet, died in penury in Shefford in 1823.
Between 1868 and 1974 Shefford was the site of St Francis' Boy's Home (orphanage) that was situated on High Street next to the Roman Catholic Church dedicated to St Francis of Assisi. The church remains in use as a place of worship. The orphanage buildings, which are seen on the right of the picture, have been turned into flats. The orphanage buildings are the most imposing in the town and date from the 1880s. Many files regarding the home can be found at the Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service at Borough Hall in Bedford. There are Home Office and Department for Education Inspection Reports available that cover the period from 1962 to 1969.
During World War II an entire Jewish children's community came into being in Shefford as evacuees from Europe were billeted in and around the town as part of "Operation Pied Piper Tomorrow".
The River Flit and the River Hit run through the town. The Flit runs from Flitwick and joins the River Ivel on the edge of Shefford. The Ivel eventually joins the River Great Ouse just north of Sandy.
The name Shefford is derived from sheep-ford due to the fact there had been a sheep market and ford crossings over the two rivers that run through the town.
Shefford Hardwick was a hamlet located west of the parish, north of Ampthill Road. The rural settlement became a civil parish in its own right in 1858, but was merged into the parish of Shefford in 1933 as the town expanded.
Shefford incorporates a fire station, bowls club and a brewery. As well as this, it has various pubs and restaurants, including Chinese takeaways, Indian takeaways and restaurants and a fish and chip shop. Shefford has 2 petrol stations, two car dealers, a bank and a pharmacy. There are three estate agents, an electrical shop, two florists, a second-hand clothes shop, an angling centre and a bakery. There are two small cafe and cake/sandwich shops. There is also a post office with sorting facilities. There is also an ironmonger's.
There is a small supermarket, a travel agent and a public library.
The areas around Shefford are served by the upper school Samuel Whitbread Academy, Robert Bloomfield Academy which has a Grade 1 (outstanding) Ofsted report, Shefford Lower School and Shefford Nursery.
Sport and leisure
Shefford has a Non-League football club Shefford Town & Campton F.C. who play at STMA (Digswell). It is where Jack Collison (Wales and West Ham Footballer) grew up and went to school. There is also a Shefford Saints (Junior) FC where girls and boys from Shefford and the surrounding villages are able to join from the U5 Development squad up to U16 merging into the Adult team.
- Office for National Statistics: Census 2001: Parish Headcounts: Mid Bedfordshire Retrieved 31 October 2010
- Bedfordshire County Council: Population Estimates and Forecasts: 2007
- Shefford Pages at the Community archive. http://www.bedfordshire.gov.uk/CommunityAndLiving/ArchivesAndRecordOffice/CommunityArchives/Shefford/Romano-BritishShefford.aspx; Roman cemetery, Roman coins, Possible Roman road.
- Plea Rolls of the Court of Common Pleas; National Archives; CP 40/555. http://aalt.law.uh.edu/H4/CP40no555/aCP40no555fronts/IMG_0222.htm; third entry, as defendant in a plea of debt
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