Toddington, Bedfordshire

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Toddington
Village green, Toddington.JPG
Toddington village green
Population 4,590 (2011)
OS grid reference TL009289
Civil parish Toddington
Unitary authority Central Bedfordshire
Ceremonial county Bedfordshire
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town DUNSTABLE
Postcode district LU5
Dialling code 01525
Police Bedfordshire
Fire Bedfordshire and Luton
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament Mid Bedfordshire
List of places
UK
England
Bedfordshire

Toddington is a large village and civil parish in the county of Bedfordshire, England. It is situated 5 miles NNW of Luton, 4 miles (6 km) north of Dunstable, 6 miles (10 km) SW of Woburn, and 35 miles NNW of London on the A5120 and B579. It is 0.5 miles from Junction 12 of the M1 motorway and lends its name to the nearby motorway service station. The hamlet of Fancott also forms part of the Toddington civil parish.

Toddington is built around a large village green, around which sit the parish church and four of the village's six public houses. The Dunstable Northern Bypass taking heavy traffic bound for Dunstable from the M1 away from the village was delayed but a restart was announced in September 2011.[1] A large-scale housebuilding programme has been proposed by the government for the environs of Luton, Dunstable and Milton Keynes, and proposals to build a 20,000 seat football stadium was withdrawn in 2007.[citation needed]

Toddington has experienced a rise in house prices due to its reputation as a quiet English village and the easy commute into London. The Icknield Way Path traverses the village.

For local government purposes it is in the Central Bedfordshire unitary authority, and is in the Mid-Bedfordshire parliamentary constituency, represented since 5 May 2005 by Conservative MP Nadine Dorries.

Amenities[edit]

Toddington has five churches: Church of England (St George), Anglican, Methodist, Baptist, and a Christian Fellowship.

It used to be claimed that Toddington had the most pubs per head of population of any village in the United Kingdom,[citation needed] although recently one has closed indefinitely and another was converted into a restaurant. The remaining pubs are: the Oddfellows Arms, the Angel, the Griffin,[2] the Bell, and the Fancott Arms (which lies about a mile outside the village centre).[3] The former pubs are the Nag's Head (which was demolished to make way for housing), the Sow and Pigs (closed in 2011 and converted into a dental office), the Red Lion (which turned into Ritzy Bar in 2011 but closed in 2014) and the Bedford Arms (closed in February 2012). The old town hall building was turned into a micropub, the Cuckoo, which opened in 2014.

St George's Church

Toddington has one theatre - Tads Theatre, on Conger Lane. It is owned and run by the charity group Tads Theatre, formerly known as the Toddington Amateur Dramatics Society. The group mounts 4-6 in-house productions each year, including an annual family pantomime.

Toddington has a brass band, the Toddington Town Band (TTB); it has existed in one form or another since 1856 and performs regularly at village events.

The nearest mainline railway station is Harlington, which is located in the nearby village of Harlington and is served by Thameslink. From Harlington there are trains north to Flitwick and Bedford, and south to Luton, Luton Airport Parkway, St Albans, St Pancras International, Gatwick Airport and Brighton. The Fancott Arms hosts the rideable miniature railway at Fancott.

Dropshort Marsh and Fancott Woods and Meadows, both close to the village, are managed as nature reserves by the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire,[4][5] and each is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.[6][7][8]

There are several public rights of way within the parish and there are many walks around the village. The Icknield Way Path runs through the village on its 110 mile journey from Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire to Knettishall Heath in Suffolk. The Icknield Way Trail, a multi-user route for walkers, horse riders and off-road cyclists, passes through the village.[9]

Education[edit]

The village is served by two schools, Toddington St George Church of England School[10] and Parkfields Middle School,[11] which provide education for children aged between 4 and 13 years of age. After Level 8, children transfer to Harlington Upper School located in nearby Harlington.

Geography[edit]

Toddington is situated on a chalky plateau, Totternhoe Stone, which rises up to 100 ft above the other Mid-Bedfordshire villages (e.g. Westoning, Harlington, Flitwick).

Other information[edit]

Toddington Castle was a timber motte-and-bailey castle built before the 13th century in Toddington. Today only earthworks remain of the castle, known as Conger Hill. Chalgrave Castle was built to the south of the village during the 11th century, however no visible remains of the structure exist today.

Elizabeth I is reputed to have stayed in Toddington Manor.[citation needed] William Blake is said to have drunk at the Angel.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ A5-M1 Highways Agency Link (Dunstable Northern Bypass)
  2. ^ The Griffin
  3. ^ The Fancott
  4. ^ "Dropshort Marsh". Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  5. ^ "Fancott Woods and Meadows". Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  6. ^ "Dropshort Marsh citation" (PDF). Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  7. ^ "Map of Dropshort Marsh". Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  8. ^ "Fancott Woods and Meadows citation" (PDF). Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  9. ^ "The Icknield Way Trail" (PDF). Retrieved 20 April 2016. 
  10. ^ St George School
  11. ^ Parkfields School

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°56′58.57″N 0°31′56.28″W / 51.9496028°N 0.5323000°W / 51.9496028; -0.5323000