Pub with thatched roof in Biddenham
|North East Bedfordshire|
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.
The parish church is St James. It contains a Jacobean screen and various monuments and brasses. A more modern feature is a stained glass Millennium Window.
About the village
Biddenham is centred on the church. It has also a private hospital, Manor Hospital, a community centre, The Three Tuns pub, and a sports pavilion with a cricket pitch and a rugby field (interchangeable depending on the season).
The village has a village pond, lying 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.
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."
The new Biddenham Vale housing estate is currently being constructed to the south of the Biddenham parish. Although the development shares Biddenham's name, the new estate is actually located in the neighbouring parish of Great Denham.
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 in Queens Park.
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