Dunton parish church
|Population:||696 (2011, including Edworth)|
Dunton is a small village and parish in Bedfordshire, adjacent to the border with Hertfordshire. The village lies close to the tri-point with Cambridgeshire. It is situated just under four miles east-south-east from the town of Biggleswade. The civil parish incorporates the surrounding hamlets of Newton and Millow, possibly appearing as Meluho or Melnho, in 1396. and where Dunton appears as Duntone.
Central to the village is the Church of St Mary Magdalene. The 5th-century Anglo-Saxon architecture of the church consists of a chancel, nave of four bays, aisles and an embattled western tower which is illuminated at night by floodlights. The church's five bells were hung in 1887 in commemoration of the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. The south porch was partially rebuilt and the chancel restored in 1861. The church is a focal point for the local community, regularly providing events and services for everyone. The Dunton Folk Club, who organise a series of folk music concerts and traditional sessions throughout the year, are often hosted in the church.
Next to the church, on the high street is The March Hare freehouse which is the last of five pubs which once existed in the village. For a few years, the pub stood derelict and boarded up, but it was restored and reopened in 2010. It now serves local ale and Dunton's own craft cider. In 2013, it was awarded the East Bedfordshire CAMRA 2013 branch pub of the year.
On the High Street opposite the March Hare is the former Post Office, which closed in 2006. In 2011, with cooperation with the March Hare, a plan is being developed to share the pub with a community shop.
The village has a small VC Lower School which teaches children up the age of 9. Pre-school is taught in the memorial hall, which was constructed in 1925. The hall is also used by other village organisations and is available to hire for events.
Since January 2012 the annual Dunton Wassail takes place at Church Farm. A tradition where noise is made to waken the apple trees from their winter slumber and cider soaked toast is hung on the trees. Morris dancing, mulled cider, then the night is seen to an end with live folk music and acoustics at the March Hare.
The one and a half acre village garden is also located at Church Farm.
There is a playing field with a sports pavilion used by a men's adult football team that play in the Beds Premier league and a reserve team that play in the Beds Premier Reserve league.
- "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. http://www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/LeadKeyFigures.do?a=7&b=11122881&c=SG18+8RN&d=16&e=62&g=6402691&i=1001x1003x1032x1004&m=0&r=0&s=1478519177546&enc=1. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
- Plea Rolls of the Court of Common Pleas; CP 40/541. year 1396;http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT6/R2/CP40no541a/bCP40no541adorses/IMG_0070.htm; entry number 2
- "Church History". http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/BDF/Dunton/. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
- "Dunton Cider". http://www.duntoncider.co.uk/availability.php. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
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