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St.Mary Magdelen, Whipsnade - geograph.org.uk - 222462.jpg
St Mary Magdalene, Whipsnade
Grid reference: TL010179
Location: 51°51’3"N, 0°32’6"W
Population: 457  (2001)
Post town: Dunstable
Postcode: LU6
Dialling code: 01582
Local Government
Council: Central Bedfordshire
South West Bedfordshire

Whipsnade is a small village in Bedfordshire, on the Dunstable Downs, an eastward tail spur of the Chilterns. The village is about 2½ miles south of Dunstable.

At Whipsnade is the Whipsnade Tree Cathedral, and the famous ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

An earlier recorded version of the name, in 1430, was Wypsnad(e).[1]

Parish church

The parish church is St Mary Magdalene. This is one of the earliest brick churches in the country. It is in a peaceful setting on the edge of the village green. It is essentially of the 18th century, but has a 19th-century apse.

Near the village

The local Wildlife Trust manages a small nature reserve north of the village at Sallowsprings (51°51’21"N, 0°32’21"W).[2]

Whipsnade Park Golf Club is nearby, between here and Dagnall.

Whipsnade Zoo is close by the village, a zoological garden managed by the Zoological Society of London, who own London Zoo. A hill figure can be found in the hills shaped like a lion, a figure carved for Whipsnade Zoo. During the Second World War, this chalk image (on Bison Hill) was covered with a black sheet in order not to attract attention from the German bombers.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Whipsnade)


  1. Plea Rolls of the Court of Common Pleas; National Archives; CP 40/677, in 1430; 4th entry, end of line 3
  2. Wildlife Trust, Sallowsprings.