Bedfordshire map - Framed Picture - 12" x 16"
Bedfordshire is a county in the East of England. It is a ceremonial county and a historic county.
The first recorded use of the name in 1011 was "Bedanfordscir," meaning the shire or county of Bedford, which itself means "Beda's ford" (river crossing).
The Angle invaders were naturally attracted to Bedfordshire by its abundant water supply and suitability for agriculture, but the remains of their settlements are few and scattered. With one exception, they all occur south of the Ouse.
In 571, Cuthwulf inflicted a severe defeat on the Britons at Bedford. During the Heptarchy what is now the shire formed part of Mercia; by the Treaty of Wedmore it became Danish territory, but it was recovered by King Edward.
The first actual mention of the county comes in 1016 when King Canute laid waste to the whole shire.
Bedfordshire suffered severely in the Great Anarchy.
The county was thrown into the First Barons' War when Bedford Castle, was the scene of three sieges.
The Peasants Revolt was marked by less violence in Bedfordshire than in neighbouring counties.
A large part of the county was subject to forest law as a royal forest, until 1191.
In 1638 ship money was levied on Bedfordshire, and in the Civil War that followed, the county was one of the foremost in opposing the king.
The traditional nickname for people from Bedfordshire is "Clangers", deriving from a local dish comprising a suet crust pastry filled with meat in one end and jam in the other.