Langford History Soc Crest
Langford History Society
 

Langford, Bedfordshire, lies in the valley of the River Ivel and dates from Saxon times being first mentioned in AD 944. There were once one or more fording points across the river and the village is said to take its name from the words ‘long ford’ alluding to the length of the settlement.

Before 1066 the Lord of Langford was Lewin, a thane of Edward the Confessor. William the Conqueror granted the village to Walter le Fleming. The Domesday Book in 1086 records the population of ‘Langeford' as 21 and the landholder as Walter le Fleming and that there were 2 mills. In 1142 Walter’s descendant Simon de Wahull gave land to the Knights Templar, who established themselves as Lords of the Manor of Langford Rectory.

Reference: Michael Rutt, The People at the Long Ford (Bedfordshire County Council, 1975)

 

The parish church is St Andrew’s and dates mostly from the 14th century but the Chancel was remodelled in the Perpendicular style in the 15th century. A short history of St Andrew's Church is here.

church and church school 1971
church and church hall 2010
Church and Church School 1971
Church and Church Hall 2010

Langford is three miles (5 km) south of Biggleswade and is a long straggling village. The village now starts at the Baulk corner and it is nearly three miles to the Running Waters at the north end of the village.

On the west side of the River Ivel is part of the Ivel Valley countryside project, namely, Henlow Common and Langford Meadows local nature reserve. This 47 acre reserve, despite being called Henlow Common, is situated in Langford parish. It came to Langford in 1985 after an exchange of land between the two parishes and as a registered common it keeps its original name.

The village has grown enormously since 1961 when the population was 1,250. By 1976 it had doubled to 2,500 and in 2001 it was 4,000.

As Langford was mainly a small agricultural community great events tended to pass it by but research is ongoing to glean what can be found of its previous inhabitants or of things that have happened.

On our Church and Chapel page you will find a short history of St Andrew's Church and a piece about the Wesleyan Chapel: The Wesleyan Methodist 20th Century Fund and Langford Children; and the Band of Hope. Our People of Langford page has Philip Wright's story about growing up in post-war Langford; a piece about Lawrence of Arabia's brother, a distinguished Cambridge academic, who lived in Langford and an article on early nineteenth century incomer, Peregrine Piper. For a fatal motor accident in 1904 and aviation incidents which occurred in Langford from 1912 to the 1960s go to our Incidents page.