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Bedfordshire is a county in England. Its county town is Bedford. It borders Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire (with the Borough of Milton Keynes), and Hertfordshire. Luton was part of Bedfordshire until 1997, when it was made a unitary authority. However, it remains part of the ceremonial county of Bedfordshire, with a single Lord Lieutenant representing the sovereign throughout this entire area. Except where otherwise indicated, this article relates to the whole Ceremonial County of Bedfordshire, including Luton.
The county motto is "Constant Be."
The first recorded use of the name was in 1011 as "Bedanfordscir," meaning "Beda's ford" (river crossing).
The highest elevation point is 243 metres/797 feet, on the Dunstable Downs in the Chilterns.
Bedfordshire was historically divided into the nine hundreds: Barford, Biggleswade, Clifton, Flitt, Manshead, Redbournestoke, Stodden, Willey, Wixamtree, along with the liberty and borough of Bedford.
Geography & Geology
The southern end of the county is part of the chalk ridge known as the Chiltern Hills. The remainder is part of the broad drainage basin of the River Great Ouse and its tributaries.
Most of Bedfordshire's rocks are clays and sandstones from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, with some limestone. Local clay has been used for brick-making at Fletton. Glacial erosion of chalk has left the hard flint nodules deposited as gravel - this has been commercially extracted in the past at pits which are now lakes, at Priory Country Park, Wyboston and Felmersham.
Three of England's six main trunk roads pass through Bedfordshire:
Again, three of England's main lines pass through Bedfordshire:
The River Great Ouse links Bedfordshire to the Fenland waterways. As of 2004 there are plans to construct a canal linking the Great Ouse at Bedford to the Grand Union Canal at Milton Keynes, 23 km distant.
London Luton Airport
has flights to many UK, European and North African destinations, operated
by low-cost airlines.
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