image for Village item typeLangford Village at Langford

Village

Langford Circular Walk

Langford Circular Walk

Details

If you leave the A1 at the well known Water Tower, at Toplars Hill and travel down Edworth Way. This is an old Roman road, Vistores 176, a minor Roman road running from Little Brickhill to Arrington Bridge. The village is bordered by the main northern railway line from London at the east and the river Ivel on the west.

Langford is three miles south of Biggleswade and has been a settlement on the east bank of the river Ivel since Saxon times. It is a long straggling village which at one time had two or three fording points over the river, hence its name. There are several shops including a butchers, hairdressers and a general store. Other facilities include a mobile library, post office, local lower school and a doctor's surgery. Local bus services run to Hitchin and Biggleswade.

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 is a 47 acre reserve and despite its name, Henlow common is situated in Langford parish. It came to Langford in 1985 after an exchange of land between the two parishes, as a registered common it keeps its original name. Dams ditch, earlier called Adams ditch, runs through the middle of the reserve. It is more like a small river than a ditch.

In past years the main industry in the village was agriculture with most of the men working in the fields. A job mainly done by women was peasing, women earning money to fit out their children with winter clothes. Langford Garden Centre is right at the south end of the 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.

The village has grown enormously since 1961 when the population was 1,250, then the housing estates were taking over the fields and meadows, so that by 1976 it had doubled to 2,500 and today it is 4,000.

After the first world war the Ivy Leaf Club was founded to provide a place of recreation for ex servicemen. The club has been improved greatly over the years and is a great meeting place for many of the villagers.

Probably the biggest improvement in the village is the King George V Memorial Playing Field in the centre of the village. It is a memorial to the men who lost their lives in the Second World War and a tree was planted to commemorate each of the eleven men from the village who died. Now we also have a Village Hall built on the field and it is a great asset to old and young alike, where many sports and social activities take place.

Not far from the playing field is the parish church of St Andrew. A 14th century building, unusual in the fact that the tower is on the south side of the church. Original stained glass is still in some of the windows. In the centre of the village is the War Memorial, erected in 1920. The clock was added later, all by public subscription.
Langford is a vibrant village, with 4 pubs and 23 different organisations.
with thanks to Ralph Turner November 2001


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