Thurleigh

Last updated

Thurleigh
High Street, Thurleigh - geograph.org.uk - 1420827.jpg
Thurleigh High Street
Bedfordshire UK location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Thurleigh
Location within Bedfordshire
Population696  [1]
694 (2011 Census) [2]
OS grid reference TL053585
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Region
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Bedford
Postcode district MK44
Dialling code 01234
Police Bedfordshire
Fire Bedfordshire and Luton
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament
List of places
UK
England
Bedfordshire
52°12′53″N0°27′28″W / 52.21468°N 0.457835°W / 52.21468; -0.457835 Coordinates: 52°12′53″N0°27′28″W / 52.21468°N 0.457835°W / 52.21468; -0.457835

Thurleigh is a village and civil parish in north Bedfordshire, England.

Bedfordshire County of England

Bedfordshire is a county in the East of England. It is a ceremonial county and a historic county, covered by three unitary authorities: Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, and Luton.

Contents

History

Excavations have shown evidence the locality was occupied in the Iron-Age, Roman and Saxon periods. [3]

Roman Britain part of the island of Great Britain controlled by the Roman Empire

Roman Britain was the area of the island of Great Britain that was governed by the Roman Empire, from 43 to 410 AD. It comprised almost the whole of England and Wales and, for a short period, southern Scotland.

Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain The process which changed the language and culture of most of what became England from Romano-British to Germanic

The Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain is the process which changed the language and culture of most of what became England from Romano-British to Germanic. The Germanic-speakers in Britain, themselves of diverse origins, eventually developed a common cultural identity as Anglo-Saxons. This process occurred from the mid-fifth to early seventh centuries, following the end of Roman rule in Britain around the year 410. The settlement was followed by the establishment of Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in the south and east of Britain, later followed by the rest of modern England.

In Domesday of 1086 the Middle English orthography as to both modern 'th' digraph sounds was often in different forms particularly as to this county the place is LaLega. By 1372 it is Thyrleye. [4] In 1813, Thurleigh, or Thurley, is recorded as being in the Hundred of Willey and the Deanery of Eaton. [5] The scribes were particularly ecclesiastical for the county as Lega is a very Latin-esque form of leigh. [6] The latter is a very common word, rarely used today for meadow or clearing (lea) almost certainly an Anglo-Saxon word perhaps preceded by the definite article, as early written in unrelated prose þǣre lēa. Being in the Danelaw however a link to Thor cannot be ruled out.

Digraph (orthography) pair of characters used to write one phoneme

A digraph or digram is a pair of characters used in the orthography of a language to write either a single phoneme, or a sequence of phonemes that does not correspond to the normal values of the two characters combined.

Hundred of Willey human settlement in United Kingdom

The Hundred of Willey is a historical land division, a hundred in northwest corner of Bedfordshire, England. Its northwestern boundary is the county border with Northamptonshire, and its southwestern boundary the border with Buckinghamshire. Some of its parishes and settlements lay on the River Great Ouse which flows through the hundred.

Deanery an ecclesiastical entity in the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Church of England and the Church of Norway

A deanery is an ecclesiastical entity in the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Anglican Communion, the Evangelical Church in Germany, and the Church of Norway. A deanery is either the jurisdiction or residence of a dean.

There was a church here in Saxon times. The current church has some parts still dating from around 1150, and at about that same time a castle was built here. [7]

The deanery of Eaton contains the rectories of Bolnhurst, Colmworth, Shelton, Staughton Parva, Tilbrook, Wilden and Yielden; the vicarages of Eaton Socon, Keysoe, Melchburn, Pertenhall, Renhold, Ravensden, Riseley, Roxton, Great Barford and Thurleigh; and the perpetual curacy of Dean. [8]

Bolnhurst village in the United Kingdom

Bolnhurst is a village in the civil parish of Bolnhurst and Keysoe, in the Borough of Bedford in Bedfordshire. The village is about 7 miles (11 km) north-northeast of Bedford and about 6 miles (10 km) west of St Neots.

Colmworth farm village in the United Kingdom

Colmworth is a village and civil parish in the north of the English county of Bedfordshire. It is situated around 7 miles (11 km) north-east of Bedford. The parish includes the hamlet of Duck's Cross. Other nearby places are Little Staughton, Wilden, Renhold, Staploe, Bolnhurst and Ravensden.

Shelton, North Bedfordshire village located in the Borough of Bedford in Bedfordshire, England

Shelton is a small village located in the Borough of Bedford in Bedfordshire, England.

Airfield

Thurleigh WWII USA Memorial - geograph.org.uk - 386824 Thurleigh WWII USA Memorial - geograph.org.uk - 386824.jpg
Thurleigh WWII USA Memorial – geograph.org.uk – 386824

In 1941, during World War II, an airfield known as RAF Thurleigh was constructed on a plateau just north of the village for RAF Bomber Command. It was used initially for training both RAF and Polish personnel, but in 1942 was turned over to the USAAF and four squadrons of B-17 Flying Fortresses moved in, and over the next three years flew 341 bombing missions. A memorial to these men stands in the village. [9] Events and characters from the USAAF's time at Thurleigh were used as the basis of the novel and film Twelve O'Clock High . [10]

RAF Thurleigh

Royal Air Force Thurleigh or more simply RAF Thurleigh is a former Royal Air Force station located 5 miles (8.0 km) north of Bedford, Bedfordshire, England. Thurleigh was transferred to the United States Army Air Forces Eighth Air Force on 9 December 1942 and designated Station 111, and used for heavy bomber operations against Nazi Germany.

RAF Bomber Command controlled the RAFs bomber forces from 1936 to 1968

RAF Bomber Command controlled the RAF's bomber forces from 1936 to 1968. Along with the United States Army Air Forces, it played the central role in the strategic bombing of Germany in World War II. From 1942 onward, the British bombing campaign against Germany became less restrictive and increasingly targeted industrial sites and the civilian manpower base essential for German war production. In total 364,514 operational sorties were flown, 1,030,500 tons of bombs were dropped and 8,325 aircraft lost in action. Bomber Command crews also suffered a high casualty rate: 55,573 were killed out of a total of 125,000 aircrew, a 44.4% death rate. A further 8,403 men were wounded in action, and 9,838 became prisoners of war.

Polish Air Forces in France and Great Britain Polish Air Forces formed in France and the United Kingdom during World War II

The Polish Air Forces was the name of the Polish Air Forces formed in France and the United Kingdom during World War II. The core of the Polish air units fighting alongside the Allies were experienced veterans of the 1939 invasion of Poland. They contributed to the Allied victory in the Battle of Britain and most World War II air operations.

After the war the airfield was used by the Royal Aeronautical Establishment for research and development work. The runway was extended, necessitating the closure of the road between Thurleigh and Keysoe, and the demolition of the hamlet of Backnoe End. [7]

In 1968–71 the Commission for the Third London Airport (the "Roskill Commission") considered Thurleigh as one of its four short-listed sites, along with Cublington, Foulness (later known as Maplin Sands) and Nuthampstead. [11]

The RAE was largely closed down in the 1990s and the site is now used by various commercial enterprises.

Geography

Thurleigh is about 6 miles (10 km) north of the county town of Bedford. As well as the village centre, the parish is spread across five "Ends", local parlance for a hamlet – Church End, Cross End, Scald End, Backnoe End and Park End, covering an area of about six square miles. [12] The land is undulating boulder clay, ranging in height from 200 ft. to 275 ft. above sea level. A stream runs through the Parish to the south forming a valley which cuts through to the underlying Oxford Clay. The countryside around is in the main used for arable farming. [13] A former airfield to the north of the village is now a business park and motor sports track. There are only minor roads in the parish, though the A6 and B660 are just a few miles away. These roads however are used as a rat run and a 2007 survey recorded 600 vehicles per hour on Mill Road during the morning and evening rush hours, and 121 HGV's throughout the day. [7]

Demography

The population of the civil parish, recorded in the 2001 census, is 696, and their mean age is 38.6 years with 88 of the people being over the age of 65 years. [14] 372 of the population are considered to be economically active. [15] There were 272 dwellings, of which 9 were unoccupied. [16]

Economy

Part of the site of the former airfield now accommodates Thurleigh Business Park, and the runway is currently used for storage of new cars. Another part of the site is used by Bedford Autodrome, a corporate hospitality centre. This includes Thurleigh Museum which is dedicated primarily to the airfield and life in the area during World War 2. Other major employers include Jackson Demolition, Monster Events, Star Hire and a number of agricultural businesses. [7]

Community, sport and recreation

Regular events are held at the Village Hall, the Church, the Playing Field Club and the parish's only pub, the Jackal. There has been a hall in the village since 1927, and the current building dates from the 1980s. A youth club meets there bi-monthly. The playing field is used for cricket and football, and has a small children's play area. It is a registered charity. The Playing Field Club, built in the 1970s, provides changing rooms for the cricket team, which is the only organised sports team in the village. There are about 30 miles (48 km) of footpaths and bridleways within the parish. [7] There are a few bus services that stop in the village. [17]

Thurleigh Primary School and Pre-School takes children aged between 2½ and 11 years old, and Breakfast Club and After-School extends the hours of care for the children of working parents. [7] Older children are served by Sharnbrook Academy. [18]

Landmarks

St Peters Church, Thurleigh St Peters Church, Thurleigh - geograph.org.uk - 34934.jpg
St Peters Church, Thurleigh

The Parish Church of Saint Peter is a grade II* listed building dating from approximately 1130, with 14th- and 15th-century additions and restored in the 1880s. [19] The former vicarage was finished in 1750 for vicar Robert Lerogne. [20] Other listed buildings include a windmill tower, built c.1890, [21] and dwellings dating mainly from the 17th,18th and 19th centuries. [22] The Baptist Chapel was built in 1888 on the same site as an earlier building. [23] Thurleigh Castle was a medieval timber, motte-and-bailey, castle, but only earthworks survive today. In addition to the USAAF memorial previously mentioned, there is a War Memorial near the church to the men of the village who gave their lives in two world wars. [7] Part of the village is a conservation area. [24]

Related Research Articles

Flitwick town in Bedfordshire, England

Flitwick, is a small town and civil parish in Bedfordshire, England. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book as "a hamlet on the River Flitt". The spelling Flytwyk appears in 1381.

Woburn, Bedfordshire village and civil parish in Bedfordshire, England

Woburn is a village and civil parish in Bedfordshire, England. It is situated about 5 miles (8.0 km) southeast of the centre of Milton Keynes, and about 3 miles (4.8 km) south of junction 13 of the M1 motorway and is a tourist attraction. At the 2011 census, it had a population of 933.

Stagsden village and civil parish located in northwest Bedfordshire, England

Stagsden is a small but historic village and civil parish located in northwest Bedfordshire, near the Buckinghamshire border. Situated on the main route between nearby Bedford and Milton Keynes, the village was bypassed by the A422 in April 1992, to allow the increasing amount of traffic to avoid the 30&mph speed limit in Stagsden.

Wootton, Bedfordshire farm village in the United Kingdom

Wootton is a large village and civil parish located to the south-west of Bedford, in the north of Bedfordshire, England. The parish also includes the hamlets of Hall End, Keeley Green and Wootton Green.

Bletsoe village and civil parish in Bedfordshire, UK

Bletsoe is a village and civil parish in Bedfordshire, England. It is on the A6, and about eight miles north of Bedford. The village has a small park, the former site of Bletsoe Castle and a church. Nearby places are Sharnbrook, Milton Ernest, Riseley, Thurleigh, Odell, Souldrop, and Swineshead. The nearest town to Bletsoe is Rushden, over the border in Northamptonshire.

Milton Ernest farm village in the United Kingdom

Milton Ernest is a village and civil parish in Bedfordshire, England, about 5 miles (8.0 km) north of Bedford itself. It had a population of 754 in 2001. This had risen to 761 according to the 2011 census. The village is situated on the east bank of the River Great Ouse, and is the site of Milton Ernest Hall, which was used as the United States Eighth Air Force's support command headquarters in the Second World War.

Kempston Rural

Kempston Rural is a civil parish in the Borough of Bedford in Bedfordshire, England.

Pavenham farm village in the United Kingdom

Pavenham is a small village and civil parish on the River Great Ouse in the Borough of Bedford in Bedfordshire, England, about 6 miles (10 km) north-west of Bedford. Village amenities consist of St Peter's Church, a pub, Village hall, tennis Club, Cricket Club and golf club. The village is home to many clubs and societies including an active WI.

Bolnhurst and Keysoe is a civil parish in the Borough of Bedford in Bedfordshire, England. According to the 2001 census it had a population of 734, reducing to 719 at the 2011 Census. The parish includes the villages of Bolnhurst and Keysoe, and the hamlet of Keysoe Row. The parish is located about eight miles north of Bedford.

Little Staughton village and civil parish located in the north of Bedfordshire

Little Staughton is a small village and civil parish located in the north of Bedfordshire. The parish is part of the Stodden Hundred. The parish church, All Saints, is set apart from the present village – the previous village having been abandoned following an outbreak of the Bubonic plague.

Swineshead, Bedfordshire farm village in the United Kingdom

Swineshead is a village and civil parish in the Borough of Bedford in the county of Bedfordshire, England.

Pulloxhill farm village in the United Kingdom

Pulloxhill is a small village and civil parish in Bedfordshire, England 342 ft above sea level with a population of 850 at the 2001 Census, increasing to 985 at the 2011 Census.

Riseley, Bedfordshire farm village in the United Kingdom

Riseley is a village and civil parish located in North Bedfordshire. The village name has had alternative spellings in the past such as Rislau, Riseleg, Riselai and Risely, however all these spellings are considered archaic. It has a population of 1,284 according to the 2001 census, increasing to 1,286 at the 2011 Census, and is near the villages of Bletsoe, Sharnbrook, Swineshead, Pertenhall, Keysoe, Thurleigh and Melchbourne. The nearest town to Riseley is Rushden in the neighbouring county of Northamptonshire, approximately 8 miles away to the north west. The county town of Bedford is approximately 9 miles to the South of Riseley. The village has one watercourse, which is a tributary of the River Ouse, flowing through it known locally as the 'Brook' around which in medieval times the village was built.

Clophill village and civil parish in Bedfordshire, England

Clophill is a village and civil parish located in the Flit river valley, Bedfordshire, England. It is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Clopelle; meaning tree-stump Hill in old English.

Husborne Crawley small village and civil parish in Bedfordshire, England

Husborne Crawley is a small village and civil parish in Bedfordshire, England, located close to Junction 13 of the M1 motorway. The village touches the borders of the Woburn Abbey estate on one side, and the village of Aspley Guise on the other. The meaning of the Husborne element of the towns name is "warrior stream" and the Crawley element means "crow clearing".

Houghton Conquest farm village in the United Kingdom

Houghton Conquest is a village and civil parish located in the Central Bedfordshire district of Bedfordshire, England. The parish also includes the hamlet of How End.

Chilton, Suffolk village in the United Kingdom

Chilton is a civil parish on the eastern outskirts of Sudbury in Suffolk, England.

Roxton, Bedfordshire village in Bedford, England, UK

Roxton is a small village and civil parish located in the Borough of Bedford in Bedfordshire, England.

Keysoe village in the United Kingdom

Keysoe is a village located in the Borough of Bedford in Bedfordshire, England.

References

  1. "Neighbourhood Statistics – Thurleigh (CP) Parish". Office for National Statistics . Retrieved 17 April 2008.
  2. "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  3. Historic England. "Bury Hill Camp: a motte and bailey castle with three fishponds (1009155)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 29 February 2012.
  4. Mills, Anthony David. Oxford dictionary of British place names. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
  5. Lysons (Reverend), Daniel (1813). Magna Britannia: being a concise topographical account of the several counties of Great Britain, Volume 1, Part 1. London: T. Cadell and W. Davies. pp. 140–141.
  6. Airy, William. A digest of the Domesday of Bedfordshire. Mercury Press, 1881. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Thurleigh Parish Plan" (PDF). Thurleigh Parish Council. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
  8. "Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for ELY". A vision of Britain through time. University of Portsmouth and others. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
  9. "History". Bedford Aerodrome website. MotorSport Vision Ltd. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
  10. Rubin, Steven Jay (2011). Combat Films: American Realism, 1945–2010 (2nd ed.). McFarland. pp. 34–48. ISBN   9780786458929.
  11. Roskill (1971). Report, Commission on the Third London Airport. London: HMSO.
  12. "The Parish of Thurleigh". Parish website. Thurleigh Parish Council and Thurleigh.net webteam. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
  13. "1986 Thurleigh". Domesday Reloaded . BBC . Retrieved 29 February 2012.
  14. "Thurleigh CP; Parish Profile – People". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  15. "Thurleigh CP; Parish Profile – Work and Qualifications". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  16. "Thurleigh CP; Parish Profile – Accommodation and Tenure". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  17. "Timetables and Maps". Bedford Borough Council. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  18. "School Catchment Areas". Bedford Borough Council. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  19. Historic England. "PARISH CHURCH OF SAINT PETER, HIGH STREET (south side) THURLEIGH, BEDFORD, BEDFORDSHIRE (1311731)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 28 February 2012.
  20. Historic England. "The Old Vicarage (1311707)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 28 February 2012.
  21. Historic England. "Thurleigh Windmill (1114126)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 28 February 2012.
  22. "Search results for Thurleigh". historicengland.org.uk. English Heritage. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
  23. "Thurleigh Baptist Chapel". Thurleigh Parish website. Thurleigh Parish Council and Thurleigh.net webteam. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
  24. "Conservation Areas". Bedford Borough Council. Archived from the original on 11 September 2012. Retrieved 5 March 2012.