Toddington village green
|Population||4,590 (2011 Census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Fire||Bedfordshire and Luton|
|Ambulance||East of England|
Toddington is a large village and civil parish in the county of Bedfordshire, England. It is situated 5 miles north-north-west of Luton, 4 miles (6 km) north of Dunstable, 6 miles (10 km) south-west of Woburn, and 35 miles north-north-west of London on the B5120 and B579. It is 0.5 miles from Junction 12 of the M1 motorway and lends its name to the nearby motorway service station. The hamlet of Fancott also forms part of the Toddington civil parish.
Toddington is built around a large village green, around which sit the parish church and four of the village's six public houses. The Dunstable Northern Bypass taking heavy traffic bound for Dunstable from the M1 away from the village was delayed but a restart was announced in September 2011, now due to open in 2017. [ citation needed ]A large-scale housebuilding programme has been proposed by the government for the environs of Luton, Dunstable and Milton Keynes, and proposals to build a 20,000 seat football stadium to replace Kenilworth Road were withdrawn in 2008.
Toddington has experienced a rise in house prices due to its reputation as a quiet English village and the easy commute into London.[ citation needed ]
For local government purposes it is in the Central Bedfordshire unitary authority, and is in the Mid-Bedfordshire parliamentary constituency, represented since 19 October 2023 by Labour MP Alistair Strathern.
Toddington has four churches: Church of England (St George), Methodist, Baptist, and a Christian Fellowship.
It used to be claimed that Toddington had the most pubs per head of population of any village in the United Kingdom,[ citation needed ] although recently one has closed indefinitely and another was converted into a restaurant. The remaining pubs are: the Oddfellows Arms, the Griffin, the Bell, and the Fancott Arms (which lies about a mile outside the village centre). The former pubs are the Nag's Head (which was demolished to make way for housing), the Sow and Pigs (closed in 2011 and converted into a dentist), the Red Lion (which turned into Ritzy Bar in 2011 but closed in 2014 and converted to housing in 2017), the Angel (which closed in 2019 and was converted into business offices) and the Bedford Arms (closed in February 2012 and converted to housing in 2019). The old town hall building was turned into a micropub, the Cuckoo, which opened in 2014 and closed in 2019.
Toddington has one theatre - Tads Theatre, on Conger Lane. It is owned and run by the charity group Tads Theatre, formerly known as the Toddington Amateur Dramatics Society. The group mounts 4–6 in-house productions each year, including an annual family pantomime.
Toddington used to have a historical society, the Toddington Historical Society, who met at the Village Hall on Leighton Road.
Toddington has a brass band, the Toddington Town Band (TTB); it has existed in one form or another since 1856 and performs regularly at village events.
The nearest mainline railway station is Harlington, which is located in the nearby village of Harlington and is served by Thameslink. From Harlington there are trains north to Flitwick and Bedford, and south to Luton, Luton Airport Parkway, St Albans, St Pancras International, Gatwick Airport and Brighton. The Fancott Arms hosts the rideable miniature railway at Fancott.
Dropshort Marsh and Fancott Woods and Meadows, both close to the village, are managed as nature reserves by the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire,and each is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
There are several public rights of way within the parish and there are many walksand rides around the village. The Icknield Way Path runs through the village on its 110-mile journey from Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire to Knettishall Heath in Suffolk. The Icknield Way Trail, a multi-user route for walkers, horse riders and off-road cyclists, passes through the village.
The village has several halls for use by the community. The largest hall is on Leighton Road and managed by the Toddington Village Hall Association.It was opened in July 1993 on behalf of the community.
The village is served by two schools, Toddington St George Church of England School (opened in 1967) years of age. After year 8, children transfer to Harlington Upper School located in nearby Harlington.and Parkfields Middle School (opened in 1963), which provide education for children aged between 4 and 13
Toddington is situated on a hill formed of glacial sand and gravel above a layer of glacial till on top of the Cretaceous Gault Clay (see the 1:50,000 Sheet 220 Leighton Buzzard Solid and Drift Geology by the British Geological Survey). The hill has a maximum height of 154 m and the village is about 30 m above the other Mid-Bedfordshire villages and towns (e.g. Westoning, Harlington, Flitwick).
Toddington Castle was a timber motte-and-bailey castle built before the 13th century in Toddington. Today only earthworks remain of the castle, known as Conger Hill. Chalgrave Castle was built to the south of the village during the 11th century, however no visible remains of the structure exist today.
Toddington Manor is a Tudor Manor house located on the North edge of the village with an extremely long history going back to well before the Norman invasion in 1066. Elizabeth I came to Toddington Manor in 1563 and knighted the owner Henry Cheney.In July 1608 King James and Anne of Denmark stayed at the manor, guests of Jane, Lady Cheney, the queen wore a gown of ash-coloured satin bias cut. Arbella Stuart came in August 1609.
Henry Cheyne, 1st Baron Cheyne (1540-1587) is buried at St Georges Church.
William Blake is said to have drunk at the Angel.[ citation needed ]
Thomas Cleaver, breeder of Sampson, the tallest and heaviest horse ever recorded, lived at Toddington Mills.
The child actor Jack Wild is buried in the parish cemetery.[ citation needed ]
Kevin McCloud, presenter of TV show Grand Designs was born and raised in Toddington.
Celebrity Emily Atack, of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! fame, attended Parkfields Middle School in the early 2000s.
Bedfordshire is a ceremonial and historic county in the East of England. It is bordered by Northamptonshire to the north, Cambridgeshire to the north-east, Hertfordshire to the south and the south-east, and Buckinghamshire to the west. The largest settlement is Luton which had a population of 225,262 in 2021.
Flitwick is a town and civil parish in Bedfordshire, England. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "a hamlet on the River Flitt". The spelling Flytwyk appears in 1381.
Harlington is a village and civil parish located in Bedfordshire, England, near the M1 motorway. The nearest town is Flitwick about 3 miles (4.8 km) to the north.
Barton-le-Clay is a large village and a civil parish in the Central Bedfordshire Borough in Bedfordshire, England, bordering Hertfordshire. The village has existed since at least 1066 and is mentioned in the Domesday Book.
The South Midlands League was a football league covering Bedfordshire and some adjoining counties in England. It was founded in 1922 as the Bedfordshire County League and merged with the Spartan League in 1997 to form the Spartan South Midlands League.
Flitwick railway station is in the centre of Flitwick, in Bedfordshire, England. The station is situated on the Midland Main Line. The station is managed by Thameslink, who operate all trains serving it, and is served by Thameslink route services between Bedford and Brighton. As well as Flitwick itself, the station also serves the adjoining town of Ampthill, which no longer has its own station.
The A505 is a road in the East of England. It follows part of the route of the Icknield Way and the corresponding Icknield Way Path and runs from Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire to the A11 Abington Interchange North in Cambridgeshire.
Leagrave is a former village and now a suburb of Luton, in the Luton district, in the ceremonial county of Bedfordshire, England, in the northwest of the town. The area is roughly bounded by Vincent Road, Torquay Drive and High Street to the north, Roman Road and Stoneygate Road to the south, the M1 to the west, and Marsh Road and Leagrave Park to the east.
Lewsey is a suburb of Luton, about 3 miles (4.8 km) west north-west of the town centre, and a ward of the Borough of Luton, in the ceremonial county of Bedfordshire, England. The suburb is roughly bounded by Leagrave High Street to the north, Dunstable Road to the south, Poynters Road, Dunstable to the west, and the M1 to the east.
Upper Sundon is a village located in the Central Bedfordshire district of Bedfordshire, England.
The A5120 is an A-class road in Bedfordshire, linking the conjoined towns of Ampthill and Flitwick to the M1 motorway at Toddington. It connects with the M1 at junction 12 in close proximity to the Toddington services. On its route from Ampthill to Toddington, the A5120 serves Westoning and Harlington. Unusually for an A-road, it does not meet another A-road at any point between its start on the A507 and its end at the M1 J12.
Dunstable is a market town and civil parish in Bedfordshire, England, east of the Chiltern Hills, 30 miles north of London. There are several steep chalk escarpments, most noticeable when approaching Dunstable from the north. Dunstable is the fourth largest town in Bedfordshire and along with Houghton Regis forms the westernmost part of the Luton/Dunstable urban area.
Central Bedfordshire is a unitary authority area in the ceremonial county of Bedfordshire, England. It was created in 2009.
The Dunstable Branch Lines were railway branch lines that joined the English town of Dunstable to the main lines at Leighton Buzzard and Welwyn. The two lines were under separate ownership and joined just east of the Dunstable North station.
Toddington Services is a motorway service station on the M1 motorway between junctions 11A and 12, just north of Luton and Dunstable in Bedfordshire, England. It takes its name from the nearby village of Toddington. It is owned by Moto Hospitality.