History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
For a time in the 19th century this market town was an inland port, with canal and river access to King's Lynn and the coast. The river silted up, as rivers tend to do, and Shefford was left to operate as a centre for the straw plait industry.
The name Shefford evolved from Sheepford - no prizes for figuring out how that name came to be! The town crest makes the association abundantly clear by incorporating a sheep's head in the design.
The town was first mentioned in 1225 when it was granted a Royal Charter to hold a weekly market. Several old buildings remain, notably along the High Street, though today Shefford is mainly a commuter town.
The parish church is largely late Victorian, though parts of the tower date to the 14th century. Poet Robert Bloomfield lived at 19 North Bridge Street, and is buried in nearby Campton. The quill pen in the town crest is in his memory.
The High Street is the scene of an annual Michaelmas Fair held every October 11, and a weekly market every Friday. Tudor House in the High Street is a brick-faced half-timbered building, and behind the Georgian facades of other buildings lurk early beams and timbers. On North Bridge Street is "The Porch", a 15th century arcaded building also faced in brick.
A public footpath leads to the scenic outlook on Cockshoot Hill, which provides panoramic views over the Ivel valley. Another path leads to the village of Meppershall, with its castle ruins. The Greensand Ridge Path passes just two miles to the north of Shefford.
Address: Shefford, Bedfordshire, England
Attraction Type: Town
OS: TL144 390
Photo Credit: JThomas, licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence
We've 'tagged' this attraction information to help you find related historic attractions and learn more about major time periods mentioned.
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19th century (Time Period) -
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Meppershall Castle - 2.2 miles (Castle)
Cainhoe Castle - 3 miles (Castle)
Lower Gravenhurst, St Mary's Church - 3.2 miles (Historic Church)
Swiss Garden - 3.2 miles (Garden)
Shuttleworth Collection - 3.6 miles (Museum)
Wrest Park - 3.9 miles (Garden)
Biggleswade Castle - 4.2 miles (Castle)
Edworth, St George's Church - 4.9 miles (Historic Church)
Nearest Accommodation to Shefford: