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You are here: Home Page > Leisure and Culture > Local History and Heritage > St. Paul's Square Bedford

St. Paul's Square Bedford

 Town centre map of Bedford 1765                                                                 

St. Paul's Square is the heart and soul of Bedford and the setting of the town's parish church since the town was laid out in Saxon times.  Located just outside the original castle walls, and at the bridging point of the River Great Ouse, it contains one of the five magnificent medieval churches of the town from which it takes its name. 

(Town Centre, Bedford 1765)

Bedford’s twice-weekly Charter Market literally put the town on the map when King Henry II granted the Charter in 1166 allowing Bedfordians to hold their own market.  A market has been held on St. Paul’s Square since the 1500s, apart for 18 years at the end of the 20th century when the market moved to Riverside Square car park, the market then returned to the Square in 2002.

 

Old Grammar School Bedford now Tourist Information Centre

(old Grammar School,

now Tourist Information Centre)

 

 

 

St. Paul's Square Access Project

In 2008 Bedford Borough Council was successful in obtaining a grant of almost £50,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, matched with £50,000 of the Council’s money, to undertake a series of heritage improvements. This work completed in March 2010.

Heritage Features

The new heritage features in and around the Square include:

Fingerpost Interpretive Unit, (on the north side of the Square), including artefact units set into the plinth

Interpretive Finger Post artefact unit with multiple items         Fingerpost Interpretive Unit on north of St Paul's Square             artefact in base of Interpretive Unit - corbel

Interpretive Panels in St. Paul's churchyard;

Historic Building Plaques on twelve buildings around the Square, including the Swan Hotel;

Historic Floor Plaques - in and around the Fingerpost Interpretation Unit on the north side of the Square; outside the Town Hall, outside the south entrance of St Paul's Church, outside the eastern perimeter of St Paul's Church and the entrance to Castle Lane on the eastern side of High Street.

Information pillars in the Howard Room, Corn Exchange, Bedford 
Howard Room, Corn Exchange St. Paul’s Square  – three interpretive columns

 

 

 

Puzzler Activity Trail Leaflet

front cover of the St Paul's Square Bedford activity trailIn addition a Puzzler activity trail leaflet, a special Family Trail for Young History Detectives, has been produced and this is available to download.  Hard copies are available to pick up from the Bedford Tourist Information Centre, St Paul's Church and Bedford Museum.  Why not visit the Square and test your knowledge!

 

 

Historic Educational Resource

We hope you will take the time to visit St. Paul’s Square to enjoy the history of the Square.  If you would like to explore a little further a short walk to the east of the Square along Castle Lane will take you to the archaeological site of the Bedford Castle, the Castle Mound, Lime Kiln and Bedford Museum.

Lottery Funded

Lottery Funding logo

 


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