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Location within Hertfordshire
Population5,378 (2011 Census)[1]
OS grid referenceTL363292
Civil parish
  • Buntingford
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtSG9
Dialling code01763
AmbulanceEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°56′40″N 0°00′58″W / 51.9445°N 0.0160°W / 51.9445; -0.0160Coordinates: 51°56′40″N 0°00′58″W / 51.9445°N 0.0160°W / 51.9445; -0.0160

Buntingford is a market town and civil parish in the district of East Hertfordshire and county of Hertfordshire in England. It lies next to the River Rib and is located on the historic Roman road, Ermine Street. As a result of its location, it grew mainly as a staging post with many coaching inns and has an 18th-century one-cell prison known as The Cage, by the ford at the end of Church Street. It has a population of 5,378, as of the 2011 UK Census.


Buntingford was located traditionally within the parish of Layston – St Bartholomew's Church (Layston), previously derelict and now a house, lies about half a mile to the north-east of the town. St Peter's Church, formerly a relief chapel, is the Anglican church in Buntingford and is an almost unique brick building from the age of the 17th-century Puritans. St Richard's serves the Roman Catholic community. There is also a United Reformed Church in Baldock Road. Queen Elizabeth I is claimed to have stayed at Buntingford in a building now called the Bell House Gallery, on a coach journey to Cambridge.[2] Just up the High Street, The Angel Inn, now a dental surgery, was a staging post for coaches travelling from London to Cambridge. The name of the town is believed to originate from the Saxon chieftain or tribe Bunta; it does not refer to the bird Bunting, or the festive flag-like decorations.[3] The town has an annual firework display at The Bury, presented by Buntingford Town Football Club. The Prime Meridian passes to the east of Buntingford. The town has many Georgian and medieval buildings, such as Buntingford almshouses, Buntingford Manor House and the Red House. Buntingford was a stop-over on what was the main route between London and Cambridge, now the A10.


Buntingford is in East Hertfordshire, a shire district in the county of Hertfordshire,[4] and the parliamentary constituency of North East Hertfordshire (formerly North Hertfordshire),[5] a Conservative safe seat represented by Sir Oliver Heald since 1992.[6][7] Previously, between 1983 and 1997, Buntingford was located in the constituency of Hertford and Stortford,[8][9] which at the time was represented by Conservative Bowen Wells.[10]

Hertfordshire has three-tier local government, meaning responsibilities for local government are split between county councils, district councils, and parish councils (including town councils). Buntingford is managed by Buntingford Town Council, East Hertfordshire District Council and Hertfordshire County Council. Buntingford is represented on the district council by Stan Bull and Jeff Jones of the Buntingford Conservatives,[11] the local branch of the Conservative Party founded in 2015.[12] Jones also represents Buntingford in the county council.[13] The district and county councils are headquartered in Hertford, while the town council is headquartered in Buntingford. The town council is based from Buntingford Manor House[14] and elects councillors every four years. The Town Clerk is currently Jill Jones and the Town Council Officer is currently Alexander Georgiou. Town Mayor Graham Waite was elected in 2018 and is serving with his deputy, Steve Bowman.[15][16]

Before the creation of East Hertfordshire on 1 April 1974, Buntingford was part of the Braughing Rural District, which was abolished on 31 March 1974. The district was headquartered in Buntingford and Bishop's Stortford and was formed from the merger of the Hadham and Buntingford Rural Districts on 1 April 1935.[17] Buntingford Rural District evolved from Buntingford Rural Sanitary District, existing between 28 December 1984 and 31 March 1935.[18]


Market day is Monday, and early closing Wednesday. The Buntingford Carnival is held every other year. There is also a classic car event held in the town each year, on the first Saturday in September. The town has a number of public houses – The Brambles (formerly The Chequers), The Fox and Duck, The Black Bull, The Crown and The Jolly Sailors. The 'World Sausage Tossing Championship' has taken place at The Countryman Inn, in Chipping near Buntingford, every August since 2014.[19]


Buntingford railway station, opened in 1863, was closed in 1964,[20] under the Beeching cuts. This was the terminus for the Buntingford Branch Line. Recently it has been redeveloped into housing.


Buntingford is home to various independent shops, restaurants and pubs mainly located in the town's high street. Buntingford has a Co-op food supermarket and a Sainsbury's Local. Just outside the town are two BP fuel stations at each end of the bypass. The town was previously home to the Sainsbury's Anglia Distribution Centre, but this was vacated and eventually knocked down for housing in 2014. The site had previously been used as a Royal Army Ordnance Corps munitions factory, known locally as "the Dump".[21] Team BMR and Triple Eight Racing, two major UK auto racing teams, are based in the town.[22][23]


Buntingford is one of two towns in Hertfordshire using a three-tier school system (the other being Royston). In this system, children are educated in first schools until they enter middle school in Year Five, after which they join upper school in Year Nine, remaining there until the completion of sixth form.[24] This system was enacted in Buntingford in 1969 by order of the county council.[25]

There are currently two first schools, with a third opening in September 2022:

Buntingford has one middle school, Edwinstree Church of England Middle School. It is a mixed Church of England voluntary controlled school situated at Norfolk Road, Buntingford, under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of St Albans.[36] Edwinstree has had an Ofsted grading of good since 2018, previously being graded as requiring improvement since 2016 and, before that, outstanding since 2008.[37] It has a pupil population of 477, with a capacity for 480.[36]

Freman College pictured in 2007
Freman College pictured in 2007

Buntingford currently has one upper school, Freman College (formerly Ward Freman School). The school is a mixed upper school and sixth form with academy status, situated at Bowling Green Lane, Buntingford, under the control of its own single-academy trust.[38] It was established in either 1970 or 1971[39][40] to replace Buntingford Secondary Modern School (established between both world wars).[41][40] It was named after Bishop Seth Ward and Elizabeth Freman of the Freman family as both were benefactors of Buntingford's old grammar school that closed in 1900. The Freman family also owns the school grounds. Previously a foundation school, Freman converted to academy status in 2011, being one of the first schools to do so.[40] It has had an Ofsted grading of good since 2006[42][43] and has a student population of 961, with a capacity for 903.[38]

A grade II listed house situated at Layston Court 20, High Street, was formerly used as the building and master's house for Buntingford Grammar School until 1877.[44] Buntingford Grammar School was Buntingford's first secondary school,[45] having been built by its endower, Elizabeth Freman, between 1630 and 1633 for 25 schoolboys and a master. It was a two-storey building, with the attic being added at a later date sometime before 1830. The school was endowed again in 1684 by former pupil Seth Ward, who was the Bishop of Salisbury, and Lady Jane Barkham.[44] After its disuse in 1877, the building was modified into a house. The Town Council took ownership of the rest of the school's site and have preserved it as a park.[46] The school itself survived elsewhere until 1900.[45]

Notable people





Twin towns

See also


  1. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  2. ^ Blatchley, Nicholas. "Around Buntingford". Herts Memories.
  3. ^ Bunting, Frank. "Origin of Buntingford name". Herts Memories.
  4. ^ "Information on East Herts | East Herts District Council". Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  5. ^ "Constituency". Sir Oliver Heald. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  6. ^ Barrow, Georgia (13 December 2019). "General Election 2019: Conservative Sir Oliver Heald holds seat in North East Herts". The Comet. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  7. ^ "About Sir Oliver". Sir Oliver Heald. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  8. ^ "The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 1983". Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  9. ^ "The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 1995". Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  10. ^ "UK Politics: People in Parliament". BBC News. 28 June 1998.
  11. ^ "Your Councillors". East Hertfordshire District Council. 14 March 2022. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  12. ^ "Buntingford Journal September 2015 Volume 40, No. 7" (PDF). Buntingford Civic Society. p. 20. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  13. ^ "Your Councillors". Hertfordshire County Council. 14 March 2022. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  14. ^ "Parish council - Buntingford Town Council". 9 March 2022. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  15. ^ "The Council". 6 September 2021. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  16. ^ "Cllr Graham Waite". 7 May 2019. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  17. ^ BRAUGHING RURAL DISTRICT COUNCIL. Braughing Rural District Council, Hertfordshire.((cite book)): CS1 maint: others (link)
  18. ^ Ministry of Health Order No. 80108: The County of Hertford Review Order, 1935
  19. ^ World Sausage Tossing Championship website
  20. ^ Disused Stations
  21. ^ Gold, Ciaran (20 February 2012). "Former Buntingford depot development could bring 600 jobs". Hertfordshire Mercury. Archived from the original on 8 September 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
  22. ^ "Contact US Triple Eight Racing Champions". Triple Eight Racing. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  23. ^ "Contact Team BMR BTCC Racing Team". Team BMR. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  24. ^ "Types of school". Hertfordshire County Council. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  25. ^ a b "School History". Layston C of E First School. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  26. ^ a b "Layston Church of England First School - GOV.UK". Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  27. ^ "Church Foundation". Layston C of E First School. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  28. ^ "Layston Church of England First School URN: 117390". Ofsted. 8 October 2020. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  29. ^ a b "Millfield First and Nursery School - GOV.UK". Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  30. ^ "Millfield First and Nursery School URN: 117309". Ofsted. 22 April 2021. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  31. ^ "School Animals". Millfield First and Nursery School. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  32. ^ "Executive Headteacher's Welcome". Buntingford First School. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  33. ^ "Buntingford First School". Hertfordshire County Council. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  34. ^ "Trust appointed to run new sustainable first school in Buntingford". 30 June 2021. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  35. ^ "Views sought on plans for new first school in Buntingford". 30 March 2021. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  36. ^ a b "Edwinstree Church of England Middle School - GOV.UK". Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  37. ^ "Edwinstree Church of England Middle School URN: 117554". Ofsted. 14 January 2021. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  38. ^ a b "Freman College - GOV.UK". Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  39. ^ "Working at Freman College". Freman College. 8 February 2022. Retrieved 9 February 2022.
  40. ^ a b c "History". Freman College. 9 February 2022. Retrieved 9 February 2022.
  41. ^ "'Every human being has a value and a talent, and it is my job to help them find and exploit it'". TES. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  42. ^ "Freman College URN: 117540". Ofsted. 15 December 2019. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  43. ^ "Freman College URN: 137002". Ofsted. 8 October 2020. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  44. ^ a b "LAYSTON COURT, Buntingford - 1101341 | Historic England". Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  45. ^ a b c "History". Freman College. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  46. ^ "Around Buntingford". Herts Memories. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  47. ^ "Charles Pigg". Retrieved 31 December 2014.
  48. ^ "Herbert Pigg". Retrieved 31 December 2014.
  49. ^ Time. "Death of a Voice". 29 March 1943.
  50. ^ "Monk, James Henry (MNK799JH)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  51. ^ Cassidy, Sarah (8 September 2014). "Sam Gyimah interview: Life-changing events often occur in early days of learning". The Independent. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  52. ^ The Illustrated London News vol. 60, 1872, pg 258
  53. ^ Alumni cantabrigienses; a biographical list of all known students, graduates and holders of office at the University of Cambridge, from the earliest times to 1900, entry "Harold Herbert Williams", University Press, Cambridge, 1922
  54. ^ Bicheno p. 314
  55. ^ England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995 for Annie Louise Mary Macdermott: 1980 - (subscription required)
  56. ^ "Welcome to Freman College!". Freman College. Archived from the original on 20 November 2005. Retrieved 12 February 2022.
  57. ^ The Green Record Book, issue 1, Steve Hazon, Takeley Local History Society, 2006, Takeley Chapel Marriages
  58. ^ Holy Trinity Baptisms, Holy Trinity Church, Takeley, URL=
  59. ^ Akpan Chapter III: Employment
  60. ^ Dod's Peerage 1860, p.79
  61. ^ Mennell, Philip (1892). "Stow, Jefferson Pickman" . The Dictionary of Australasian Biography. London: Hutchinson & Co – via Wikisource.
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  63. ^ "Twin Towns & Villages". Buntingford Town Council. 14 January 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2022.