Mill Road
Stanford is located in Bedfordshire
Location within Bedfordshire
OS grid referenceTL163014
Civil parish
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBiggleswade
Postcode districtSG18
Dialling code01462
FireBedfordshire and Luton
AmbulanceEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places
52°03′18″N 0°18′13″W / 52.05492°N 0.30359°W / 52.05492; -0.30359

Stanford is a hamlet in the civil parish of Southill, in Central Bedfordshire, England. It is about 8.5 miles (14 km) south-east of the county town of Bedford.


Stanford lies 2 miles (3 km) north-east of Shefford, 3 miles (5 km) south-west of Biggleswade and 20 miles (32 km) south-west of Cambridge.


The village lies within the Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Claylands (NCA 88) as designated by Natural England.[1] Central Bedfordshire Council has locally classified the landscape as Upper Ivel Clay Valley. Flat, open arable fields predominate.[2]


The village is 43 metres (141 ft) above sea level.[3]

Geology, soil type and land use

The village is surrounded by arable farmland and lies on glacial gravel (till) over Lower Greensand.[4] The soil is highly fertile, freely draining and slightly acid but base-rich.[5]

Stanford Wood, a pine wood with a small lake is to the east of the hamlet between Stanford Road and the B658. A gravel pit is shown here on the Ordnance Survey map of 1900.

A playing field in the middle of the village includes a playground area, basketball court and football pitch. Broom South sand and gravel quarry lies to the north-east.

The night sky and light pollution

Light pollution is the level of radiance (night lights) shining up into the night sky. The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) divides the level of night sky brightness into 9 bands with band 1 being the darkest i.e. with the lowest level of light pollution and band 9 the brightest and most polluted. Stanford has an index of 0.5–1 nanoWatts (nW) which places it in band 3. However, the night sky brightens towards Langford, Clifton and Shefford.[6][7]


Stanford means "stone ford".[8] The Domesday Book records eight land holdings in Stanford in 1086 and lists thirteen villagers, three smallholders and four slaves.[9]

In 1870–72 Stanford had a population of 385.[10]

A water mill at the end of Mill Road was fed by a mill race from the Ivel Navigation but by 1916 it was no longer in operation.[11]

A small school was opened in 1899 but a falling role led to its closure in 1921 and pupils transferred to Broom. The building on the junction of Old School Lane and the B658 road is now a residential dwelling .[12]

Stanford at one time had three public houses. Only the Green Man remains.[13]


Stanford elects three councillors to Southill parish council.[14] It is part of Northill ward for elections to the Central Bedfordshire Unitary Authority.[15]

Prior to 1894, Stanford was administered as part of the hundred of Wixamtree. From 1894 until 1974 it was in Biggleswade Rural District and from 1974 to 2009 in Mid Bedfordshire District.

Stanford is in the Mid Bedfordshire parliamentary constituency.

Public transport

Grant Palmer operates route 200 a two-hourly Monday to Saturday daytime bus service to Biggleswade (journey time 9 to 15 minutes) and to Clifton, Shefford and Flitwick (50 minutes). There is a weekly, Wednesday only service to Bedford by community bus operator, Wanderbus (journey time 26 minutes). Wanderbus also runs monthly services to St Neots and Welwyn Garden City.[16]

The nearest railway station is Biggleswade.


  1. ^ "National Character Areas". Natural England. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  2. ^ "4C Upper Ivel Clay Valley" (PDF). Central Bedfordshire. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  3. ^ "Stanford: elevation". Route Calculator. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  4. ^ "Sheet 204. Geological Survey of England & Wales". British Geological Survey. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  5. ^ "Soilscapes Viewer". LandIS – Land Information System. Cranfield University. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  6. ^ "Night Blight 2016: Mapping England's Light Pollution and Dark Skies". Campaign to Protect Rural England. CPRE. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  7. ^ "SG18 postcode". Nightblight map. CPRE. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  8. ^ Skeat, Walter William (1906). The Place-Names of Bedfordshire. p. 21. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  9. ^ "Stanford in 1086". Beds Archives. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  10. ^ "Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for Stanford". A Vision of Britain through Time. Retrieved 2 February 2023.
  11. ^ "Stanford Mill". Beds Archives. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  12. ^ "Stanford School". Beds Archives. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  13. ^ "Stanford Pubs". Beds Archives. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  14. ^ "Councillors by Ward". Southill Parish Council. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  15. ^ "Area, Ward, Northill". Central Bedfordshire Insight. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  16. ^ "Stanford, Cent Beds". Bus Times. Retrieved 22 September 2019.