Visit Leighton Buzzard and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire. Leighton Buzzard and Linslade, divided by the River Ouse, were only recently made into one. On the Linslade side, which is more industrialized, is the Grand Union Canal.
Leighton Buzzard, a fairly large, pleasant market town with narrow streets, is mentioned in the Domesday Book. There are still thatched brick and timber cottages, and the pentagonal Market Cross, dating from about 1400, is very fine, rising in two tiers of arches and topped by a pinnacle 20 ft high. In the upper story are five statues: of Christ, the Madonna and Child, a bishop, a king and St John the Baptist. In 1650, during the Commonwealth period, it was repaired and a fourpenny rate was levied on the townspeople to pay for it.
Golden Bells Inn of the 14th century, originally built as two cottages and still retaining its old oak fireplace and oak beams.
The majority of buildings of interest are near the Market Place. Opposite the cross is the Swan Hotel, an early Victorian white building, in a Classical style. In North Street is the town's most impressive house, Holly Lodge, built in the late 17th century of blue and red brick with two cross gables. Just past it is the Friends' Meeting House, 1789, with wooden cross-windows and a simple exterior. Nearby are the Wilkes Almshouses, of yellow brick with gables, to which an interesting ceremony is attached, for on Rogation Monday parts of the founder's will are read aloud while a choir boy stands on his head.
In Lake Street is a l7th-century inn, the Unicorn, three stories high and nine bays long. The County Branch Library, a Grecian-style building with four unfluted Ionic columns, is Victorian.
The Church of All Saints, a large, ironstone building, dates from the 13th century. It has a crossing steeple and a high spire with large broaches on which are tiny pinnacles. Additions were made to the church two centuries later and it has a complete collegiate chancel with its original seating and screens still intact. The ironwork on the west door is that of Thomas of Leighton and the Kempe windows are very fine. There are medieval graffiti on piers and walls, the Early English font is cauldron shaped, and on the lectern is a finely carved wooden eagle of the 14th century.
In Linslade, close to the canal, will be found St Mary's Church, of yellow limestone and ironstone, with its early-12th-century nave masonry and its unmoulded chancel arch. The west tower is 15th-century and the chancel 16th century. The nave is embattled and there are no aisles. The circular font of the 12th century has a band of scrolls and beasts and there are the remains of a 15th-century screen.
East of the church is Manor Farmhouse, an interesting l8th-century building of vitreous and red brick, its centre bay flanked by giant pilasters.
Nearby towns: Aylesbury, Dunstable, Luton, Milton Keynes, Tring
Nearby villages: Billington, Great Brickhill, Stanbridge, Stock Hammond, Wing
Have you decided to visit Leighton Buzzard or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Leighton Buzzard bed and breakfast (a Leighton Buzzard B&B or Leighton Buzzard b and b)
- a Leighton Buzzard guesthouse
- a Leighton Buzzard hotel (or motel)
- a Leighton Buzzard self-catering establishment, or
- other Leighton Buzzard accommodation