Bedford, town and borough, central
England, on the Ouse River. It is an important industrial center; diesel
engines, pumps, turbines, agricultural machinery, electrical equipment, and
transistors are the chief manufactures. Bedford is also a fluid dynamics
research center. A battlefield for Britons and Saxons in the 6th cent.,
Bedford was the scene of an important Saxon defeat in 571. St. Peter's
Church contains examples of Saxon stone carvings. John Bunyan is commemorated by a chapel on
the site of a building where he preached in the 17th cent. Bedford School,
in existence since the 12th cent., is one of the largest public schools in
England. Bedford formerly was the county seat of Bedfordshire, which was
abolished as an administrative county in 2009.
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