By Tim Lambert
Late 9th Century The Danes found a burh or fortified settlement at Bedford, north of the river
915 The English recapture Bedfordshire from the Danes. They found a new settlement south of the river. Bedford becomes a busy little market town.
1010 The Danes pillage Bedford
1166 Bedford is given a charter
1238 Franciscan friars arrive in Bedford
1300 Bedford is a little town with a population of about 1,500. Its main industry is making wool.
1554 Bedford is given an extra weekly market
1575-76 Plague strikes Bedford
1643 The royalists capture Bedford but they soon withdraw
1650 Bedford has a population of about 2,000
1689 The River Great Ouse is made navigable as far as Bedford. The wool industry is declining but new industries grow up.
1799 The first bank opens in Bedford
1801 Bedford has a population of 3,948. A new Bedford jail is built.
1803 A body of men is formed to pave, clean, and light the streets of Bedford
1832 Bedford gains gas light. Cholera strikes Bedford.
1846 The railway reaches Bedford
1849 Cholera strikes again
1850 Bunyan Meeting House is built
1855 A cemetery opens in Bedford
1866 A piped water supply is created in Bedford
1882 Shire Hall is built
1888 The Park opens
1899 A hospital opens in Bedford
1901 Bedford has a population of about 35,000
1935 The first public library opens in Bedford
1949 Cecil Higgins Art Gallery opens
1962 Bedford Museum opens on its present site
1976 The Harpur Centre opens
1998 The Bunyan Museum opens in Bedford
2000 A statue of Trevor Huddleston is erected in Silver Street