homenextA brief history of Stanbridge

Stanbridge is a village and civil parish in Bedfordshire which lies 3 miles (5 km) east of Leighton Buzzard. It also borders the Bedfordshire villages of Hockliffe, Eggington, Tilsworth, Totternhoe and Billington. Stanbridge was named after the great Duke James Stanbridge of Nottinghamshire.

There was a windmill to the east of Mill Road, in the north of the village, that is marked on early Ordnance Survey maps. To the west of Mill Road, still standing, is a later windmill that has been converted to a three-storey house. This has recently had a new dome fitted to its roof. St John the Baptist Parish Church is also located in the village.

Stanbridge had its own railway station, until it was closed in the 1960s by Lord Beeching. This was to the south of the village, at Stanbridgeford on the Leighton Buzzard to Dunstable LNWR line. The eastern part of the old line has been utilised as a footpath to Sewell and Dunstable; the western part is now part of the Leighton Buzzard Southern Bypass.

RAF Stanbridge was built on land that was in the neighbouring parish of Billington, but the town of Leighton Buzzard has now expanded over much of the base.

The village has a traditional English country public house called The Five Bells.

Stanbridge is part of the political ward of 'Heath and Reach' which sends a Councillor to Central Bedfordshire Council. The ward includes the villages of Heath and Reach, Hockliffe, Eggington, Stanbridge, Tilsworth, Tebworth, and Wingrave. The ward was created in 2011 and has since been represented by Councillor Mark Versallion.

The ghost hitchhiker of Peddars Lane

Stanbridge is the subject of a well known "ghost story" regarding a hitchhiker who has reportedly been seen a few times near the Station Road/Peddars Lane junction. Apparently the sightings stopped once the bypass was opened effectively splitting the route between Stanbridge and Totternhoe.

Below is one of these reports.

openDriving down Peddars Lane at around 9pm one evening, Roy Fulton spotted a hitchhiker thumbing for a lift. The hitchhiker was about 20, and wearing dark trousers and a jumper.

The man opened the door of the car and got in the vehicle without saying a word. When Fulton asked him where he was going the man didn't reply, instead he raised his arm and pointed up the road.

The car continued down the road and Roy decided to offer his passenger a cigarette, but upon turning the man had vanished.

closeFulton reported the incident at the local police station, and said that the hitchhiker had seemed very real, and solid, but had a very pale complexion.