Bedfordshire is a ceremonial county of historic origin in the East of England region. It borders the non-metropolitan counties of Cambridgeshire to the north-east, Northamptonshire to the north, Buckinghamshire to the west, and Hertfordshire to the south-east. The first recorded use of the name in 1011 was "Bedanfordscir," meaning the shire or county of Bedford, which itself means "Beda's ford" (river crossing).
Bedfordshire has a rich and varied archaeological heritage with nationally significant sites and monuments dating from the prehistoric through to the post medieval periods. Our earliest archaeological remains relate to the Palaeolithic over 125,000 years ago.
Bedfordshire is a largely rural area and within many of our agricultural fields pits, ditches and structures relating to prehistoric settlements and ceremonial monuments survive below the surface. These remains often appear as cropmarks seen from the air and archaeological investigations.
Many of the modern Bedfordshire villages and towns are mentioned in the Domesday survey of 1086 AD.