Bedford, town and borough (1991 pop. 75,632), 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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