New exhibition celebrates 850 years of Bedford

editorial image

In commemoration of the 850th anniversary of Bedford’s royal charter, the Bedfordshire Archives Service presents two projects celebrating our history.

A new exhibition ‘Bedford 850 Years: Signs and Symbols of Town Status’ provides a rare opportunity to see one of the oldest documents held by Bedfordshire Archives Service - the royal charter of 1166 granted by Henry II.

Another highlight of the exhibition is the ‘Black Book of Bedford’ (1562-1650), which contains sets of bye-laws governing life in Bedford, including the keeping of animals, and the conduct of officials in the council chamber.

In addition, the exhibition features maps, photographs, a Mayoral scrapbook and early handwritten documents.

The documents on show reveal how Bedford Borough has changed throughout the years.

Bedford 850 Years: Signs and Symbols of Town Status runs until January 4 in the Riverside Building in Borough Hall.

A free lunchtime talk ‘Untold Stories of Bedford Borough’ exploring less glamourous aspects of life in Bedford Borough, will take place on December 1 at 1pm, also in the Riverside Building in Borough Hall.

Bedfordshire Archives has also been working on an exciting art project with local charity Carers in Bedfordshire.

The Celebrating Bedford 850 exhibition will showcase the work of local carers, who have been inspired by historic documents from Bedfordshire Archives Service’s collection.

The exhibition features paintings and photography by members of Carers in Bedfordshire’s art and photography clubs.

Celebrating Bedford 850 will run between November 29 and December 2 in the Council Suite between 12-2pm every day.

For further details on the either exhibition contact Rachel Bates on 01234 276541.