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Local Area

Buntingford Town Centre has remained substantially unaltered over the last century. It's central Conservation area, which includes the River Rib is designated an area of outstanding architectural or historical interest. Many of it's buildings date from the 15th century. There has in the last 20 or so years been several developments on the perimeter of the town, but these have not to any great extent altered the atmosphere of the town. The town of 5000 inhabitants straddles the London to Cambridge road (The Roman Ermine Street) and has benefited from the opening of a bypass in 1987.
The earliest mention of Buntas Ford is in a document of 1185 which related to to land owned by the Knights Templar. It is referred to as a "town" for the first time in Henry III's Charter of 1253 which allowed it to to hold a weekly market and an annual fair. Buntingford began to thrive and the market is still held today on a Monday - Buntingford's past industries included cloth making, dyeing, and tanning.
The height of Buntingford's prosperity was in the early 18th century stagecoach era. It's many inns served travellers on the Roman Road to York, Ermine Street. Samuel Pepys recorded that he and his wife stayed at The George Inn, where she became ill after drinking cold beer.
St. Peters Church was built on the site of an earlier chapel in 1614. Until St. Peters Church was built worshipers had to cross the ford and climb the steep path to the then Parish Church and now ruined, St. Bartholomew's Church, which has a 14th century chancel, in the deserted medieval village of Layston.
On the Market Hill, next to St. Peter's Church are the Bishop Seth Ward's almshouses, built in 1684 by Bishop Seth Ward a mathematician and astronomer, who was born in the town.
In the centre of the High Street is the town clock, which is a rare 16th century turret clock, notable by it not having a minute hand.

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