Bingham is a flourishing and growing, small market town in the borough of Rushcliffe in the southern part of Nottinghamshire, which is in the East Midlands of England. Nearby historic towns include Nottingham, Grantham, Southwell, Newark, Loughborough and Melton Mowbray. Situated at the intersection of the A46 (the Fosse Way) and the A52 there is good access by road. Bingham is 20 minutes from the A1 and half an hour from the M1. There are frequent bus services to Nottingham, Newark and Grantham. The east-west railway line links Bingham to Nottingham and Grantham, with frequent connections to the rest of the UK from both. East Midlands Airport is about 40 minutes drive away.

The town has a rich heritage. There is archaeological evidence of Stone Age hunters visiting the parish. Late Stone Age and Bronze Age artefacts, an Iron Age settlement, Roman settlement, Anglo-Saxon artefacts and an unexcavated early Medieval village are evidence of continuous occupation of the

parish before the first documented record of Bingham in the Domesday Book.

Little evidence of these early periods of occupation remains visible, however, and most buildings older than nineteenth century have been destroyed. The built heritage that contributes to the look of modern Bingham, therefore, is essentially of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The countryside around Bingham is flat or gently undulating, mainly arable farmland. There is practically no woodland, nor do any rivers or canals pass through the parish, though there are some significant dykes. There is a network of way-marked footpaths linking Bingham to all the neighbouring small villages and country walks are only ever a few minutes away from any part of the town. A popular one is the Linear Park, which follows a redundant railway track. It has a rich flora and fauna and is managed as a recreational facility by the Town Council.

Bingham market on a November morning (Photo: Peter Allen).

Bingham from Toot Hill school playing fields (Photo: Peter Allen)

Bingham has grown considerably since the early 1960s as hundreds of new houses have been built on peripheral green fields around the core town. There has also been a certain amount of infill development where large gardens that were remnants of the orchards that once flourished in Bingham have been sold as building plots. The population in 2001 was about 9000. It has a compact shopping centre and most services required for modern living are available here, including some good pubs and restaurants. There is a thriving open-air market in the Market Place every Thursday. A small industrial estate is sited on the outskirts of the town and Bingham is the regional centre for some businesses. All this means that while Bingham does function as a dormitory town for Nottingham it

also offers a range of employment opportunities locally. A list of businesses that operate in and from Bingham presents a flavour of the town in the year 2001 for comparison with past eras. The list for 1851 given in the account of 19th & 20th century Bingham is particularly interesting to compare.

Education in Bingham is well provided, with one infant, one primary, a junior and one comprehensive school. Pre-school provision is good. At the other end of the age range there is a Bingham branch of The University of the Third Age. In conjunction with Tectra the South Nottingham College runs City and Guilds computer courses in Bingham for all adults. It is funded by Government through the Further Education Council.

Sports facilities are also well provided for. There is a Leisure Centre with a swimming pool, athletics track, sports fields, including floodlit all-weather pitches for hockey and football and other facilities. Several sports clubs flourish in the town, including Bingham Cricket Club, founded in 1787, which claims to be one of the oldest in England. Other clubs and societies cater for most hobbyists' needs.

There are two churches within Bingham; the parish church, which is Church of England and a Methodist chapel. Other denominations are catered for. The friendliness of the people in the town, which attracted many to come and live here during the expansion that began in the 1960s, is still in evidence and Bingham remains a place to which people come, but don't often leave.

For details about the services and facilities in Bingham go to the Bingham Town Council web site

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