Bedfordshire, a midland county, the 37th of the 40 English counties in size, and 36th in population. Extreme length, 31 miles; breadth, 25; area, 461 sq. m. The general surface is level, with gentle undulations. In the south, a range of chalk-hills, branching from the Chilterns, crosses Bedfordshire in a north-east direction from Dunstable, and another parallel range runs from Ampthill to near the junction of the Ivel with the Ouse. Between the latter ridge and the north-west part of the county, where the land is also somewhat hilly, lies the corn vale of Bedford. No hill much exceeds 500 feet in height. The chief rivers are the Ouse (running through the centre of the county, 17 miles in a direct line, but 45 by its windings), navigable to Bedford; and its tributary, the Ivel, navigable to Shefford. There are extensive market-gardens, especially on the rich deep loams. Bedfordshire is the most exclusively agricultural county in England, its cultivated area being 88.1 per cent., against 79.3 for the whole kingdom. Pop. (1801) 63,393; (1841) 107,936; (1901) 171,249. The principal proprietor is the Duke of Bedford; and his seat, Woburn Abbey, is the chief mansion. Lace-making and straw-plaiting are leading industries, carried on almost entirely by women. Bedfordshire is divided into nine hundreds and 122 parishes. Two members of parliament are returned for the county, one for the Biggleswade, and one for the Luton division. Many British and Roman antiquities exist, as well as the ruins of several monasteries. Three Roman roads crossed the county, and several earthwork camps remain.