Bedfordshire Record Office's Guide to Bedfordshire Parishes describes Leighton Buzzard thus: Ancient Parish; included the Chapelry and Hamlet of Billington until the creation of separate Billington Ecclesiastical Parish in 1826 and Civil Parish in 1866; included the Hamlet of Heath & Reach until the creation of separate Heath & Reach Ecclesiastical Parish in 1826 and Civil Parish in 1866; included the Hamlet and Chapelry of Eggington until creation of separate Eggington Ecclesiastical Parish in 1810 and Civil Parish in 1866; included Chapelry of Stanbridge until creation of separate Stanbridge Ecclesiastical Parish in 1735 and Civil Parish in 1866; part of the Civil Parish of Heath & Reach was transferred to Leighton Buzzard in 1934; Civil Parish of Leighton Buzzard abolished in 1965 and combined with Linslade to create the Civil Parish of Leighton-Linslade; includes Grovebury.
Leighton Buzzard is a town in Bedfordshire, England near the Chiltern Hills and lying between Luton and Milton Keynes. It adjoins Linslade and the name Leighton Linslade is sometimes used to refer to the combination of the two towns; parts of this article also apply to Linslade as well as Leedon.
There are a number of theories concerning the derivation of the town's name, but the most likely is that "Leighton" came from Old English Lēah-tūn, meaning 'farm in a clearing in the woods'. The "Buzzard" was added by the Dean of Lincoln, in whose diocese the town lay in the 12th century. Having two communities called "Leighton" and seeking some means of differentiating them, he added the name of his local Prebendary or representative to that of the town. At that time it was a Theobald de Busar and so over the years the town became known as Leighton Buzzard. The other Leighton became Leighton Bromswold.
Leighton Buzzard is also famous as the Grand Union Canal was opened there. More recently, Leighton Buzzard station was the location for part of the film Robbery, which is based on the so-called "Great Train Robbery" (1963), while the actual robbery took place just outside the town, at Bridego bridge, Ledburn. In the Domesday Book, Leighton Buzzard and Linslade were both called Leestone.