Bedford is a historic market and the county town of Bedfordshire, England. At the 2011 Census, the population of the Bedford built-up area was 106,940. At the same census, the Borough of Bedford had a population of 157,479. Bedford was founded at a ford on the River Great Ouse, and is thought to have been the burial place of Offa of Mercia. Bedford Castle was built by Henry I, although it was destroyed in 1224. Bedford was granted borough status in 1165 and has been represented in Parliament since 1265. It is known for its large population of Italian descent. Bedford is on the Midland Main Line, with stopping services to London and Brighton operated by Thameslink, and express services to London and the East Midlands operated by East Midlands Railway. Transport in Bedford provides links between the town and other parts of England. Road access to the town is provided by the A6 road & the A421 road. The town is served by two railway stations and a network of bus services.