History of Bidford

VILLAGE HISTORY

From Roman times to present day, explore the village’s most historic secrets…

Bidford-on-Avon as a settlement dates back to Roman times. Ryknield street runs north and south through the Parish, and an important Saxon cemetery was discovered in 1922.

The Roman road originally crossed the River Avon just to the east of the church, where a path by the church wall still runs, this would have then led directly to Alcester. The road was redirected in the 15th century when the bridge was built in its current location.

The High Street opens up at its eastern end near the church, and this was probably the site of the Market Cross, described by Sir Simon Archer in 1639 as ‘all downe and ruinated’. There are sixteen buildings of 17th century or earlier construction within 200 yards of the church, including The Falcon Inn, although now two dwellings would have originally been the largest of these buildings and is reputed to be one of The Bards watering holes.

The bridge itself dates back to the early 15th century. It has been repaired and rebuilt many times over its lifetime, the first in 1449. In 1545, it was repaired using stone from the recently demolished Alcester priory. In 1641, considerable repairs were carried out at a cost of £180. In 1644, Charles 1st broke down the bridge to cover his rear on his march from Worcester to Oxford.

The most recent repairs to the bridge were in the summer of 2015 when a farm vehicle crashed through one of the parapets causing the bridge to be closed to vehicles for four months, at a cost of over £350,000 and huge disruption to business and residents alike.

It is in response to this accident that the Bidford Chamber of Trade & Commerce was formed to promote the village and its amenities.

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