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For steamships named Bibury, see SS Bibury.
Arlington Row Bibury.jpg
Arlington Row: Cotswold stone cottages
Bibury is located in Gloucestershire
 Bibury shown within Gloucestershire
OS grid reference SP1106
Civil parish Bibury
District Cotswold
Shire county Gloucestershire
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Police Gloucestershire
Fire Gloucestershire
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
List of places

Coordinates: 51°45′29″N 1°49′55″W / 51.758°N 1.832°W / 51.758; -1.832

Bibury is a village and civil parish in Gloucestershire, England. It is situated on the River Coln, about 6.5 miles (10.5 km) northeast of Cirencester. A picture of Bibury is seen on the inside cover of all United Kingdom passports, making it the most depicted village in the world.[1] [2][3]


Saint Mary Church, Bibury

In the Domesday Book (1086), a record of survey done under William the Conqueror, the place is named Becheberie, and it is recorded that the lands and church in Bibury were held by St. Mary's Priory at Worcester, from whom it passed in 1130 to the Abbey of Osney, near Oxford: the Abbey continued to hold it until its dissolution in 1540.[4]

The Church of England parish church of Saint Mary is Saxon with later additions.[5] From AD 1130 until the English Reformation during the sixteenth century, it was a peculier of Osney Abbey in Oxford.[5] Adjacent to the church is the village primary school that was built in the 1850s. The school currently[when?] has approximately 30 pupils in 2 classes. On the Arlington (west) side of the village is Arlington Baptist Church, where a congregation has been meeting since the 1740s.[6]

Late in the nineteenth century George Witts recounted the discovery of the Bibury Roman villa: "In the year 1880 a Roman villa was accidentally discovered in the parish of Bibury, about six miles northeast of Cirencester. Some Roman pottery, coins, remnants of tesselated pavements, &c., were found, but as no examination has yet taken place, no description of the building can be given." --George Witts, 1883[7]

On 2 May 2000, Daniel Brennan KCSG, QC was made "Baron Brennan, of Bibury".[8]

Visitor attractions[edit]

Arlington Mill in Bibury in 2009

The nineteenth-century artist and craftsman William Morris called Bibury "the most beautiful village in England" when he visited it.[9][10]

The village is known for its honey-coloured seventeenth century stone cottages with steeply pitched roofs, which once housed weavers who supplied cloth for fulling at nearby Arlington Mill. Until the 1980s, that building also housed the museum of Arlington Mill with a collection of period clothing, before it was shifted to Barnsley House.[10] The Mill is now a private residence.[11]

Bibury cottages.
Bibury Court, built in 1633.

The place where the wool was hung to dry after being washed in Arlington Row, was known as "Rack Isle". Today, this water meadow and marshy area, which is seasonally flooded and surrounded by water from three sides, is an important habitat for water-loving plants and birds including Mallards, Coots, and Moorhens; it is also a National Trust Wildfowl Reserve.[12][13]

Bibury is particularly frequented by Japanese tourists. This is largely attributed to Emperor Hirohito having stayed in the village on his European tour.[14] [15][16]

The largest building in Bibury is Bibury Court, built in 1633 in the style of Jacobean architecture.[17] It is a Grade I listed building, and is now a hotel. Previously it was inhabited by Lord Sherborne when in 2008 it was bought by John Lister, of Shipton Mill organic flour.[18]

Arlington Row[edit]

The picturesque Arlington Row cottages were built in 1380 as a monastic wool store. This was converted into a row of cottages for weavers in the seventeenth century.[12] The cloth produced there was sent to Arlington Mill. Arlington Row is a popular visitor attraction,[10] probably one of the most photographed Cotswold scenes, and was preserved by the Royal College of Arts. It has been used as a film and television location — most notably for Stardust and Bridget Jones Diary.[19]


River Coln in Bibury

The River Coln, a tributary of River Thames, flows alongside the main street. Its water, along with the Bibury Spring, supplies Bibury Trout farm, founded in 1902 by the famous naturalist Arthur Severn, to stock the local rivers and streams with the native Brown Trout. The hatchery spawns up to six million trout ova every year.[20]


The world's oldest horse racing club, The Bibury Club, was formed in 1681 and held race meetings on Macaroni Downs above Bibury village until the early part of the twentieth century.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Croome, W.I. (1992). A Short History of St Mary's Bibury. Gloucester: The British Printing Company Ltd. OCLC 78092632. 
  5. ^ a b Verey, David (1970). The Buildings of England: Gloucestershire: The Cotswolds. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 106–112. ISBN 0-14-071040-X. 
  6. ^ "Arlington Baptist Church Website". Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  7. ^ Witts, George (1883). Archaeological Handbook of Gloucestershire. Cheltenham: G. Norman. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  8. ^ The London Gazette: no. 55839. p. 4980. 5 May 2000. Retrieved 2009-04-19.
  9. ^ Gibbs, J.A. (1898). A Cotswold Village. VCH Glos. p. 23. 
  10. ^ a b c "Gloucestershire - History - Day Out: The South East Cotswolds". BBC. Jan 2009. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  11. ^ "Top 15 unusual buildings for sale: 02". Daily Telegraph. 
  12. ^ a b "Bibury". National Trust. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  13. ^ "Domesday Reloaded: Wildlife On Rack Isle, Bibury". BBC. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ Fiona Duncan. "Bibury Court hotel, Cotswolds, Gloucestershire: review". The Telegraph. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  18. ^ "Hotel review: Bibury Court, near Cirencester, Gloucestershire". Daily Mail. 16 December 2011. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  19. ^ IMDB Website
  20. ^ "Bibury Trout Farm Website". Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  21. ^ "The CotsWolds:Horse Racing". Retrieved 2013-08-07. 


External links[edit]