Bretford lies at a junction between the A428 road (Coventry-Rugby) and the old Fosse Way. The name of the village comes from the old ford crossing point over the River Avon which runs just south of the village. The original Roman line of the Fosse Way was diverted to the west in the Middle Ages to its present crossing point.
Just south of Bretford, the A428 (Fosse Way) crosses the River Avon on a five-arched, stone medieval bridge, which is at the site of the old ford. The bridge is too narrow for two-way traffic, and so is controlled by traffic lights. The first record of the bridge is from 1279.
In the Middle Ages Bretford was considerably more important than it is now; it was founded as a planned market town in 1227 by the lord of the manor, John de Verdon. It was also the site of a leper hospital. Following the Black Death in the 15th century Bretford declined almost completely and never recovered. It now consists of a few cottages by the road, a pub a farm, and of course, the bridge which gives the village its name.
- Warwickshire Towns & Villages, by Geoff Allen (2000) ISBN 1-85058-642-X
Media related to Bretford at Wikimedia Commons
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