Bidford-on-Avon

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Bidford-on-Avon
Bidford on Avon - geograph.org.uk - 41362.jpg
The main street in Bidford-on-Avon
Bidford-on-Avon is located in Warwickshire
Bidford-on-Avon
Bidford-on-Avon
 Bidford-on-Avon shown within Warwickshire
Population 4,830 (2001)
OS grid reference SP099518
Civil parish Bidford-on-Avon
District Stratford-on-Avon
Shire county Warwickshire
Region West Midlands
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town ALCESTER
Postcode district B50
Dialling code 01789
Police Warwickshire
Fire Warwickshire
Ambulance West Midlands
EU Parliament West Midlands
List of places
UK
England
Warwickshire

Coordinates: 52°09′52″N 1°51′24″W / 52.16438°N 1.85668°W / 52.16438; -1.85668

Bidford-on-Avon is a large village and civil parish in the English county of Warwickshire. In the 2001 census it had a population of 4,830.

Location

Bidford-on-Avon village is, as its name suggests, situated on the River Avon, some 7 miles (11 km) downstream of Stratford-upon-Avon and about the same distance upstream of Evesham. The village grew up around an ancient ford, (Byda's Ford) now replaced by a narrow stone bridge, on the Ryknild Street Roman road, now a minor country road to Honeybourne 4 miles (6.4 km) to the south. To the north Alcester is about 4 miles (6.4 km) away, Redditch 10 miles (16 km) away and Birmingham 25 miles (40 km) away. It also lies on the Heart of England Way.

Local government

Bidford-on-Avon is a civil parish with an elected parish council. It falls within the areas of Stratford-on-Avon District Council and Warwickshire County Council. The three councils are responsible for different aspects of local government.

Besides the village of Bidford itself, the civil parish includes the settlements of Barton, Broom and Marlcliff. Broom lies to the north of Bidford, whilst both Barton and Marlcliff lie south of the river.[1]

History

Two villagers at the Bidford Mop (Michaelmas Fair) c. 1900

Ryknield Street, the Roman road, passes through the village, going north towards Alcester.

There is also an ancient Anglo-Saxon burial site under the free car park located just behind the pub "The New Saxon". Artefacts from the latter excavations are at Warwick Museum while material from the first excavations on the site currently reside in the hands of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

William Shakespeare is said to have joined a party of Stratford folk which set itself to outdrink a drinking club at Bidford-on-Avon, and as a result of his labours in that regard to have fallen asleep under the crab tree of which a descendant is still called Shakespeares tree. When morning dawned his friends wished to renew the encounter but he wisely said "No I have drunk with “Piping Pebworth, Dancing Marston, Haunted Hillboro’, Hungry Grafton, Dodging Exhall, Papist Wixford, Beggarly Broom and Drunken Bidford” and so, presumably, I will drink no more." The story is said to date from the 17th century but of its truth or of any connection of the story or the verse to Shakespeare there is no evidence. The Falcon Inn was a favorite tavern in his day.[2]

Bidford was the birthplace and childhood home of the author Barbara Comyns Carr.

Transport

Bridge

Bridge over the River Avon

The river is crossed by Bidford Bridge, which is a scheduled monument.[3]

Week beginning Monday 26 November 2012, the Bridge had to be closed due to flooding, when the River Avon burst its banks, in various places.

On 9 June 2015, the bridge was closed to traffic after a heavy duty farm vehicle crashed into it, causing serious damage to the historic structure. Police cars were positioned either side of the bridge to alert drivers to the fact that the bridge was inaccessible to traffic. It is expected to be closed for four to six months.[4]

Railway

Bidford no longer has an active railway line, but it once had a station on the Stratford-upon-Avon and Midland Junction Railway, which ran east-west across country from Broom Junction on the Midland Railway's Barnt Green-Redditch-Alcester-Evesham-Ashchurch line, through Stratford-upon-Avon to Towcester and beyond. The Broom to Stratford section (including Bidford and also Binton), was an early casualty, with passenger services suspended in June 1947 and closure rubber-stamped as permanent in May 1949. The line itself remained open with the south curve of Broom Junction until at least 1952.[5]

Road

The village was featured on the BBC motoring programme Top Gear when the presenters resurfaced a local road in a single day, a task that would have usually taken an entire working week.

Churches

The Anglican parish church is dedicated to St. Laurence.[6] St. Joseph the Worker Church is the local Roman Catholic church. TheBarn is the home of Bidford Baptist Church.[7] Bidford also has a Methodist church.

Twinning Village

Bidford is twinned with Ebsdorfergrund, found close to Marburg in Rheinhessen, Germany.[8]

References

  1. ^ "Bidford-on-Avon Parish Council". Bidford-on-Avon Parish Council. Archived from the original on 7 October 2009. Retrieved 9 October 2009. 
  2. ^ Highways and Byways in Shakspeares Country, Hutton 1914
  3. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1355318)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  4. ^ http://www.stratford-herald.com/37747-bidfords-historic-bridge-closed-after-crash.html
  5. ^ Dunn, J.M., (1952) The Stratford-upon-Avon and Midland Junction Railway, Lingfield: The Oakwood Press
  6. ^ "St Laurence Parish Church, Bidford-on-Avon, Warwickshire". St Laurence Parish Church. Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  7. ^ "theBarn - Home of Bidford Baptist Church". Bidford Baptist Church. Retrieved 16 February 2012. 
  8. ^ http://www.bidfordonavon-pc.gov.uk/group-twinning.htm

External links

Media related to Bidford-on-Avon at Wikimedia Commons