Bretford lies at a junction between the A428 road (Coventry-Rugby) and the old Fosse Way. Just south of Bretford, the A428 (Fosse Way) crosses the River Avon on a five-arched, stone medieval bridge. The bridge is a Grade II listed building. It is too narrow for two-way traffic, and so is controlled by traffic lights.
The name of the village, first recorded about 1100, is derived from the Old English bred ford, meaning "the plank ford". The reference is probably to a plank footbridge or post marking the ford across the River Avon, which preceded the bridge. The original Roman line of the Fosse Way was diverted to the west in the Middle Ages to its present crossing point. 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 the bridge across the Avon.
- Warwickshire Towns & Villages, by Geoff Allen (2000) ISBN 1-85058-642-X
Media related to Bretford at Wikimedia Commons
|This Warwickshire location article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|