|BIDFORD-ON-AVON, as the name suggests,
lies on the banks of the Avon,'. but it is also connected to Alcester by the Arrow, which
explains why it is part of the Society's interest. The Roman Ryknield Street also connects
the two places. Near Bidford church, the road crossed by means of a ford. This parish was
colonised by the Anglo-Saxons, their burial place being discovered in the 1920s;
'The Anglo-Saxon' is the pub near the bridge which marks the approximate spot.
The mediaeval history of Bidford is intricate in the extreme: it consisted of six manors, Bidford, Bidford Grange, Bell Court and three which took in Bidford's outlying hamlets, viz. Broom, Barton and Marlcliff. Domesday Book (1086) specifies four mills, two, probably water mills and two windmills. It is not provable where these were but Broom on the Arrow certainly had one.
|Bidford-on-Avon Is known to most by its
early 15th century bridge of eight arches. It has suffered many repairs, not least in the
17th century, when Charles I broke it to cover his retreat from Worcester to Oxford.
Up to the 19th century, Bidford was a flourishing riverside port and by the
20th was a magnet for South Warwickshire folk who wanted a day out on the river.
One of the hostelries was 'The Pleasure Boat' Hotel.St. Lawrence parish church has 13th century work, though there may have been a foundation here in the 11th. Like the bridge, it has seen several restorations.
As well as agriculture and the river trade, Bidford was once known for its stone masons and quarrymen. Today, the High Street is worth a visit, with its old market place and parish church, a shop selling old books and a cake shop cum cafe' to rest tired limbs. Broom and Barton are both worthy of a visit.
Summer 1995 Index