Bidford-on-Avon is a large village and civil parish in the English county of Warwickshire. In the United Kingdom Census 2001 it had a population of 4,830.
Bidford-on-Avon village is, as its name suggests, situated on the River Avon
, some 7 miles 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 to the south. To the north Alcester
is about 4 miles away, Redditch
10 miles away and Birmingham
25 miles away. It also lies on the Heart of England Way
The civil parish includes Barton and the hamlet of Marlcliff which lies south of the river and southwest of the village.
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
. All three councils are responsible for different aspects of local government.
(1564-1616) mentions "Drunken Bidford" in his writings and is believed to have been a frequent visitor to Bidford-on-Avon and the 13th century Falcon Inn
was a favourite tavern. Shakespeare once had a drinking competition one summer, sleeping it off under a crab apple
tree and then wrote a poem about 'Beggarly Broome, Drunken Bidford and Papist Wixford', all local villages.
There is also an ancient Saxon burial ground under the free car park located just behind Spice Avon, formerly the pub "The Anglo-Saxon". Bidford was the birthplace and childhood home of the author Barbara Comyns Carr.
lt is wider than a Packhorse bridge
, suggesting that Bidford was an important river crossing. The bridge dates from the early 15th century but has been repaired many times; in the 16th century stone from Alcester
's demolished priory
was used. There are eight arches, with cut-waters on the upper side. In 1644 Charles I
demolished the bridge to cover his retreat from Worcester
- this was repaired in 1650 by Quarter Sessions
, for whom Bidford Bridge was a 'county bridge' under its control.The narrow stone bridge that replaced the ford underwent repairs as a combine harvester
got stuck on the bridge and the sides had to be demolished for it to free.
- 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.