In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Bidford on Avon like this:
BIDFORD, a village, a parish, and a subdistrict, in the district of Alcester, Warwick. The village stands on the river Avon, 3¾ miles SSE of Alcester r. station, and 7 WSW of Stratford-on-Avon; and has a post office under Bromsgrove. It was once a market town; and it consists chiefly of one long street. One of the houses in it was the old Falcon inn, traditionally said to have been a haunt of Shakspeare, for drinking ale and playing at shovel-board.-An absurd story is current that the poet and some of his companions engaged here in a drinking contest with a party of the natives; that he and his companions lay down after it under a crab-tree in the neighbourhood, and slept there from Saturday evening till Monday morning; and that, being urged on awakening to go back and renew the contest, he exclaimed, "No, I have had enough; I have drinked with
'Piping Pebworth, dancing Marston,
Haunted Hilbro', hungry Grafton,
Dudging Exhall, papish Wicksford,
Beggarly Broom, and drunken Bidford.
The parish includes also the hamlets of Barton, Broom. ...
and Marlcliff. Acres, 3,240. Real property, £8,167. Pop., 1,565. Houses, 370. The manor was held by William the Conqueror; was given, by the Empress Maud, to the monks of Bardsley; and passed to the Clarkes, the Danets, and the Skipwiths. Bidford Grango House was a picturesque old edifice, with unequal gables. The scenery, over much of the surface, is richly beautiful; and has fine spots on "the smooth-flowing Avon." Blue flagstone is quarried. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Worcester. Value, £213. Patron, the Rev. T. Boultbee. The church was mainly rebuilt in 1835; and is in the Norman style, with a tower. There are two Methodist chapels, a working-men's institute, a national school, and charities £107.-The subdistrict comprises four parishes. Acres, 9,280. Pop., 2,749. Houses, 643.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Bidford on Avon has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Stratford on Avon. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Bidford on Avon and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Bidford on Avon, in Stratford on Avon and Warwickshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 24th November 2014
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