A History Of Bideford In The County Of Devon

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  2. BBC - Devon - Discover Devon - Devon's rivers: The Torridge
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National Library of Australia. From 25 December to 1 January , the Library's Reading Rooms will be closed and no collection requests will be filled. Collection delivery service resumes on Wednesday 2 January Further information on the Library's opening hours is available at: An essay towards a history of Bideford, in the county of Devon.

Request this item to view in the Library's reading rooms using your library card. To learn more about how to request items watch this short online video. You can view this on the NLA website. New search User lists Site feedback Ask a librarian Help. Advanced search Search history. The Torridge continues to play an important environmental role. A large portion of the Taw-Torridge estuary is a site of special scientific interest SSSI , because of the wading birds, wildfowl and other wildlife which can be found there.

The river also has salmon, sea trout and brown trout.

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However, the salmon population has decreased alarmingly in recent years, prompting the Environment Agency to introduce a Salmon Action Plan. And then there are the otters, as made famous by Tarka. The Torridge catchment supports one of the best otter populations in England. This largely unspoilt part of Devon attracts thousands of visitors each year, and the Torridge is one the big draws for sightseers, canoeists, anglers and bird-watchers.

Home Explore the BBC. This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving. Coast and Country You are in: The Torridge in North Devon. The Long Bridge at Bideford. Once a malicious person tried to throw him over the Long Bridge, the walls of the bridge being very low, but was unexpectedly and luckily interrupted.

In a mob forced their way into Bideford prison to try and break out some of the mob's ringleaders, and soldiers from the Royal North Devon Yeomanry had to be mustered, and then patrolled the town where they arrested several members of the mob who were then escorted to Exeter. The workhouse had a bed infirmary and would later become Torridge Hospital and, eventually, a residential building.

Andrews , Newfoundland , and Montreal. Between the years and 2, people emigrated to Canada and to the United States aboard ships from Bideford. In a horse-drawn omnibus taking people to a fair in Torrington fell off Bideford Quay into the River Torridge, and eight people were drowned.

BBC - Devon - Discover Devon - Devon's rivers: The Torridge

The book "Kingsley's County" put the expansion and growth of Bideford down to the publication of Charles Kingsley 's romance Westward Ho! In American GI's arrived in Bideford. At first they were there to work in radar stations across North Devon and work on experimental things. More American troops began to arrive as the war progressed. Experiments nearby, including The Great Panjandrum , were said to be viewed in the area in secret by Dwight D.

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Bideford had an Auxiliary Unit Patrol at Cleave Mine, the men of this patrol were expected to be the resistance if Britain was invaded. A memorial has been put on the Tarka Trail to commemorate this. It is thought that after being rescued in the Bristol Channel, some German airman were brought ashore at Bideford where they were taken to Bideford Hospital.

The original Long Bridge spanning the River Torridge connecting the East and West of the town was said to have been built out of timber in the year In the original structure was replaced by the masonry arch bridge seen today. A traditional explanation is that each arch was funded by a different local guild , although there are no records to confirm this. Another theory is that the piers of the arches of the bridge were built on naturally existing, and therefore randomly situated, large stones in the river.

During the first decade of the 17th century, the bridge trustees were taken to court by the people of Bideford for feasting and seeing plays at the expense of the trust funds. The people won the court case, although it is unclear whether the trustees were forced to resign after the scandal, or whatever else happened to them. In the bridge was the longest in Devon. In a Ship called 'Edward Birkbeck' launched from a Bideford shipyard hit the bridge, but only caused small damage by knocking some of the stones out. In another incident took place on the bridge: During the war the Home Guard patrolled the bridge.

The Department of Transport then took over the bridge. During the rebuilding of that damaged part of the bridge a crane toppled over, and a man was killed. An inspection by Devon County Council in July revealed problems with the bridge's concrete and structure, so in September work began on putting in the cathodic protection system which restored the bridge for another 60 years.

By the 16th century Bideford had become Britain's third largest port. Several local roads and a hill have been named after Raleigh. Around ships were built between and at Higher Cleave Houses in Bideford. The largest wooden ship to be built in Bideford was the Sarah Newman, a 1,ton full-rigged ship built in Shipbuilding in the Bideford area declined during the s as shipyards in Britain's industrial regions constructed steel steamships.

Nowadays the only shipbuilding in the area is at Appledore Shipbuilders , which has built civilian ships and ships for the Royal Navy and Irish Naval Service. The Bideford witch trial in involved three women, Temperance Lloyd, Mary Trembles and Susannah Edwards, accused of witchcraft and which resulted in one of the last hangings for witchcraft in England. A small seaside town, named after the book, was built after the book's publication.

A statue was erected in honour of Kingsley near the car park of Victoria Park. The city of Biddeford, Maine in the United States was named after the English town, using the original old English spelling. Bideford Black is a unique pigment which was mined for years up until in Bideford and the surrounding area. Bideford Black contains carbon , silica and alumina, with the black colouration created by the carbon.

Bideford Black was used in a number of ways, for example it was used as camouflage paint during World War Two, in mascara by Max Factor, by artists, and in the boat-building industry. A number of artists mainly local artists used these Bideford Black paints and oils in their works.

The mining of the pigment became unviable when other blacks went into large cheap commercial production. A number of roads are named after the mining in the town including: Noel Butler's nephew has used the Bideford Black to paint his body for Aboriginal ceremonial events in Australia. In government statistics recorded the population at 17,, its highest ever. Between and Bideford's population is expected to rise by 9, people.

The birth rate in Bideford is Life expectancy in Bideford is Bideford has the highest rate of youth offending in Devon at Unlike some areas of the UK, Bideford is not that ethnically diverse: In Bideford was classed as one of the most deprived areas in the Torridge area. In November 1. Bideford is served by the A39 Atlantic Highway and A roads. The same ship, the MS Oldenburg , also provides evening cruises from Bideford along the River Torridge but in the downstream direction only as it is too big to pass under the Bideford Long Bridge.

There are several bus services most of which are provided by Stagecoach South West. The nearest railway station is at Barnstaple 7. Bideford was previously connected to the national rail network, but the connection was lost in by then only a freight branch and that was primarily due to the ball clay traffic from Meeth Quarry with the closure of the line from Barnstaple to Torrington and Meeth quarry. Passenger services were lost in following the publication of the Beeching Report.

The station still exists East-the-Water and is now managed by a preservation group, the Bideford Railway Heritage Centre. The line followed the contours of the River Torridge for much of its route to Torrington and most of it continues to exist now as part of the Tarka Trail. A subsequent attempt in was successful. The Bideford, Westward Ho!

The locomotives were fitted with skirts to protect pedestrians, as at one point the line ran along the quay at Bideford. The line had eleven halts which largely served visitors wishing to enjoy the bracing air along the coast or the fine beaches around Westward Ho!. The railway, although authorised in , was opened only as far as Northam by , and finally opened to Appledore in The railway fell into financial difficulties until in the First World War the War Department requisitioned all of its equipment for use in France.

Bideford's 13th century Long Bridge was temporarily converted into a railway bridge to carry the locomotives and rolling stock onto the main line railway near Bideford Station. Bideford has a wet but mild climate, during the winter Bideford experiences a lot of frosty nights and mornings and also gets some snow.

During the summer Bideford can be wet, but also mild. The town of Bideford has grown to cover land on both sides of the River Torridge; the area located east of the river is known as East-the-Water, also known as Shamwickshire to locals. East-the-Water has its own primary school, local shops, a few factories, approximately 3 bars and pubs, a small health centre and a small industrial area consisting largely of locally owned businesses.


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It is mainly public housing. The community also has its own community centre and association, both of which are self-funding and run by a committee of local residents.