CTBD Christians Together in Bideford and District
A place where all Christians regardless of Denomination can come to find harmony with Jesus at the forefront of their lives
Bideford’s Early History
Historical accounts surrounding the ‘Little White Town’ pre-
William the Conqueror (1066-
It is stated that, "having finished and settled this foundation he returned to his patrimony at Bideford where he lived in great honour and reputation the rest of his days"
A charter was granted in 1272 to a descendant of ‘Richard de Grenville’, another also called Richard de Grenville by King Henry III, which created the town's first council. In ancient records, Bideford was recorded as a borough but has only returned members to parliament during the reigns of Edward I (1272-
The Grenville family were for many centuries lords of the manor of Bideford and played a major role in the town's development. The monument, with an effigy of Sir Thomas Grenville (d.1513) exists in St Mary's Church to this day.
More recent History about Bideford
In 1816 a mob forced their way into Bideford prison to try and breakout some of the mobs’ ringleaders. Soldiers from the Royal North Devon Yeomanry had to be mustered and they patrolled the town and arrested several members of the mob who were escorted to Exeter. In 1835 the Bideford Poor Law Union was founded “bringing into existence the Bideford Workhouse.” Which was built in 1837 in Meddon Street. The workhouse had a 40-
The book “Kingsley’s County” puts the expansion and growth of Bideford down to the release of Kingsley's romance, Westward Ho! in 1855, and also to the extension of the London and South Western Railway line from Barnstaple in 1856.
In 1942 American GIs 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. In 1943 more Americans arrived as D-
The Grenville Coat of Arms, as visibly sculpted on the monument to Sir Thomas Grenville (d.1513) in St Mary's Church, Bideford
** content of this page taken from the history of Bideford on ‘Wikipedia’. For a fuller and more detailed journey through our historic little town please visit -
In ancient records, Bideford is named as; Bedeford, Byddyfrod, Bedyford, Bydeford, Bytheford and Biddeford. The origin of the name literally means "By the ford". Records show that before there was a bridge, there was a across the River Torridge, where it forms the estuary, this natural ford can still be seen at low tide (approx 50 yards up from the old Bideford bridge almost opposite Bideford Police Station, it is possible, but not advisable, to cross the river by wading on foot.
A little known fact is that Sir Walter Raleigh was in fact baptised in Bideford and lived at Sir Richard Grenville’s house until his death in 1589. Sir Richard Grenville played a major role in the transformation of the small fishing port of Bideford in North Devon into what became a significant trading port with the new American colonies, later specialising in tobacco importation. In 1575 he created the Port of Bideford. Sir Richard Grenville's great-
In the 16 th century Bideford was Britain's third largest port. It has been rumoured that Sir Walter Raleigh landed his first shipment of tobacco here, although this is in fact incorrect, as Raleigh was not actually the first person to import tobacco into England. In Raleigh’s honour, several roads and a hill have been named after him in Bideford.