Welford on Avon
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Superb collection of timber-framed and thatched cottages
The village was mentioned in the Domesday Book, when it was part of Gloucestershire and the Abbey of St Denis in France held 15 hides of land.
The church stands a short distance from the river, and the site of a ford which gave the village its name. The church tower was said to have been used as a landmark by travellers using the ford.
Directly opposite The Owl Pen is Tenpenny Cottage, one of the most photographed thatched cottages in England, which can often be found gracing the covers of calendars or postcards. The name refers to the quarterly rent charged for tenants.
There are several older buildings on High Street, and along Chapel Lane, where the red brick Wesleyan Chapel was built in the 18th century.
There are two notable pubs. The Bell, at the junction of Church Lane and Binton Road (High Street) dates to the 17th century and stands beside an attractive triangular green. The Bell has played a part in literary history, for according to tradition William Shakespeare came here to share a drink with Ben Jonson. On his way home to Stratford, Shakespeare was caught in a rain storm and contracted a case of fatal pneumonia.
The interiors of the Bell exude traditional charm, with exposed beams darkened with age, oak furnishings, and open fireplaces so modern visitors will not catch their death of cold like 'The Bard of Avon'!
Just outside the village core, on Binton Road, is Binton Bridges, which were in existence as early as the 13th century, but were completely rebuilt in 1783 and again around 1804. The bridges cross the Avon by joining each bank to a small island in the middle of the river. There were two mills here as early as the 13th century, one on each side of the river.
In 1969 a conservation area was created to preserve 145 older buildings; 65 of them officially 'listed' and 80 unlisted. There were 516 residents at the time of the first census in 1801, and in 2001 there were 1,300, a sign of just how popular Welford is.
I've been to Welford several times, and I must say it is one of the prettiest villages in Warwickshire. There are so many attractive tiomber-framed buildings, and no matter which way you turn there is a thatched roof. For historic buildings the church and the Bell Inn are probably the most interesting, but in truth the most enjoyable part of visiting Welford is simply to wander about and soak up the wonderful atmosphere. It is no surprise that Welford was named the winner or runner-up in the Warwickshire "Best Kept Village Competition" 12 times between 1991 and 2007.
About Welford on Avon
Address: Welford on Avon, Warwickshire, England
Attraction Type: Village
Location: On a minor road midway between Bidford on Avon and Stratford-upon-Avon, parking on side streets around the village. For satnavs use postcode CV37 8EB
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low to exceptional) on historic interest
Welford on Avon, St Peter's Church - 0.2 miles (Historic Church)
Anne Hathaway's Cottage - 2.7 miles (Historic Building)
Billesley, All Saints Church - 2.9 miles (Historic Church)
Hall's Croft - 3.5 miles (Historic Building)
Stratford upon Avon, Holy Trinity Church - 3.5 miles (Historic Church)
Shakespeare's Schoolroom & Guildhall - 3.5 miles (Historic Building)
Nash's House - 3.6 miles (Historic Building)
New Place - 3.6 miles (Historic Building)
Nearest Accommodation to Welford on Avon: