We Love Bedworth!
Bedworth may be a small town but there is much to love about it not least as it has such an interesting history.
First mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086 as Bedeword, it suffered great decline in the 14th century thanks to the Black Death and in 1590 it was described as being home to just 14 families. However, happily by 1730 it had recovered and by the 18th and 19th centuries had developed into an industrial town with coal mining and the overspill of ribbon weaving and textile industries from nearby Coventry.
The coal mining industry peaked in 1939 when there were 20 pits in the area producing more than 5.8million tons of coal. The last colliery in Bedworth closed in 1982.
The ribbon weaving industry was introduced to the area by French Huguenot immigrants in the 18th century and thrived for nearly 100 years. It was largely wiped out in the 1860s following the Cobden-Chevalier Treaty which removed tariffs on imported French silks. Hat making grew instead and largely replaced the ribbon trade, lasting until the 1950s. During this time, the opening of the Coventry Canal and later the railway, enhanced Bedworth’s growth.
Bedworth is blessed with some notable buildings including the Nicholas Chamberlaine Almshouses in All Saints’ Square in the town centre which dates from 1840. They were restored in the 1980s and are now Grade II* listed.
Elsewhere the former Bedworth water tower was built in 1898 in the Romanesque style and is approximately 45m high. It is visible for miles around and has been Grade II listed since 1987. Originally it had a 60,000-gallon water tank but now it’s home to a pair of peregrine falcons and in 2015 it was sold to be converted into six luxury apartments.
As well as a great many pubs and working men’s clubs, Bedworth has a skate park which was established after a campaign by local youngsters and a thriving shopping centre.
We love that Bedworth has such a rich heritage and a fantastic community spirit.