History & Information

Bedworth is a small market town in the northern part of Warwickshire situated in the heart of England. The roots of the town are ancient and it is mentioned in the Doomsday book of 1086.

At various points in its history Bedworth was known for hat making, ribbon weaving and coal mining. Today the majority of Bedworth’s inhabitants work in Coventry and the surrounding towns, although a few traditional industries remain, especially engineering and haulage.

In 1086 Bedworth’s population was recorded as 60 people, living on 760 acres of arable land. Through the years the population has expanded to the current level of 42,000. However intermittent disasters, such as the Black Death, led to the size of the community going down, as well as up. For example in 1590 the town is said to have been home to only 14 families. In the 1860’s many families emigrated to the colonies after the collapse of the ribbon weaving industry caused mass unemployment.

Bedworth and Religion

The centre of Bedworth is exactly five miles from Coventry, the old five-mile post standing at the entrance to the Almshouses. This distance played an important part in Bedworth’s history because of the passing of the Five Mile Act in 1665. This forbade any non-conformist church goers assembling for worship and preaching within five miles of a corporate town - such as Coventry. The Rev. Julius Saunders came to Bedworth in 1686 and taking advantage of the act established the Old Meeting congregation just north of the five-mile post. The old plaque that was on the mile-post can still be seen on the left hand gate post of the Almshouses.