Site of Ford 100m E of Bidford Bridge
The site of a ford, a shallow point used by people, animals and vehicles for crossing the River Avon. The ford dates back to the Roman period and was found during an archaeological excavation. It is situated 100m east of Bidford Bridge.
1 The dredging of a deep channel resulted in the discovery of an area of compact gravel, which when cut into by the bucket of the drag-line, was seen to contain a number of timber piles, some shod with iron tips. With the aid of divers the ford was shown to be about 22m wide and constructed by driving the iron-tipped piles at intervals of 1.3m, forming an irregular grid over the whole area. Gravel was heaped over the piles, compacted, then a paving of limestone slabs, raising the crossing above the bed of the river as a submerged causeway. The sides of the causeway were reinforced by a series of further unshod piles forming a continuous kerb. Placed among them were a number which projected above the surface of the river, which not only indicated the line and width of the ford, but may also have marked the depth of the river. Pottery finds were obtained from the paved surface and some sherds, including one of Samian came from the rammed gravel.
2 A number of similar fords are known in Britain and Gaul.
3 Report of rescue operation.
4 One of the timber piles was dated to 1560+/-110 bp (390 ad).
5 General notes on location and geology of Bidford.
7 Notes that Archaeologia LXXIII says that the original paving was still in the meadow in 1923, and that Severn Trent reported paving surviving on the north side in 1955.