Old Pit Wheel in the Miners Welfare Park © TAB
A fast growing commuter town on the outskirts of Coventry. Bedworth is composed almost entirely of large housing estates with a central park and a small shopping centre. The original town developed during the 18th century when French Protestant ribbon-weavers, driven out by religious persecution, settled here. The town expanded in the 19th-c due to its proximity to the North Warwickshire coalfields.
The town's ties with coal mining can be found in the Miners Welfare Park, near the town centre. Its spring and summer flower displays have won awards in various Britain in Bloom schemes.
The most interesting parts of this old mining town are the 19th-c All Saints church by Bodley and Gamer and a row of Thomas Larkin Walker almshouses, circa 1840. The almshouses were commissioned from the will of Nicholas Chamberlaine (1632 - 1715), a rector in the local parish for over 50 years. All Saints is a fine example of the Victorian Gothic revival, with some interesting stained glass. Another interesting ecumenical building worth visiting is the 18th-c URC Old Meeting Church (off Leicester Street). One of the first nonconformist chapels in the region.
The Coventry Canal passes through Bedworth, on its
way to Nuneaton, via a long
cutting. It was the residents of Bedworth that were
mainly responsible for the digging of this canal (from
1704 to 1726), which runs from the north of Coventry
to Fradley junction in Staffordshire.
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