Elizabethans return to Bideford

Joseph Bulmer

BIDEFORD’S Elizabethan heyday will be making a comeback on Saturday, July 2 as the town holds its second Heritage Day.

In the late 1500s and early 1600s Bideford town and port flourished and the town owes much to the then Lord of the Manor, adventurer and explorer Sir Richard Grenville.

On Saturday the Bideford 500 group, which celebrates and promotes the town’s past, will be celebrating this history with a free family day full of Elizabethan sights and sounds in and around Mill Street and Cooper Street.

Canon fire will start the main event at 11am, with a procession starting on the quay and proceeding through the town centre with Sir Richard, the Bideford town crier, schoolchildren and others dressed in Elizabethan costume and carrying banners.

Everyone is invited to dress up and join in – sailors, pirates, witches, tinkers, scavengers, merchants, potters and fishermen all welcome! There will be prizes for the best costumes, with presentations at the Baptist Church at 12 noon.

There will be opportunities to make an Elizabethan ruff from 10am to 12 noon at the Baptist Church

An all day programme of performers, demonstrations and living history will continue from 11am to 4pm, with musicians, cameo plays, a guided Heritage trail walk and living history characters re-creating everyday life in Elizabethan times.

There will be opportunities to try on costumes and find out what Elizabethans had to eat, to meet an Elizabethan illustrator and scribe, talk to an apothecary about Elizabethan herbs and potions, buy a medicinal plant and find out more about Bideford’s Elizabethan history from members of Bideford 500.

St Mary’s Church will be open all day for visitors. This is where the Native American Rawley, brought back from Roanoke Island in North Carolina by Sir Richard Grenville, was baptised and buried.

There will also be a special display of books on Elizabethan Bideford in the town library.

Full programme details will be available at the Baptist Church in Mill Street on the day.

More volunteers are need to help during the day. For more details or to enquire about volunteering, contact Sadie Green at info@bidefordheritage.co.uk. For more information about Bideford 500 go to www.bidefordheritage.co.uk

Things To Do