Bibury was described by William Morris as "the most beautiful village in England". Is he to blame for the
influx of tourists each weekend?
This tiny village is squeezed to bursting point as people jostle with each other for the best views to take with their camera's or standing like a winding snake along the pathway as they wait patiently to be served by the man in the ice-cream van.
I suppose that with the shallow River Coln, flowing through the village it was probably inevitable that this small picture postcard village would become evermore popular.
Bibury is actually two small villages seperated by the river. On the one side Bibury & on the other, Arlington.
History of Bibury dates back to at least the Iron Age & there are remains of a hill fort above the village. Akeman Street,
the Roman road from Cirencester to St Albans is close by & the ancient Salt Way from Droitwich to Lechlade can be followed
just up the hill towards Burford.
The local church, St Mary's, contains some signs of Saxon origins & close by is the Bibury Court Hotel, built in 1633. The small water meadow across the river is known as Rack Island. This small parcel of land is not accessible, only wildlife free to enter, although the Swan Hotel owns the fishing rights, with the river being well stocked with plump, brown trout, the land is owned by the National Trust. The island was once used to dry the cloth from the weavers cottages at Arlington Row during the 17th century.
Bibury Trout Farm is a nice place to spend a couple of entertaining hours, catching the trout as they jump to take the bait straight from from your hands. Next door is the Arlington Mill Museum complete with a working water wheel.
The village is about 7 miles from Cirencester on the B4425 Cirencester to Burford.
Bus services connecting to Bibury are:
There is free on street parking but please be considerate where you are parking.
All images are reproduced courtesy of The Francis Frith Collection. All photographs can be purchased by clicking on the image
More old photographs of Bibury can be seen at the here.
The Swan at Bibury is an attractive former coaching inn dating from the seventeenth century, set among beautiful surroundings in the village of Bibury, north of Cirencester.