History - Basford

A Short History of Basford by Charles E S Fairey

Berchesford is the first name of Basford, which is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. The name may mean ‘a ford near birch trees’ or may represent the name of a person, i.e. ‘Beorcal’s or Borkr’s, Barkr’s ford’, the two latter names being of Scandinavian influence.

Two flint daggers have been found in Basford, which point to its early history, along with a number of other flint tools. Roman activity is also probable, with finds in Weston and also Roman finds including a lead salt pan, which were found to the west in Shavington, indicating industrial activity in the locality.

The Domesday Survey of 1086 records ‘ Owine, Erlekin and Leofric held it as three manors and were free men’ (these three manors probably represent Basford, Hough and Weston); There was 1 hide (approx 120 acres) paying geld (tax). There was land for 2 ploughs (8 oxen & plough x 2, approx 240 acres). There were 3 radmen (riding escort for a Lord / messenger), 2 villians (villagers) and 3 bordars (smallholders), having 1 plough. There was 1 virgate of meadow (approx 30 acres), woodland 4 furlongs long and 1 wide (880 yards by 220 yards). At this time it was and still was worth 5 shillings.

Basford Hall was the manor, which was moated in the past; the railway destroyed much of the site. The timber framed manor house was destroyed by fire about 1700AD. Basford did have some timber framed buildings of its own, other than the hall, which no longer exist today. People still remember where they were situated, and some can be found on historic maps.

Just outside Basford, in Chorlton, at Basford Bridge (where the Bailey bridge is), an Inn and later hotel existed. It was first called Basford Inn, then The Basford Bridge Hotel, and later The Delves Arms Temperance Hotel.

Basford had a railway station at first, which served as a connection with Nantwich and Betley, via the Newcastle to Nantwich Turnpike Road. Over the decades Basford has changed from being mainly a scattered agricultural township to a scattered village of farms and homes, with the population being involved with all aspects of modern professions. The main concentration of these modern homes, are along Weston Lane, Hollymount and Larch Avenue.

The new A500 bypass passes between Basford and Crewe, spanning the railway and sidings. Recently Network Rail has voiced their plans that they may move Crewe Station to Basford Sidings, which expectantly has come up against great opposition, as well as the controversial plans for Basford East and West Developments.

By Charles E S Fairey

November 2008