Bideford is one of North Devon’s largest towns. It is a town at the water’s edge, which was at one time England’s third largest port.

Predictably, it has longstanding links with the rest of the world, forged through trade, travel and colonialism. Connections to the Americas are particularly significant. In the 16th to 18th centuries, Bideford would have received and exchanged many things, and also many people. These included the tobacco, cod and ceramics which made the town prosperous – but also indentured labourers and servants.

Explore the timeline to learn more about the town’s multicultural past and connections to the rest of the world.

Today, Bideford is home to many different people with diverse cultural, national and faith backgrounds.

In 2020, Telling Our Stories interviewed some of them about their memories, their stories, and their experiences of coming to and living in Bideford.

Explore the Stories tab to hear their voices.

Latest Bideford community stories

Latest Bideford community stories

Ingrid Esteve Martin, born in Valencia, Spain

Ingrid Esteve Martin, born in Valencia, Spain

Ingrid Esteve Martin is Spanish. She came to Barnstaple in 2015, moving to North Devon from Portsmouth for a fresh start. She lives with her two children and is in the process of establishing her own graphic design company. Being both a volunteer and sharing her story...

Gail Hickman

Gail Hickman

Gail Hickman describes herself as "a cultural mongrel", with Irish, English, Scottish and Viking heritage. She was born and lived most of her life in South Africa, and is an honorary Zulu. At age 50 she decided to move to England to escape the violence in her...

Khaled Alomar, young Syrian

Khaled Alomar, young Syrian

Khaled is Syrian, and 15 years old. He came to Bideford with his family about 3 years ago. Khaled was keen to share his experiences of living here because he and his family now feel safe and enjoy living in Bideford. An important tradition for Khaled and his wider...

Ingrid Esteve Martin, born in Valencia, Spain

Ingrid Esteve Martin, born in Valencia, Spain

Ingrid Esteve Martin is Spanish. She came to Barnstaple in 2015, moving to North Devon from Portsmouth for a fresh start. She lives with her two children and is in the process of establishing her own graphic design company. Being both a volunteer and sharing her story...

Gail Hickman

Gail Hickman

Gail Hickman describes herself as "a cultural mongrel", with Irish, English, Scottish and Viking heritage. She was born and lived most of her life in South Africa, and is an honorary Zulu. At age 50 she decided to move to England to escape the violence in her...

Latest Bideford project galleries

Latest Bideford project galleries

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