Horsebridge Avenue, Badsey
Horsebridge Avenue is on land which used to belong to Aldington but which became part of Badsey in 1921. This road is so named because of its proximity to the nearby bridge over Badsey Brook, known as Horse Bridge, because of its original usage. The estate was the first post Second World War Council development. It was planned during the war and built shortly afterwards at a time of famine in building materials. The prefabricated type houses were thought by many at the time to be merely temporary, but are still there after nearly 60 years.
The estate consists of 74 houses (eight terraced houses, two detached houses and 64 semi-detached houses) built as an inner circle and outer circle. The inner circle was built first, in 1947, followed by the outer circle, taking about four years to complete. Mostly ex-servicemen moved into the new houses. One of the houses in the inner circle, Number 31, was the 1000th Council house to be built by Evesham Rural District Council; there is a plaque on the wall. The Churchley family moved in, and Mrs Churchley still lives there to this day.
The numbering goes in an anti-clockwise direction, with the inner circle being odd numbers and the outer circle being even numbers. The numbers run from 1-76 (no numbers 69, 71, 73 or 75 because there are fewer houses in the inner circle), plus two detached houses, Welford House and Windy Ridge.
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Inner Circle – 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31, 33, 35, 37, 39, 41, 43, 45, 47, 49, 51, 53, 55, 57, 59, 61, 63, 65, 67; Outer Circle – 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46, 48, 50, 52, 54, 60, 62, 64, 66, 68, 70, 72, 74, 76, Windy Ridge, Welford House (Aldington Map Z006)
In 1807, at the time of the Aldington Enclosure Act, this plot of land was an old enclosure owned by George Day. It was called The Hanging Grounds (16a 1r 38p) and comprised part of the land belonging to Aldington Farm, which had previously been owned by the Foley family for nearly 140 years. Thomas Foley of Witley had bought "all that Manor of Aldington alias Aunton, and all that farm called Aunton Farm now in the tenure of William Jarrett, gentleman" in 1665. On 6th October 1808, just two days after the Enclosure Awards, George Day sold the entire Aldington estate to James Ashwin of Bretforton, for £12,000. The land remained in the Ashwin family for the next hundred years when it was then sold as Lot 13, along with the rest of the Ashwin estate, by public auction on 10th June 1912 at The King’s Head Hotel, Evesham. From the end of the 19th century, this was used as market garden land. There was a gate with a road along the middle and tenants either side. The land remained as market garden land until it was sold to Evesham Rural District Council.
A map, dating from about 1950, was included with the deeds for Welford House. It shows houses on the inner circle of Horsebridge Avenue, but no houses yet built on the outer circle. The plots for 74 & 76 Horsebridge, Windy Ridge and Welford House are clearly shown but with the actual houses still to be built. Today the garden for Welford House is larger than is shown and includes the 'shelter' shown on the map.
See also the 'Council Housing in Badsey & Aldington' chapter in Aldington and Badsey: Villages in the Vale.
Will Dallimore reads his poem about the families living in Horsebridge in the 1950s.
Where they are available, links are provided to historical information about places and buildings. This index of roads and paths in Badsey and Aldington was compiled as part of the Badsey Society Enclosure Map Project. The house numbers and names are correct as at May 2006. Every care has been taken to provide accurate information, but if you are aware of any error, please contact us. If you wish to provide a history or memories of an individual house on this road, please email History@badsey.net.