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Devon Town Focus

Bideford and Northam

Bideford & Northam Map image - PDF icon (707KB - pdf help)

The Devon County Council Strategic Intelligence unit has produced statistical profiles of 29 Devon Town areas.  Bideford & Northam is one of these profile areas and is further defined in the Bideford & Northam Devon Town profile image - PDF icon (872KB - pdf help).

Bideford itself lies on the estuary of the River Torridge.

The River Torridge is spanned at Bideford by the 13th century Long Bridge, which has 24 arches all of different sizes.

In the 16th century Bideford was Britain's third largest port. Today the narrow town centre streets lead down to a tree-lined quay, which bustles with fishing vessels, cargo and pleasure boats. Clay is the principal export loaded onto boats at Bideford. The quay was refurbished, with completion in 2006, to provide flood defence and also to incorporate large fountains and modern public toilets.

Bideford was home to the author Charles Kingsley, and is where he based his novel Westward Ho!. A small seaside town, named after the book, was built after the book's publication. Westward Ho!, which is the only town in the United Kingdom that officially contains an exclamation mark in its name, is approximately 5 kilometres (3 miles) from Bideford. A statue has been erected in honour of Charles Kingsley by the town park's car park.

Northam is a small town to the south of Westward Ho! and is believed to be the site where Hubba the Dane attacked Devon and was killed.  Northam Burrows is situated next to the Taw, Torridge estuary and is a landscape predominated by dunes and salt marshes which make up part of the North Devon Area of Outstanding Nartural Beauty (AONB).

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Key Stats

  • The population of the Bideford & Northam Devon Town area for 2009 is 38118
  • In the last 10 years, the population has grown by 10.54%
  • Claimant counts for November 2008 were approximately 460 people
  • Job Seekers Allowance for the area reached 1.95% of the working age population in November 2008
  • District claimant count figures for 2008 showed a claimant count of 2.30% of the working age population
  • The Average income in 2008 for the Bideford & Northam Devon Town area is £29125.36 per household
  • Average house price for the area in 2007 was recorded as £204494.95
  • There were 346 year 11 pupils in this area
  • 43.93% of year 11 pupils attained 5 A*-C grades at GCSE
  • There are 358 year 6 pupils throughout the Bideford & Northam Devon Town area
  • 76.8% of pupils attained KS2 Level 4+
  • For statistical profiles on Bideford & Northam please click here