The village of Bedstone is very small having a population of less than 100. The majority of adults are retired, mainly from working on the land, and most of the rest still work the land.
From the Domesday Book:Holding of Picot under Earl Roger……..in Leintwardine Hundred
Fulk holds from him. 3 hides and 3 virgates [a fraction of a hide notionally 30 acres] which pay tax.
Land for 8 ploughs. In Lordship 1 plough, with 2 ploughmen.
Value 6s.Woodland, 1 league.
It was and is largely waste.
Noted for it’s two magnificent houses – Manor Farm, an H-shaped timber framed building built in 1775 and Bedstone Court designed by Thomas Harris and built around 1884 for Sir Henry Ripley, MP for Bradford.
Manor Farm and many of the cottages were part of the Ripley estate. The original farmhouse was built about 1350. It has a cruck hall with added box-framed cross-wings. The central truss of the hall survives to this day.
The Rilpley’s moved to Bedstone from Yorkshire in 1870. Bedstone Court, built for them was a calendar house having 365 windows. This was one of the first houses in the area to have electricity. There was an estate saw yard, and a wheelwright and a blacksmith in the village.
Bedstone Court is now a college.
There was a chapel erected at the time of Edward the Confessor. The present church, St Mary’s is a small Norman church having a Saxon font. The tower, more recently added to the structure is partly timbered.
There was once a school in the village, which opened in 1750 and was closed in 1947. It is now a private house.