Bideford Manor Court Ceremony - its history and how we have modernised it to work with today's Town Council operations
CANCELLATION OF MANOR COURT 2022
Bideford Town Council deeply regrets having to cancel Manor Court for this year, scheduled for 19th March 2022.
With the current situation, although nationally numbers of Covid cases are decreasing, and restrictions have been lifted to Plan A, Councillors voted at the Full Council on 20th January to cancel this historical and prestigious Civic Function. The decision was given serious consideration by Councillors but it is hoped that 2023 will see this event go ahead.
All those scheduled to attend have been contacted and plans have been put in place ready for the 2023 event which has been proposed for Saturday 18th March 2023.
Saturday 18 March 2023 at 10.30 am
Originally an Anglo-Saxon court of jurisdiction known as the “Court Leet”, the Manor Court dates back to around the 5th century. It was more commonly known through the more southern parts of England and its purpose then would have been to round up the miscreants and send them on to their punishment. The Court Leet did not have the power to punish.
In today’s times, the principal purpose of the Court, apart from preserving the traditional ceremony, is to receive Presentments (ideas to improve the town) from the electors within the parish of Bideford for deliberation by the Council in the interests of the Town. These Presentments will be considered and presented to the Court by the Jury, the members of which are required to be electors within the parish of Bideford. All jurors will be sworn in at the Court for that purpose.
The continuance of the Ceremony is a tradition of significance and, being one of only a handful of Manor Courts throughout the country, it is hoped that it will have the continued support of the people of Bideford especially as so many such events are being lost with the passage of time.
Manor Court 2023 will take place on Saturday 18th March 2023 at 10.30am in the Town Hall, Bideford and then afterwards at the Royal Hotel.
If you have any ideas that you think could improve Bideford for residents and visitors alike, do please drop a line to the Town Clerk, Town Hall, Bideford, EX39 2HS.
You do need to live in Bideford yourself and your presentment needs to be in before 12 noon on (date to be confirmed).
Please click on the link below to download or print the pdf document: