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It is on the main A5199 road connecting Northampton and Leicester and, being halfway between the two, was an important stagecoach stop. The A5199 is known as the 'Welford Road' for much of its length. It is close to the junction of the two major motor routes in England - the M1 motorway and the M6 motorway - and is 1½ miles north of Junction 1 of the A14, which connects that junction with the east of England.
The village's name means 'ford with a spring/stream'.
In medieval times its Premonstratensian Abbey moved to Sulby some two miles to the east and Welford lost its market charter which was sold to West Haddon. There is clear evidence that Welford shrank considerably during the medieval period and it is notable that three of its neighbouring civil parishes — Elkington, Stanford-on-Avon and Sulby — are almost entirely depopulated.
In 2017, a new housing estate was built called Miller's Lock. While the builders were digging up the foundations, they found an Iron Age roundhouse. It was very interesting to look at and WSSES, the local primary school went there to have a look at what was around.
The history of the parish has been the subject of two books:
The Historic England website contains a total of 38 entries for listed buildings in the parish of Welford. These are all Grade II, apart from St Mary's Church, which is Grade II*. They include:
It is served by a short arm from the Grand Union Canal and has two marinas. The Jurassic Way long distance footpath passes through the village on a southwest–northeast axis; although it officially makes its way through the fields to the east of the village, many walkers prefer to walk along the High Street to make use of the village's facilities.
Welford has a village shop and post office, a hairdresser, a primary school, a garage, a coffee & gift shop and one public house, although technically this is in the neighbouring parish of Husbands Bosworth.
The primary school is called WSSES but is currently only partially open due to the lockdown restrictions. Its website is https://www.wsses.com
Other amenities include a village hall, a sports field that is home to Welford Victoria F.C., a youth centre and a pocket park. There is also a spinney which is near the park and was a gravel quarry in the 19th century. To the North East of the village lie Welford Reservoir and Sulby Reservoir.
A painted wood carving of Postman Pat and his black and white cat, Jess stands at the junction of High Street and West Street. It was crowd funded by villagers and installed in 2019 after the previous statues, which stood in the same spot for 25 years, rotted away.
It is now administered as part of West Northamptonshire. Previously it was in Daventry District (1974-2021) having earlier been part of Oxendon Rural District (1894–1935) followed by Brixworth Rural District (1935–74).
- "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
- "Key to English Place-names".
- British Museum Collection
- Welford: Portrait of a Northamptonshire Village. Market Harborough: The Welford Village Appraisal Steering Group. 2000.
- Crowther, Barry, ed. (2001). Welford: The Legacy 1856 to 1980. Market Harborough: Matador.
- "Historic England – The List". Retrieved 30 September 2015.
- "Congregational Federation". Retrieved 30 September 2015.
Media related to Welford, Northamptonshire at Wikimedia Commons