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Bideford (bĭdˈəfərd) [key], town (1985 est. 12,300), Devon, SW England, on the Torridge estuary. Formerly a major seaport, it still maintains some foreign trade (timber is imported) and has a boatbuilding industry. Tourism and the manufacture of gloves and concrete products are other important industries. Bideford supplied ships used in the defeat of the Spanish Armada (1588) and was a port of embarkation for colonists going to America. It also participated in the colonial tobacco and salt-fish trade. A 24-arch stone bridge dating from the 15th cent. spans the Torridge estuary.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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