Millennium Sign

The Millennium sign, in Main Street, contains symbols of significance to the village:

The Bridge (centre left) denotes the current crossing of the West Glen River, but the village took its name from the old gravel (or “grit”/ “grete”) ford across the river.  This gives rise to the common local pronunciation of the name as “Gretford.”  The Domesday Book refers to village as under the names Griteford and Greteford.

The caduceus (the snake-like symbol of the medical profession) is in honour of a distinguished 18th century Greatfordian, Dr Francis Willis.  He lived and worked at Greatford Hall and (the now demolished) Shillingthorpe Hall and was credited with curing King George III of his madness.  His memorial in the north transept of Greatford Church refers to this success.

The bell commemorates the additional bell hung in the church

Millennium sign

Photo by Marian Brebner

Millennium Sign

 in 1999 in time to provide a ring of six to celebrate the turn of the millennium.The church steeple is a likeness of that of St Thomas Becket, Greatford.  The Church is largely twelfth century with traces of Norman work in the north wall.  But it is not known to whom the church was previously dedicated prior to the murder of Thomas Becket in 1170 and his canonisation in 1173.

The crown is a likeness of several found in the village, made by the Fitzwilliams who occupied Greatford Hall in the 1920s & 30s.  They used the barn for a garden company which also made statues and turned out crowns to commemorate the 1937 coronation.

The watercress leaves (below the village name) recall a once significant industry in the village – the watercress beds, irrigated by the West Glen River, located near what has now become Greatford Gardens.

The sign was designed by Nigel Ashby of Greatford, and made by the Black Forge Art Company of Wittersham, Kent.  It was provided for the village by Greatford Parish Council.