Today Bicker is some 8 miles (13 km) from the sea, but was once on a large tidal inlet known as Bicker Haven. The old river has shaped the layout of the village, as the roads still follow either side of its winding course, a unique feature in the Lincolnshire fens. The Bicker river remains as the drain (a local term for a larger watercourse) that still runs through the village centre today, albeit carrying very little water.
The Lincolnshire Fenland is often thought of as having been wet and marshy until the 17th century, but this is not so. Much of the locality was occupied in Roman times when the sea level was lower than today, but later flooding caused problems, coinciding with the end of Roman influence. Re-settlement on a broad silt ridge was the foundation of the present Wash villages in approximately the 7th century AD, at about the same time that Christianity was spreading through the country. The name Bicker is of Scandinavian origin; it means ‘the place by the marsh’. We do not know the date of the earliest church in Bicker, but it was here before 1086, as it is recorded in Domesday Book. Fragments of Anglo-Scandinavian style carved stone in and near the church include pieces dating from the mid to late tenth century.