Things to do in Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire
Bradford-on-Avon is an unspoilt market town in west Wiltshire, close to the border with Somerset and eight miles southeast of Bath.
Bradford-upon-Avon has just over 9,000 inhabitants. The town centre is a pleasure to visit and browse the delightful gift shops and cafés in the narrow Shambles.
Tiered up the hillside are houses and cottages of all sizes built out of mellow Cotswold stone quarried nearby. The quarry was used to hide the Crown Jewels during World War II.
The town is a popular place to live for commuters as it is on the Bath to Weymouth line with regular trains to Bristol Temple Meads and Cardiff.
Things to do in Bradford-on-Avon
Barton Farm Country Park includes a remarkable 14th-century tithe barn, which is 180 feet long and 30 feet wide with a heavy stone roof.
The Kennet and Avon Canal with its lock offers recreation for kayakers and boaters.
The climb up St Mary's Tory is steep but has spectacular views of the town, the Marlborough Downs and the Westbury White Horse on the chalk hillside.
History of Bradford on Avon
The town was probably in existence in Roman times with a "broad ford" which gave Bradford its name.
The Normans built the first stone bridge but it was narrow and had no walls and people were known to fall off.
Two of these original Norman spans can still be seen today with their distinctive pointed arches.
The small building with a domed roof on the bridge was originally a chapel and the fish on the weather vane is a symbol of the Christian faith.Grade I listed building.
The main St Laurence Church in Bradford-upon-Avon was built around 705 AD by St Aldhelm. It was later used as a school and a mill and was rediscovered by Canon William Frampton in 1856 and bought back from its private owners.17th century, the town prospered with the woollen textile industry. Several weavers' cottages can still be seen at Tory Terraces. With the arrival of the Industrial Revolution, the river was used to power purpose-built watermills.18th century. Other famous people connected to the town are rugby player Will Carling and TV presenter Hugh Scully.
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