Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Bradford on Avon

There was a heavy downpour of rain in the early hours, or so Jan tells me.  I slept like a log awaking at 6.30.  We were only a short cruise from the visitor moorings at Bradford on Avon so decided to wait until 10am before leaving our overnight mooring.  The idea being this would give the hire boaters on the town moorings time to leave.  But before getting too carried away with the story I should mention that Tim sent us a photo of Tracey & Oakley walking the towpath.

Tracey & Oakley

We reached the moorings just before 11am in time to see a boat departing.  I do like it when a plan comes together.  The mooring ropes had only just been tied when it started to rain.   After lunch we wandered in the town to look around.  We’re now in a valley and the old part of Bradford on Avon is sited on the side of a low hill beside the River Avon (How many River Avon’s does England have?)

Apparently Bradford is a derivation of  ‘Broad Ford’ because the town was sited at a ford across the river.  A packhorse bridge was subsequently constructed over the river by the Normans.  It was then widened in the 17th century.  There is a small round building on the eastern side of the bridge which I assumed was a former toll booth.

bradford bridge

However a plaque fixed at the end of the bridge states this was a lockup for noisy locals and in an earlier life had been a chapel.  A closer look revealed it was still in use!


On turning around and looking back towards the canal we noticed two interesting buildings.

The Three Gables

The Three Gables is on the corner of the A363 and Bridge St.  It’s now a restaurant.  Slightly further up Bridge St are The Bridge Tea Rooms.  We loved the wonky gables, bulging walls and low doorway

bridge tea rooms You can get more of an idea of the town layout looking north-west from the southern side of the river.

bradford on avon The River Avon was very shallow.  We know this because there was a fisherman wearing waders standing in the middle.  Can you see him in the following photo?

river avon

There aren’t many shops in Bradford although The Shambles was an interesting alleyway.


The moths in Jan’s purse breathed a sigh of relief as we turned and wandered back to Waiouru. They received a small fright when she went onto the Kennet & Avon Canal Society Gift Shop down by Bradford Lock. 

Bradford services

But nothing caught her eye!Rolling on the floor laughing


Paul (from Waterway Routes) said...

You will pass through "Fresh Ford" and "Salt Ford" which gives you a clue how far the tide used to come.

Ade said...

Hi Tom & Jan,

Spotted a building or two I hadn't !
No mention of the stars an original Brunel station well as can be, complete with pre 1948 nationalised iron ended GWR seats, the Tithe Barn and packhorse bridge over the Avon.
Look out for the disused Mill on the Bradford side of Avoncliff aqueduct opposite the cross guns pub with adjacent weir.
Loving the local views from a new pair of eyes.


Judith Emery said...

Love Bradford on Avon, have you been to the Tythe Barn yet? A fascinating place well worth a visit,the inside is remeniscent of a cathedral.
Judith and John
nb Serena

Dave said...

I think Avon comes from the Welsh for river. River River doesn't have the same ring about it....
NB Sophie-Jane No.2

Tom and Jan said...

LOL. Yes River River does sound rather strange!