BRADFORD ON AVON – A Truly Picturesque Town

Bradford On Avon
Bradford On Avon

BRADFORD ON AVON – A Truly Picturesque Town

Bradford on Avon grew up around ‘broad ford’ and the slopes of the river. The narrow roads are lined with grey buildings in mellowed Bath stone. The textile industry had been the backbone of the local economy for six ceturies until its demise at the begining of this century. At one time Bradford had more than thirty cloth factories. However when King James I enacted a law compelling all cloth to be dyed in London, by a merchant to whom he was in debt. This law ruined most of the trade in the West Country. The trade changed when Paul Methuen (one of Bradfords great clothiers, whose family now own Corsham Court ) brought over a colony of Flemish weavers to introduce improved techniques.

The 19th century cloth mills still line the banks of the river and the old clothiers houses and weavers cottages provide plenty of old world charm.

Well worth a visit is the Saxon church of St laurence, this building dates back to the eleventh century but was only rediscovered in 1871. It may even be built on the site of the earlier construction by St Aldhelm in 700AD. It is incredible that a building this old is still in such a good condition. It owes its survival to the fact that it was not recognised as a church at all, as families used to live in it and even a school was once housed inside.

Other places of interest include the Holy Trinity Church, St Mary’s Chapel and the Tithe Barn at Barton Farm.

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