Bradford on Avon Attractions

Wiltshire is one of the most interesting and attractive counties in the country.  In particular the West Wiltshire area.  With its close proximity to the beautiful Georgian city of Bath just over the border, to Salisbury with its tallest spire, the Calne flight of amazing locks, Castle Combe, Corsham, Devizes, Lacock and of course the stunning woollen town of Bradford on Avon itself.

Staying in this part of Wiltshire gives the visitor an excellent base from which to branch out and see other areas in a short space of time. Wiltshire - you'll be spoiled for choice!

The Saxon Church

The building is an excellent example of Saxon ecclesiastical architecture and is especially noted for being unusually complete, without later additions, and with many characteristic 11th century features.  Its national importance is recognised by being listed as an Ancient Monument.

Town Bridge & Lock-up

Certainly the most often photographed parts of Bradford on Avon is the old Town Bridge.
The stone bridge dates from the 13th or early 14th century and two original arches may be seen upstream at the south end.  
In medieval times a chapel stood on the bridge.  Later, the upper part was re-built (on the original platform which can still be seen) to form a single room which was used for a variety of purposes including a lock-up. The lock-up is surmounted by a brass gudgeon weather vane which gives rise to the local saying 'Under the fish and over the water'.

Tithe Barn

This spectacular mid-14th century monastic stone barn is 51 metres long, with an amazing timber cruck roof.  It is one of the country's finest examples of medieval barns - rightly called the 'cathedrals of the land'.  It originally formed part of a range of farm buildings grouped around an open rectangular yard.  Particularly notable is the late 14th century cruck-built granary which also survives.

Kennet & Avon Canal

The Kennet & Avon Canal, runs from Bristol to Reading and took 16 years to construct.  It was opened in 1810 and used to transport many products by barge and narrow boat along its route. Restoration work by the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust, British Waterways and local authorities began in 1975 resulted in the canal being reopened in 1990.  Bradford on Avon offers angling and boating on the canal, while the particularly attractive mile and a half stretch to Avoncliff aqueduct was designed by canal engineer and architect John Rennie.  Boat trips from the Wharf on the Frome Road run regularly in the season.

The Shambles

The only timber-fronted houses in this stone-built town are in the Shambles.  They date from Tudor times.  The Shambles were part of the town's medieval market place. The original market stalls were replaced by a triangle of permanent shops.  At the east end is a building which was once the Tolsey or Market House.  The 15th century stone doorway marks the former entrance.

Holy Trinity Church

The original parish church has a dedication to the Holy Trinity, and is located near the town centre by the river. It is Norman in origin and it is possible that the chancel was built over the remains of an older church. Several chapels were added on the north side, and the wall in  between was opened up later. Nowadays, the chapels form the north aisle. A squint, or hagioscope, near the altar is claimed to be England's longest. The tower and spire were built around 1480, replacing an older one and the south wall was largely rebuilt in the 19th century. The church  has a ring of eight bells.

The West Barn

The West Barn at Barton Farm was built, following a fire in the 1980s, by the Preservation Trust in 2001-3. It has a featured glass wall looking out onto the famous great Tithe Barn.  It stands on part of the foundations of a medieval cruck barn which pre-dated the Tithe Barn.
As well as being very popular for Civil Wedding Ceremonies, the West Barn can also be hired for concerts, meetings, parties and exhibitions. The Barn can sit a maximum of 70 people. 

Bradford on Avon Museum

A small, volunteer-run museum of the natural and historic heritage of the town of Bradford on Avon and the villages around it. The collection includes objects dating from the Stone Age to the present, highlighting the woollen and pioneering rubber industry. The largest part of the Museum's collection is the contents of the Christopher chemist shop.