Bradford – the one on the Avon not the one where I was born

I’ve been very quiet for the last week (although Gordon would probably dispute that) on account of my laptop being in laptop hospital in Devizes being sorted out by the extremely helpful Ian from Blue Sky Computing (no he didn’t pay me to say that!). All better now – phew! You don’t realise how dependent you are on technology until it’s taken away from you!

We’ve been carrying on up the Kennet and Avon Canal with our next stopping point after Avoncliff being Bradford-on-Avon  a picture perfect town absolutely packed with old buildings.


The building housing the Bridge tearooms dates back to 1675


The Avon with one of Bradford’s 30 wool mills – now converted into flats and shops


Ruined wall from an old mill building


A delightful huddle of sleeping cygnets watched over by mother and father

A visit to the Tourist Information Centre furnished us with a map and a description of a walk round Bradford that would take in most of its sights. First on the agenda was St Laurence’s Chapel. A saxon church built in the first century and completely forgotten until it was rediscovered in 1875.


SaxonChapelCarvingsThen it was up a steep hill to a street called Tory. Completely traffic free, it reminded both of us very strongly of some of the streets in Mousehole.


These were the old weavers’ cottages and what a view then have!


The view from Tory across Bradford to the Marlborough Downs and Salisbury Plain.

Back down the hill, through the laneways and narrow streets you get back to the river and the Packhorse Bridge which dates back to the 14th century and was used to bring produce over to the nearby Tithe Barn.


Earlier than the packhorse bridge at Shugborough but not as impressive

PackHorseBridgeThe Tithe Barn was built in the mid 1300s to store the produce from Barton Farm which belonged to the Benedictine nunnery of Shaftesbury Abbey. Although it was a completely secular building its space and light and beautiful roof timbers are reminiscent of a cathedral.

TitheBarnInside TitheBarnOutsideOutside the Tithe Barn are some Craft Markets where I spotted these quirky garden ornaments. If I had a garden I think I’d have been tempted. The cat is particularly delightful.

SillyGardenOrnaments2In the centre of Bradford sits the modern statue of ‘Millie’. It was designed by  Dr John Willats in the year 2000 and placed in Festival Garden to celebrate the millenium.


Millie Spins the Wheel of Time

Doing a bit of digging on Google led me to this piece of information. “‘Millie’ herself represents Bradford’s long association with wool and cloth and symbolises ‘Clotho’ – one of three Greek fates who spun out, measured and cut off women’s lives. The English word ‘Cloth’ derives from her name.”  Who’d have thought it!

We had a fascinating and rather energetic day. It’s as well we enjoyed it because we had to do it all again the following day when Gordon’s sister Heather came to visit.


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2 Responses to Bradford – the one on the Avon not the one where I was born

  1. Sue Ellery says:

    Bradford-on-Avon is lovely – been there a few times, have a friend who lives nearby. Have loads of photos of the old tearooms, and that barn – a ton in there! Davy used one of the pics for his business card – spectacular building – love it.

  2. Roger says:

    But it’s the town where I grew up & went to school. Shame I wasn’t about to give you a tour…

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