Visit Bradford-On-Avon and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, is a place in which to linger. Once there it is hard to leave, for the streets are so narrow and twisted that every turn shows a new delight.
Already important in the 10th century, as time passed Bradford grew rich from the manufacture of cloth - which accounts for the proliferation of fine mellow stone buildings of many centuries. They huddle together against a backdrop of hills, and the town rises so steeply from the river that in parts it has to be stepped. An old stone bridge crosses the river, with two arches dating back to the 14th century, the rest being 17th-century. In the middle is a small lock-up, fashioned from a chapel.
The Anglo-Saxon church is one of the only ones in the country almost complete. For years it was lost in a jumble of later buildings, its original function unknown. It was only discovered in 1856 when the vicar happened to look down over the roofs and saw an unknown cross. Later St Laurence became a church once again. A plain building, as high as it is long, it is unadorned inside. Over the narrow chancel arch two 10th-century sculptured angels fly towards one another.
The parish church, Holy Trinity, was originally l2th-century though it was added to later and restored in the 19th century. Inside are some noble monuments. The painting of the Virgin with St Anne on the east chancel wall is 14th-century, the painted Flemish glass in the nave mostly 17th-century. On the north wall of the aisle is a delightful fragment, the head of a l4th-century woman wearing a wimple.
Church House and the Old Priory are 15th-century. The Chantry is 16th to 17th century, with a fine classical front. But one of the most important buildings is the Hall built by John Hall, a clothier, In 1610. With mullioned windows and an attractive porch, it shows the transition between Tudor and Palladian architecture.
As time passed so Bradford-on-Avon continued to flourish, adding some very fine Georgian architecture. Westbury House is a large early Georgian building near the bridge.
Within striking distance of the town there is much to see. Great Chalfield Manor is 2½ miles north west. Surrounded by a moat, the house, church and buildings give an impression of life as it must have been in the 15th century. They were built about 1480 by Thomas Tropenell: a contemporary mural showing his portrait can still be seen in the great hall. The house has been carefully restored.
Westwood Manor is l½ mile south west. Built in stone, some parts date back to the 15th century, but much was added later. The Jacobean plaster ceilings and modern topiary gardens are particularly interesting. Both these houses belong to the National Trust and can be visited.
Nearby cities: Bath
Nearby towns: Corsham, Melksham, Trowbridge
Nearby villages: Atworth, Bathampton, Batheaston, Bathford, Box, Broughton Gifford, Freshford, Hilperton, Hinton Charterhouse, Holt, Lacock, Limpley Stoke, Midford, Neston, North Bradley, Norton St Philip, Rode, Semington, Shaw, South Wraxall, Swainswick, West Ashton, Westwood, Woolley, Woolverton
Have you decided to visit Bradford-On-Avon or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Bradford-On-Avon bed and breakfast (a Bradford-On-Avon B&B or Bradford-On-Avon b and b)
- a Bradford-On-Avon guesthouse
- a Bradford-On-Avon hotel (or motel)
- a Bradford-On-Avon self-catering establishment, or
- other Bradford-On-Avon accommodation