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The Bradford on Avon Town

Bradford on Avon Town Bridge

The crossing point of the River Avon is the focal point of Bradford and the very reason for its existence. Its name derives from 'Broad Ford' and the town slip on the south west end of the bridge is on the site of the original ford which was still usable until the start of the 20th century.

The present stone bridge was built in the 13th century and two of the original arches can still be seen on the east side. The bridge was widened on the west side in the 17th century.

The Lock Up on the town bridge (an overnight cell for drunks or troublemakers) was built in the 18th century on foundations which originally supported a chapel. The fish on the top of the building is a gudgeon; hence the saying 'Being over the water and under the fish' as a euphenisim for being in prison.

The town has another medieval bridge. The Pack Horse Bridge at Barton Farm which was closely connected with the Tithe Barn and the grange of Shaftesbury Abbey.

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