History through buildings
A stroll through the streets of Bradford on Avon reveals buildings which illustrate all periods of its history. The following sample particularly reflects the most prosperosus ages.
Holy Trinity Church was built in Norman times and retains much of the architecture of that period with later additions, including the tower, particularly in the 15th century.
St Mary Tory, high up on the hillside, was a medieval hermitage and pilgrim hospice although it was largeley rebuilt in Victorian times.
Barton Orchard, a pleasant traffic free walk, and Newtown have a variety of attractive houses including some from the late 17th century connected with wool and cloth trades.
Perhaps Bradford on Avon reached the peak of its prosperity in the 18th century again based on the cloth trade. Westbury House (early 18th century) and Druce's House (early 1730's) are grand town houses built by two wealthy clothiers.
1854 saw the erection of a new, imposing Town Hall which is now the Catholic Church. Alongside it was the Police Station which are now shops, but the inscriptions 'Superintendant' and 'Police' can still be seen over the two doorways. The large industrial cloth mills also flourished with Abbey Mill beside the river (now retirement apartments) being the last one built in 1871.
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