Explore Bradford: Church Street, south side

Click on the thumbnail photographs for a bigger view.


The SwanThe Swan Hotel has the frontage of a Georgian house with a first floor “venetian” window, despite the date 1500 in the pediment. There may be some internal features of an earlier building and there has certainly been a hotel here for some time; a court was held “apud signum cygni” in 1715.

The Swan has been important in the town, at times fulfilling many functions of a town hall. Many clubs held their meetings here and it was the place for auctions of property.

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Bank HouseOld Bank House gets its name from the Wilts & Dorset Bank which was here from the 1880s until taken over by Lloyds in 1914. In 1752 it was described as “formerly the Red Lyon” and was sold in 1794 to clothier John Moggridge, who built a cloth factory behind it. From about 1820 to 1885 it was the premises of the Rawlings family, printers and stationers. The Georgian fa├žade disguises and unifies a pair of old gabled houses -all the windows of the top storey are false except one which is in a former gable. The deception is obvious from the back. It is now a private house.

Hang Dog AlleyThe picturesquely-named Hang Dog Alley connects Church Street with the Bullpit on the bank of the river. The origin of the name is obscure, but is probably not to be taken literally. Until the 1960s it was lined with 17th century gabled houses; there are several old photographs and a painting of the old buildings in the Museum’s collection. A building at the river end with a half-hipped roof was Edmund Long’s carpentry workshop.

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Church Street MillChurch Street Mill was a complex of factories that were originally built for the woollen cloth industry. The first part was built in 1798 for the firm of Jones & Tugwell, but from about 1833 it was operated in conjunction with Abbey Mill. A factory of four storeys stretched along Church Street, with another building at a right angle behind and further buildings along the river. Much was demolished after 1915 and again in the 1960s. The street side was reduced to two floors and a wide entrance was made into the yard by demolishing a handle house (where handles of teazel heads used to brush wet cloth were dried).

Abbey MillThe present Abbey Mill was the last great woollen cloth factory to be built in Wiltshire. It consists of a square block with a narrower wing at right angles on the western side, all of 5 storeys. What you see now is largely a building of 1875, designed by Richard Gane of Trowbridge. It replaced an older building which is represented by the cross-wing. Cloth production ceased in 1902, changing to the Spencer Moulton rubber works after occupation by Australian soldiers in the Great War. The Avon rubber company converted it into offices and restaurant in 1972. After Avon left, it and Church Street Mill were converted into retirement apartments in 1997.

Holy Trinity ChurchHoly Trinity Parish Church was the mother church to all the chapels of the large ancient parish. Most of it is a large building of the 12th century, from which several tall round-headed windows survive. The base of the tower may date from this time, but it and the spire are from much later. The chancel was extended in  about1300 and provided with a big east window. A northern aisle was added in perpendicular style, modified in 1864 by Gill of Bath, at the time when the church was “restored” with the removal of galleries, pulpit and pews.

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The VicarageKingston Place, lying between the churchyard and the river was formerly the Vicarage. It was built in 1840, designed by Bristol architect Richard Shackleton Pope, replacing an older building. A path leads from a gate in its garden wall to the porch of the church

The Vicarage was sold off to become a private house in the 1980s and acquired a new name.

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Little Chantry, Church StreetThe Chantry probably incorporates a chantry house that was  provided in 1524 by Thomas Horton for a priest whose duty was to pray for his soul. However, the chantry was dissolved in 1548. This early 16th century core has been added to with a large house on the west side, entered from Newtown via Barton Orchard and the pedimented 5-bay Little Chantry on the side facing the church.

The narrow alley continuing Church Street leads up to > Barton Orchard and > Newtown.

> Church Street in old photographs

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