Explore Bradford: Bridge Street

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Bridge Street runs eastwards from the Town Bridge, along the southern side of the river. There is a line of old housing on the southern side at the town end, then a long gap before Greenland Mills, a group houses that replace old cloth mills at the weir.

Click on the thumbnail pictures for a bigger view.

The Georgian Lodge, Bridge StreetThe first building in Bridge Street is the Georgian Lodge, a big 18th century three-storey, five-bay mansion with a tuscan doorcase. From the late 19th century until the 1960s it was a bakery (Dainton, Viner, Phillips) and there was a shop window to the right of the doorway. The far right window was open like that on the left, but both have been restored. The building has recently been a restaurant and hotel, but has been converted into offices and flats.

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Bridge Tea RoomsThe two-gabled 17th century building which is now the Bridge Tea Rooms was previously an antique shop and, before that, the shop of the last Bradford blacksmith, Albert Lailey. It is dated 1675 and built of squared and coursed stone, with relieving arches over the ground floor windows, which are not original. The tea rooms have regularly been selected as one of the best in the country.

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Noodle Bar, Bridge StreetThe building to the left of the tea rooms was Lailey’s Forge, with a wide entrance for shoeing horses and putting iron tyres on cart wheels. Since his time it has been the Old Forge and Wisteria House, both gift and art galleries, then the Thai Barn restaurant which has now moved to St Margaret’s Street. It has recently been the Orient Express noodle bar and its latest reincarnation is as a centre for the Buddhist Ton Boon Trust.

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Bridge StreetEastwards is a terrace of small houses of various dates and styles, beginning with short curved range of ashlar-fronted three-storey houses, like a mini-crescent.

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The Library, nearing completion in 1990.Across the road and next to the river is the Library (1990), in which Bradford on Avon Museum is located. It is a steel-framed building, clad externally in glass and local limestone, under a pyramidal slate-covered roof.

It stands on the site of Bradford’s Memorial Baths, which were built in the year of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, 1897 and were demolished in the 1960s. The car park was an ornamental garden. Before the baths this was an industrial area used by iron founders and engineers.

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