The Medieval Period

Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire

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In Britain the Medieval Period, the Middle Ages, covers the time from the end of the Roman occupation in the 5th century until the beginning of the Tudor Dynasty in 1485.

Bradford on Avon enters history in 652 when Cenwalh, the Saxon King of Wessex fought a battle here. The area was dominated from 1001 to 1532 by the Abbesses of Shaftesbury who were the lords of the manor of Bradford and held the court of the Bradford Hundred. During the period various sub-manors developed, each with its own layer of administration.

Numerous buildings from the Saxon period onwards remain in the town and around the Bradford Hundred.

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Medieval buildings of the Bradford Hundred

 

The parish church of Holy Trinity was built in the 12th century, after the Norman conquest, with some later medieval additions. It was the minster or mother church of the large ancient parish, with chapels in the villages of Atworth, Holt, South Wraxall and Winsley.

The Tithe Barn

Barton Farm is an important group of medieval buildings- a huge 14th century barn, smaller and slightly later granary, farmhouse with medieval features and a 14th century bridge over the river Avon.

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The roof of Priory Barn, NewtownOther buildings in Bradford preserve some medieval features, like the 15th century Priory Barn (left) in Newtown, St Mary Tory Chapel, the Shambles and the two southern gothic arches of the Town Bridge. Other houses of the town centre may conceal medieval features behind later façades.

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Great Chalfield Manor HouseGreat Chalfield is largely made up of a medieval group of the Manor House and the little church All Saints.

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The churches of Atworth, Holt, South Wraxall and Winsley preserve their medieval towers, although most of the rest of the structure has been replaced by later building. Atworth additionally has a large barn and South Wraxall has another of the area’s late medieval manor houses.

St Peter's Church, Monkton FarleighSt Peter’s church at Monkton Farleigh retains its Norman tower and a romanesque doorway. Of the medieval Cluniac Priory that was founded in 1125 very little remains or is visible, although sculpture from the Priory can be seen in Wiltshire Heritage Museum, Devizes.

> Monkton Farleigh

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St Mary, WestwoodSt Mary’s church at Westwood is mostly of the 15th century with a fine perpendicular style tower. Next to it is a late medieval manor house and large barn.

> Westwood

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Wingfield ChurchOf Wingfield church, only the tower remains from the medieval building.

> Wingfield

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St Mary's Church, Broughton GiffordMost of the parish church of Broughton Gifford dates to various times in the Medieval Period. Monkton House was a possession of Monkton Farleigh Priory in the middle ages.

> Broughton Gifford

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