The River Avon at Bradford on Avon has always been liable to burst its banks. The river rises quickly with heavy rainfall and usually falls just as quickly after a brief flood.

It spills fairly harmlessly over the floodplain above Bradford, with the roads to Staverton Bridge becoming inundated very easily. At Bradford it is narrowed by embankment walls and enters the gorge-like valley. Local myth has it that things improved when work was carried out on the weir at Bath in 1971, but there is a 10m difference in height between Bath and Bradford and much of Bath would have to be under water before it backed up to Bradford, but then came a big flood in 1979.

The level of the highest flood, on 25 October 1882, is recorded on a plaque on the riverside wall of Westbury Gardens.

See Bridge Watch -a live webcam view from the Bridge Tea Rooms, provided by Varn Media




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