Acquisitions: Milking stool and yoke

Acquisitions: Milking stool and yoke

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Among the agricultural objects that a local museum should have in its collection are two that were very common in the dairy, but somehow they had not come to Bradford onĀ  Avon Museum until now.

The milking stool is low, to get down to the level of a cow’s udders and is three-legged, because that is more stable on...

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Museum Celebrates Lottery Win!

Museum Celebrates Lottery Win!

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Bradford on Avon Museum has been successful in a bid for an award from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s “All Our Stories” round of grants. With the HLF funding and support, community groups like ours will carry out activities that help people explore,...

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Agriculture in the Bradford Hundred

Agriculture in the Bradford Hundred

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The area covered by the Bradford Hundred lies on the boundary between the two classic Wilthire agricultural environments: “chalk and cheese”. The limestone uplands are the equivalent of the chalk land elsewhere in the county, producing grain and sheep. The lowland clay-dominated vale was traditionally dairying country. The steep...

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Old Photographs: Farming

Old Photographs: Farming

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Click on the thumbnail pictures for a larger view

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Building haystacks near the J & T Beaven leather works in Holt.

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An...

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Mushroom cultivation

The tunnels that had been cut out of the hillsides in Bradford and Westwood by underground stone quarrying provided ideal conditions for growing mushrooms on a commercial scale. Insulated from the weather, they give stable levels of temperature and humidity all year round and, unlike plants, fungi do not need light for growth. The techniques were imported from France, where they had been...

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The Museum Collection: Farming and horticulture

The Museum Collection: Farming and horticulture

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There were once scores of farms of all sizes in the area around Bradford. Each one would have possessed numerous hand implements and machines relating to particular activities- digging and ploughing, keeping up ditches, hedges and dry-stone walls, animal husbandry, sheep-shearing, harvesting, the dairy with its milking, butter-making and...

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Haymaking

Haymaking

Cutting hay when it was largely done by hand was a communal activity, with family, friends and neighbours taking part. In larger fields it was possible to use machinery, drawn by horse or tractor, to cut the grass, turn it to dry it out and even to lift it on to wagons. Small plots, like this field just off the Trowbridge Road, might involve using a scythe, rakes and pitchforks. At the end of...

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Upper Bearfield Farm

Upper Bearfield Farm

Ashley Road, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire

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Upper Bearfield Farm was one of two farms and a couple of smallholdings in Ashley Road, on the northern side of Bradford.

A big farmhouse stands on one side of the road, while a farmyard with a large stone barn and other buildings were on the opposite side. It was almost entirely a...

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Barton Farm

Barton Farm

This was the capital farm of Shaftesbury Abbey’s estates in Bradford and the home of the Abbey’s Steward. The standing buildings date from the mid-14th century, including an immense barn popularly known as the Tithe Barn. Archaeology has shown that the West Barn was originally part of a barn from the 13th century. The farm consists of a square yard with the Tithe Barn along...

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Water meadows

Water meadows

In the Hundred of Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire

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A bridge over a water meadow channel near Great Chalfield. It is made of large thin sandstone slabs from the Forest Marble formation..

Water meadows were a development of the 18th century agrarian revolution. It had been noticed that...

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