Museum booklet: Geology, landscape and building stone

Museum booklet: Geology, landscape and building stone

Bradford on Avon Museum’s latest addition to its list of booklets comes with the publication of this one about the foundations of our local area. It has been written by Isobel Geddes who was the author of a book about the geology of Wiltshire a few years ago.

Like the others in the series, this booklet is lavishly illustrated. It is available from the Museum, Tourist Information...

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Floods

Floods

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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...

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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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Bradford People: Joseph Chaning Pearce (1811-1847)

Bradford People: Joseph Chaning Pearce (1811-1847)

Joseph Chaning Pearce, in the course of a short life, built up one of the largest collections of fossils in the country in the early nineteenth century.

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He was born in the house that was until recently the Liberal Club,...

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Canal Quarry, Frome Road

Canal Quarry, Frome Road

Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire

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Canal Quarry had a special significance in the history of science. It was one of the places in the area where the Bradford Clay was found and the fossils that were collected there in the early nineteenth century found their way into collections...

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Winsley Quarries

Winsley Quarries

Winsley, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire

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Murhill Quarries lie to the west of the village of Winsley, on the edge of the plateau level. A larger upper quarry was in 1905 the site for the Winsley Sanatorium, now Avon Park retirement village.

Stone from Murhill was used for the façade of Bristol Temple Meads...

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Westwood Quarries

Westwood Quarries

Westwood, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire .

The steep hillside above Avoncliff has been extensively quarried for Bath Stone. Underground workings that cover large areas open from adits near the top.

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Avoncliff Quarry, despite not being worked for a long time, retains...

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Stone Quarrying

Hundred of Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire .

The Cotswold Hills around Bradford have been quarried for limestone from the Roman period and even earlier. In the early days most of the stones used were those that were coarse and shelly and weathered well. For high-prestige buildings, such as churches, more expensive ashlar was used. Ashlar is freestone...

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Bradford Quarries

Bradford Quarries

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Stone quarries can be found all round Bradford town, including extensive underground workings.

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Bridge Street Quarry had an area of open working, with an adit that went into the hillside under St Margaret’s Hill. These workings must have been cut through by...

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Limpley Stoke Quarries

Limpley Stoke Quarries

Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire

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Although there are signs of small-scale quarrying around the hill that forms most of Limpley Stoke, the main working is underground. Stoke Quarry is operated by the Bath Stone Group. Recent use of Stoke stone can be seen in the modern Bath Spa building and the facing of the Southgate development in...

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The Museum Collection: Rock and Stone Samples

The Museum Collection: Rock and Stone Samples

The rocks of the Cotswold Hills in the west of the Bradford Hundred are largely limestones and calcareous mudstones and clays. They include the fine building stones that are called Bath Stone and were important in the local economy. The lower land to the east has more of the clays with some limestone bands.

Click on the thumbnail picture for a bigger...

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The River Avon

The River Avon

Bradford’s river is generally distinguished from other Avons as the Bristol Avon. The name derives from Welsh afon, which simply means river.

Its course is unusual. It begins as several streams flowing east down the dip slope of the Cotswold Hills. They should really join the upper Thames, but the Avon turns to the SW following a vale cut in soft clay. Just above Bradford it...

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The Museum Collection: Mollusc Shells

The Museum Collection: Mollusc Shells

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Bradford on Avon Museum has to be selective about objects of natural history that are added to the collection. This is because of the difficulties in preserving organic material. This restricts the collection to just mollusc shells and some skeletal material and teeth of vertebrate animals. However, the Museum is keen to...

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Local geologists

Local geologists

The country around the Bradford Hundred forms part of what has been called “The Cradle of English Geology” due to its association with William Smith, the “Father of English Geology” and many other founders of the science. It was around here that the order of strata was worked out.

Rev Richard Warner BA, FLS 1763-1857

Richard Warner was an antiquarian who...

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The Museum Collection: Minerals

The Museum Collection: Minerals

Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire

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Wiltshire in general is not rich in minerals, because of the nature of its sedimentary clays, sandstones and limestones. The Bradford Hundred area is not an exception in this, but a few examples of minerals are found in the neighbourhood.

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The Museum Collection: Fossils

The Museum Collection: Fossils

Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire

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The environmental conditions at the time the sediments that made the rocks around Bradford were deposited (Middle Jurassic period) were tropical with warm shallow sea and low islands, rather like the Bahamas and Florida today. The fossils found here reflect those conditions: marine shells, corals, fish and...

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Geology of the Bradford Hundred

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The geology of Bradford is relatively simple. Sedimentary rocks dip gently from west to east with only a few faults to upset them. They were all formed in warm shallow sea during the late part of the early Jurassic and the middle of the Jurassic Period, 165 to 150 million years ago, as the area that is now Britain slowly moved northwards...

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The geographical setting

Bradford on Avon lies where the Bristol Avon changes from a lazy river in a wide clay vale to a rushing stream that a has cut a deep gorge-like valley through the limestone of the Cotswold Hills. It is just on the junction of the limestone uplands and the clay lowlands- the classic “chalk and cheese” of Wiltshire. The western parishes- Limpley Stoke, Monkton Farleigh,...

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