The latest in Bradford on Avon Museum’s series of publications is a well-illustrated historical survey of the town’s bridges -across the river, canal and railway. Ivor Slocombe has included new research from his delving into records in the Wiltshire & Swindon Archives and has section on the footbridge which (so far) never was.
The booklet is on sale at the Museum,...Read More
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A copper alloy button with the intertwined letters GWR. It would have dropped off the uniform of a Great Western Railway employee and was found in Sandy Leaze, which was a field that was built over in the 1960s.
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The Bradford Roads Trust tollhouse at Holt in about 1880, around the time when the toll roads were being made free. The schedule of toll charges was painted on the board on the wall of building on the left, which is where the tolls were collected.
Click on the thumbnail pictures for a larger view The Upper Wharf of the canal in Bradford’s Frome Road in about 1925, with a wooden horse-drawn barge being prepared for work. Just above the tiny cabin of the barge can be seen the small building which was the lock-keeper’ office. To its right is one of the diamond-shaped cast iron signs that showed the weight...Read More
1723: The River Kennet Navigation opened, Newbury to Reading
1727: The River Avon Navigation opened, Bath to Bristol
1788: In April, a canal linking the Kennet and Avon proposed at a meeting in Newbury
1789: Surveyed route presented to shareholders in the summer
1793: The Kennet & Avon Canal Act passed on 27th August
1794: The first sod cut, at Bradford,...Read More
The River Avon was canalised between Bath and Bristol in 1727, while to the east, the River Kennet Navigation from Newbury to the confluence with the River Thames at Reading had been made in 1723. The construction of a canal between the two to give a...Read More
Members of Bradford Motorcycle Club posing for a group photograph in Druce’s Hill, Church Street. Many of them have sidecars for conveying wife/girlfriend and child. No helmets are worn, but most of the drivers have goggles. The date would be after the beginning of 1912, when one of the bikes was registered.
In June 1941, during the Second World War, part of the Royal Enfield Company moved from Redditch in Worcestershire to old underground stone workings at Westwood Quarry. In the safety of the quarry the firm carried out the manufacture of Type 3 predictor sights for anti-aircraft guns and control equipment for Bofors guns.
At the end of the war the company made...Read More
The original plan of the Great Western Railway (GWR) in 1830 was for branches to Bradford, Trowbridge and Devizes, but these were not built. It was left to the Wiltshire, Somerset & Weymouth Railway (WSWR) to build a line from Chippenham to Westbury and beyond, passing through Holt in 1848. Again, promised branches to...Read More
Tolls were charged on the turnpike road between Cockhill, Trowbridge and Widbrook, Bradford. The Widbrook Tollhouse still exists, now a private house. It has a projecting central section where the doorway for the keeper to attend to the gate and charge the tolls is now converted into window. This was presumably built after 1839, when the town’s roads started to be supported by the rates...Read More
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The roads of the Bradford Roads Trust are in red; other turnpike roads are in blue.
The first Bradford Road Act in 1752 authorised a Turnpike Trust to make, maintain and charge tolls on a road from Combe Bridge (at the boundary of Bradford with Monkton Combe, near the Viaduct) to Winsley, Bradford, Staverton...Read More
Past the Canal Tavern pub the Frome Road does a sharp double bend over a hump-back bridge which takes it across the Kennet & Avon Canal. Beneath the bridge is the first canal lock above Bath, which separates lower and upper canal wharves. The lower wharf mainly handled coal coming from the Somerset coalfield and stone going westwards, while the upper wharf handled various goods...Read More
.Explore the Kennet & Avon Canal Frome Road Canal Wharves Old photographs of the Kennet & Avon Canal Kennet & Avon Canal timeline
As a route to Bath, horses could cross the Avon at Stoke Ford, at the foot of Winsley Hill. In 1731 Thomas Dike of Limpley Stoke and Moses Cottle sr of Winsley, who owned the land on their respective sides, agreed to build a bridge over the Avon. Stokeford Bridge was in existence by 1739.
Originally it was a wooden...Read More
The station dates from 1857, when the Bradford to Bathampton branch of the Wilts Somerset & Weymouth Railway (WSWR) was finally completed by the Great Western company (GWR). A small yard was used to load building stone from nearby quarries, but closed in 1960.
Limpley Stoke became a terminus and a junction in 1910 with the construction of the Camerton Branch of the GWR’s...Read More
A halt was opened by the Great Western Railway on the Winsley side of Avoncliff on 9th July 1906. There had previously been a siding for stone from Westwood Quarry on the other side of the aqueduct. Somehow it was not closed in the 1960s, when so many others were axed, largely because it was impractical to replace it with a bus route. Local people in period costume celebrated its 150th...Read More
Bradford was well-served by railways, but was not really the hub of the system! The map shows lines and stations, some still functioning, some swept away by the Beeching axe in the 1960s.
. Today, trains that stop at Bradford go onwards to: Southampton, Portsmouth and Brighton; to Yeovil, Dorchester and Weymouth; to Bath,...Read More
Bradford was promised a branch line in the original Great Western Railway (GWR) Act of 1835, terminating at Kingston Farm next to The Hall, but it was not built. Again, a line through Bradford to Bathampton was included in the Wilts, Somerset & Weymouth Railway (WSWR) Act of 1845, probably to block the London & South Western Railway (LSWR)’s ambitions for a line to Bristol....Read More