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Dairying and Cattle

Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire

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The Paddocks, Ashley Road, Bradford on Avon

The Paddocks, Ashley Road, Bradford on Avon 1920s. Painting by W.H. Allen © Hampshire County Council, provided by Hampshire Cultural Trust

Traditionally the lowland area of the Hundred of Bradford was dairying country, a part of the “cheese” of Wiltshire’s “chalk and cheese”. The heavy clay soils were more suited to pasture than to arable farming. In recent years, the pattern of small producers serving local customers directly has changed to one of a few large farms that have taken over the land of others to keep large herds, often in “industrial” farming covered yards, supplying large milk processors like Westbury Dairies (since 2016 a subsidiary of the Scandinavian multinational Arla). An early industrialisation of dairy products in the area was the setting up of the Anglo-Swiss company’s condenser factory at the former woollen mill at Staverton in 1897; it became part of Nestl√© in 1935.

The Paddocks was a small farm in the 1920s on the edge of Bradford. Bungalows were built on the field in front in the 1980s and St Laurence School covers the fields behind and it is a farmhouse no longer, standing at the entrance to the school’s car park.