Drainage of the Hundred of Bradford on Avon

Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire


River Avon at Avoncliff

The River Avon downstream from Avoncliff

The base level for all the drainage of the Hundred of Bradford on Avon area is the River Avon, which flows from the dipslope of the Cotswold Hills near Tetbury in Gloucestershire, as if to join the Thames, but turns south near Malmesbury, then westwards through Bradford on Avon town, then north to Bath on its way to discharge into the Bristol Channel.

The main tributaries within the area are: the River Biss, coming from Trowbridge and joining at Bissmouth, downstream from Holt; the River Frome which drains from the Longleat area via the town of Frome, Somerset and joins at Freshford, opposite Winsley; the Cam, also known as Wellow or Midford Brook, which joins below Limpley Stoke.

Smaller streams drain eastwards from the high land in the west, rising in Monkton Farleigh and flowing through Cumberwell, South Wraxall and Chalfield to reach the Avon around Broughton Gifford. Another, Swinbrook, rises near Swansbrook Farm and forms the border of Wingfield with Southwick, becomes Lambrook and joins the Biss at Trowle Bridge.

The Forest Marble clays once supported a large number of small ponds, but most have been infilled. The largest expanses of water are now artificial: the lake on the Cumberwell Park golf course, the fishing ponds at Ford, on each side of the road from Bradford to South Wraxall and a private lake on the same stream at Little Chalfield. A small pond near the Little Ashley crossroads is maintained as a nature reserve.