Medieval Archaeology & Buildings

in the Hundred of Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire


Tithe barn interior

The interior of the Great Barn, or Tithe Barn, in Bradford on Avon


Bradford on Avon and the villages that formed the Bradford Hundred -Atworth, Broughton Gifford, Chalfield, Holt, Limpley Stoke, Monkton Farleigh, South Wraxall, Westwood, Wingfield and Winsley- are rich in buildings of the Medieval Period (taken as being from the Norman Conquest in 1066 to the Tudors in 1485). Churches, bridges, manor houses, barns and the complete Barton Farm complex. Alas, no castle, unless the once-fortified manor house at Great Chalfield counts and Farleigh Hungerford Castle lies only two miles from the border.

Throughout the Medieval Period, and a bit beyond, the area was dominated by the great estate of the Abbey of Shaftesbury which had been granted by the Saxon king Æthelred II in 1001. The Abbey owned the large Manor of Bradford, although various parts were gradually granted away and sub-manors became established. An important Priory was established in Monkton Farleigh in the 12th century with lands there, in South Wraxall, Broughton Gifford and other places such as Chippenham.

Little medieval archaeology has so far been done in the town and villages. Notable were excavations at the West Barn and elsewhere around Barton Farm.


Great Chalfield Manor House

Great Chalfield is largely made up of a medieval group of the Manor House and the little church All Saints.


sculpture in Holy Trinity Church

A 13th century sculpture of a lady in a wimple head-dress in Holy Trinity Church, Bradford on Avon

Very few medieval objects have so far made it to the > Museum’s Collection

medieval stone lion sculpture

A notable exception is this carved lion, which may date from the 13th or 14th centuries