Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire


Bradford had been 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. Only the tunnel, station and goods shed were built, but no rails had been laid when the WSWR reached Westbury in 1848 and ran out of cash. The prospect of renewed activity by the LSWR and local action to obtain a writ of mandamus from Parliament in 1852, extended two years later, forced the GWR to complete the Bradford-Bathampton line and the Devizes branch from Holt in 1857.

In the Bradford Hundred area stations were built at Broughton Gifford Halt (1905-1955), Holt Junction (1857-1966, change for the Devizes Branch, later Berks & Hants Railway), Bradford (built 1848, opened 1857), Avoncliff Halt (1906), Freshford (1857 -just a few inches into Somerset!) and  Limpley Stoke (1857-1966).

The Camerton branch of the GWR’s North Somerset Railway was extended, for its coal trade, to join the WSWR at Limpley Stoke in 1910 and became famous as the setting for the film “The Titfield Thunderbolt” in 1953.


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