Living in Bradford on Avon
Bradford on Avon began life as an Iron Age community, when a tribe settled on a site of about six acres of headland, around 500 B.C. Protected by steep escarpments they lived a primitive life until the Roman occupation. Saxons had arrived before 652AD when a battle in a civil war was fought at the "broad ford" on the river from where the town gets its name.
The Normans built a stone bridge over the river Avon, which is still used today. Originally a packhorse bridge, two of its 13th-century arches are still intact. A 'lock up' was added in the 17th century when the bridge was widened. No one is quite sure why this small building was constructed and there are many different theories as to why.
Wool and cloth had been Bradford's stable industry for six centuries until its demise at the beginning of the 20th century. The weavers' cottages, which situated on the hill above the town, date back to the 17th century. They are a source of endless fascination for anyone with an eye for genuine old world charm.
The Industrial revolution in the 18th century brought huge changes to the area, including the construction of the Kennet and Avon canal. During this time, Bradford on Avon was home to around 30 mills and was a key part of England's prospering woollen industry. The last local mill closed in 1905 and many have stood empty since.
Today, living in Bradford on Avon is pleasant as the town's historic buildings are complemented by the beautiful surrounding countryside. The town has varied activities for residents and visitors alike. In 2003 the town was granted a Fairtrade status.
Bradford on Avon in Facts
- Area: 6 sq miles
- Population: 9,402
- Postcode: BA15
- Area codes: 01225
- Airport: Bristol
- Train station: Bradford-on-Avon
- Local Council: Wiltshire
- Average property price: £335,827
All facts use 2016 data
Bradford on Avon has an exciting mix of independent shops. From Orton Jewellers, which handcrafts beautiful pieces, to Hartley Farm Shop and Kitchen, and the Box Steam Brewery. The town also holds regular farmers markets.
Many pubs and cafe are situated along the Kennet and Avon canal, including No. 10 Tea Gardens, which provide a perfect resting spot and refreshments after a long walk.
The town has good road links to Bath (7.5 miles) and Bristol (20 miles).
Bradford on Avon railway station provides regular services to Cardiff Central, London Waterloo, and Portsmouth Harbour amongst other destinations.
Bristol Airport (26 miles) provides both regular commercial flights as well as a private business terminal.
While Bradford on Avon has no independent schools, the town is home to a number of state pre and primary schools as well as one state secondary school. Many of which are well regarded and produce excellent results.
Lifestyle and Culture
The purpose-built Wiltshire Music Centre attracts internationally-renowned musicians of all genres and is renowned for its fine acoustics.
Located at Iford Manor, The Peto Garden is famous for its tranquil beauty. Designed by the architect and landscape gardener Harold Ainsworth Peto who lived at the manor from 1899 to 1933. The gardens are open April to September and play host to a series of performances throughout the summer.
Property in Bradford on Avon
Bradford on Avon has a good mix of property from historic cottages and recent conversion to spacious new builds.
It's likely you'll enjoy living in Bradford on Avon as the pace of life is slower, especially if you're moving toward retirement.