Bradford on Avon is a small attractive town in Wiltshire, eight miles from Bath. Its name means ‘broad ford’, which, in the Middle Ages, was replaced by a stone bridge across the River Avon. This dates from the thirteen century and a domed lock-up was added later in the seventeenth century. From this bridge, known as Town Bridge, can be seen the old weavers’ cottages built of mellow local Cotswold stone, stretching up the hill. Along the river, are the nineteenth century cloth mills. The wool and cloth industry was Bradford on Avon’s staple industry for 600 years, until its decline at the beginning of the twentieth century. Until 1992, the town was a centre of the U.K. rubber industry, producing rubber components for Avon Rubber.
The town is a fascinating place to linger, with quaint shopping streets and narrow passages of steps, leading up to the weavers’ cottages. A short walk along the river at Barton Farm, is the stunning Tithe Barn, one of the largest in England. Built of stone in 1341, it is 168 feet long, with a massive timbered roof. Behind the Tithe Barn, visitors can step onto the towpath of the Kennet and Avon Canal and walk along to Avoncliff and its famous viaduct.