Narrowboat Tacet

Silent Movement - Our gap year travelling the inland waterways

Monday, 22 April 2013


Saturday and Sunday

Still haven't managed to get to real time, but getting closer.  
We had 2 nights at Bradford-on-Avon, arriving on Saturday afternoon.  
Saturday was a glorious warm, sunny day and it  was great to be out cruising, there were locks and swing bridges to work, some of them very heavy work and I had help from a passer-by on one of them.  Well he offered and I accepted, I don't think I would have done it on my own, but I don't like being beaten.
Lunch was eaten on the move, homemade sausage rolls, made in stages between the locks, and enjoyed in the sunshine.

When we got to Bradford-on-Avon we moored up back near the Marina and walked into the town. We expected it to be busy further along, and we enjoyed the walk into town. 

Swan Hotel dated 1500

We explored the streets, some steep and narrow, reminding us of the Yorkshire villages. 

The Avon makes its way through the town too with several stone bridges crossing over. 

The Town Bridge crosses the 'broad ford' on the Avon which is most probably the origin of the name Bradford-on Avon .

On the bridge is a small building which was originally a chapel, the fish on the weather vane is a Gudgeon, an early Christian symbol. However, the chapel was later used as a small prison or "Blind House" where local Bradford-on-Avon drunks and troublemakers were left overnight to cool off !

Bradford-on Avon developed as a centre for textiles, mostly wool, and the Bradford-on-Avon we see today was shaped in these times. Many of the large mill buildings along the river are former woollen mills, and most of the houses up on the hill are former spinners and weavers cottages. The wool trade died away in the area, moving North to large industrial centres Like Bradford in Yorkshire which some say was named after Bradford-on-Avon ! 

To add to the summery feeling of the day we bought ice creams before we made our way back.
By the Tithe barn there were a few mooring spaces and so we decided to move on down.  
That proved to take quite a time as at the lock there were a number of boats waiting to go down and up, and lots of them were novice crews.  
Ian went and organised them! 
I filled up with water while we waited and luckily after all that there was still space on the 48 hour moorings.
The Three Gables Restaurant

We decided to stay put on Sunday and after church, walked along to Avoncliff to get a good look at the aqueduct over the river Avon.

We enjoyed a cream tea back at the Barton Farm buildings of which the wonderful Tithe barn is a part. 

A Tithe Barn was used by wealthy landowners to collect "tythes" or taxes from the people in the local area. These would be paid in the form of produce and livestock. 
The building has been restored and has one of the largest stone roofs in Europe.There is a farmhouse and the other buildings are now various little shops.

Foxhangers - Bradford-on-Avon
9.5 miles, 8 locks, 6 bridges

No comments:

Post a Comment