Wednesday, 10 July 2013

A Shambles at Bradford on Avon.

Well, we got our pump out and diesel at The Boatyard at Hilperton, not just good service but all done by a father/daughter double act who provided entertainment with their bickering. It's listed in Nicholson's but not as providing diesel etc., well it does, they need to get their guides updated.
We managed to grab the last 48 hour mooring at Bradford on Avon and today we set off to have a look at the town.

It certainly has some handsome buildings, all in the local Bath stone.

The Town Bridge over the Avon dates from the 13thC. and even has an 18thC.

lock-up built on it. It's built on the foundations of a medieval bridge chapel.

Like many old towns it has a street that appears to be named after the interior of our boat.

Of course in medieval times the Shambles was the part of town where animals were slaughtered and meat sold, a far cry from the smart cafes and shops down this one.
To me though the two most striking buildings were;
1) The Saxon Church:

It probably dates from the early 11thC. or possibly earlier, and is unique in that it appears to have all been built at the same time and has no major later additions.

It is a rare survivor, having been used at various times as an ossuary, a dwelling and a school. It wasn't until the middle of the 19thC. that anyone realised what it was.
 2) The Tithe Barn.

Much more modern, early 14thC. Built as part of a farmstead belonging to Shaftesbury Abbey.

The roof is original and is all held together with wooden trenails. When we arrived they were rehearsing a musical entertainment which appeared to be about Noah

and the flood. Here we see God, Noah and Noah's wife arguing with the producer about when the animals were going to turn up. It turned out they had gone off for their lunch. This was much more entertaining than listening to the orchestra, I use the term loosely.

Just inside the main doors there were numerous patterns carved into the stone. My theory is that these were made by apprentice masons as exercises in draughtmanship. I took photo's of sixteen different patterns and that was only scratching the surface.
Jill has asked me to point out that the only shambolic parts of the boat are the bits that I use.

Watch this space..................

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