Bradford-on-Avon Lock-up




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Nation   England

County   Wiltshire

Location   town bridge, Silver Street  Bradford on Avon

Map location   exact or closely approximate

Year opened   unknown

Year closed   unknown

Century of Operation   1700-1799, 1800-1899

Building Type   Bridge

Remarks   Roy's Blog states 'dates to the 18th century when it was built onto the integral foundations of a 13th century chapel'


'The Town Bridge has C13 origins as a packhorse bridge (and an earlier bridge may have stood on the site), and at least two arches of this date survive to the east side. A request for alms for its repair by the Pope is recorded in 1400. A ford (after which the town is named) adjacent on the western side of the bridge was used for larger traffic up until the late-C19, despite the bridge itself having been widened in the C17 to accommodate larger traffic. The round arches on the west side of the bridge date from this period. Many occasions for repair are recorded prior to its widening. The ‘Chapel’ on the south end probably dates from the C17 and was used as a lock-up or ‘blind house’ in the C18. The copper gilt weather vane has a fish emblem and is known as the “Bradford Gudgeon”. The bridge is shown as Bradford Bridge on the tithe map of 1842. On Ashmead’s 1864 apportionment the building on the bridge is named as the “Blind House”, probably due to its lack of window openings. The Ordnance Survey Map of 1887 shows it as being a ‘Chapel (Magazine)’ and during its history the building may have also served as a toll house for the livestock market. The 1887 map shows breakwaters attached to the west face of the bridge, which are not marked on the revision of 1899 and later mapping, and are no longer extant. Cutwaters on the east face of the bridge are not shown earlier than 1887, but they may be of early-C19 date or earlier. Some adaptation and repair work has taken place to the bridge in the C20 and C21.'

Historic England, National Heritage List for England, 'The Town Bridge', LEN 1036011

Featured Images

  • Bridge with lock-upPhoto © Martin Clark (cc-by-sa/2.0)
  • Exterior, duskPhoto © Rob Farrow (cc-by-sa/2.0)
  • Exterior, from on the bridge, showing doorPhoto © Brian Robert Marshall (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Description: Bridge with lock-up

Photo by: Photo © Martin Clark (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Description: Exterior, dusk

Photo by: Photo © Rob Farrow (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Description: Exterior, from on the bridge, showing door

Photo by: Photo © Brian Robert Marshall (cc-by-sa/2.0)


    Roy's Blog, 'WILTSHIRE. Lock-ups at Box, Bradford on Avon and Bromham.' (20 March 2013)

  • Historic England, National Heritage List for England, 'The Town Bridge', LEN 1036011



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