Status: Ancient Parish

Alternative names: Bradford, Great Bradford

Other places included in the parish: Bearfield, Bradford Leigh, Cumberwell, Leigh and Woolley, Newtown, Sladesbook, Trowle

Parish church: Holy Trinity

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1579
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1566

Nonconformists include: Independents, Baptists, Wesleyan Methodists, Primitive Methodists, and Lady Huntingdon’s Connexion

Parishes adjacent to Bradford-on-Avon

Historical Descriptions of Bradford-on-Avon

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

BRADFORD, a town, a parish, two subdistricts, a district, and a hundred in Wilts. The town stands on the river Avon, on the Kennet and Avon canal, and on the Great Western railway, 3½ miles NW by N of Trowbridge. It was known to the Saxons as Bradenford; and it is now sometimes called Bradford-on-Avon. A battle was fought at it, in 652, between Cenwalf and Cuthred; and St. Dunstan, in 954, was elected here to the see of Worcester. Its site is partly a hollow, partly slopes and acclivities, encompassed by hills. The older portion is on the N side of the river; and rises in a series of terraces, to a crowning point with an extensive view. Many curious old houses are in it; and one called the Duke’s House, an edifice full of windows, formerly a residence of the Pierreponts, Dukes of Kingston, is in the near vicinity. Two bridges span the river; the upper one a very ancient structure, with 9 arches; the lower, a more modern structure, with 4. an ancient square edifice with a pyramidal roof, supposed variously to have been a chapel, an almonry, and an ecclesiastical tollhouse, and now used as a lock-up prison, stands on one of the piers of the upper bridge. Structures of the 14th century, arising out of a monastery founded in 705 by St. Adhelm, and given in 1001 by King Ethelred to the great nunnery at Shaftesbury, and now used as offices of a farmstead, are at the skirt of Jew’s Harp-hill. The parish church is Norman and early English; consists of nave, north aisle, chancel, and chapel, with western tower and small spire; contains many curious tombs and a fine altar-piece; and has been partly modernized. Christ Church was built in 1840; is in the perpendicular style; and has a tower and lofty spire. There are chapels for Independents, Baptists, Wesleyan Methodists, Primitive Methodists, and Lady Huntingdon’s Connexion; a free school, with £53 a year; another school, in a very handsome edifice of 1850; and two almshouses and other charities, with jointly £168 a year. The town has a head post office of the name of Bradford-on-Avon; a railway station with telegraph; a banking office; and three chief inns. A weekly market is held on Monday; and a fair on Trinity-Monday. An important woollen manufacture was long carried on, but has greatly declined. The town never was incorporated; but it sent members to parliament in the time of Edward I.; and it thence is called a borough. Pop., 4,291. Houses, 1,036.

The parish includes also the chapelries of Holt, Atworth, and Limpley-Stoke, and the tythings of Trowle, Winsley, South Wraxall, and Leigh and Woolley; and it is sometimes called Bradford-on-Avon and Great Bradford. Acres, 11,310. Real property, £36,781. Pop., 8,032. Houses, 1,904. The property is subdivided. Much of the surface consists of fine chalk hills. The living is a vicarage, united with the rectory of Westwood, in the diocese of Salisbury. Value, £602. Patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Bristol. Christ Church is a separate benefice, a p. curacy, of the value of £150, in the patronage of the Vicar. The p. curacies of Holt, Atworth-with-South Wraxall, and Winsley with Limpley-Stoke also are separate benefices.-The two subdistricts are Bradford-Northwestern and Bradford-Southeastern. They divide Bradford parish between them; and the former contains also the parish of Monkton-Farleigh, while the latter contains the extra-parochial tract of Little Chalfield and Cottles, and the parishes of Great Chalfield, Broughton-Gifford, Winkfield-with-Rowley, Westwood-with-Iford, and Freshford, the last electorally in Somerset. The district consists of these two subdistricts. Acres, 18,800. Poor-rates in 1866, £6,165. Pop. in 1861, 10,475. Houses, 2,411. Marriages in 1866, 78; births, 307, of which 17 were illegitimate; deaths, 190, of which 40 were at ages under 5 years, and 8 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 759; births, 3,218; deaths, 2,388. The places of worship in 1851 were 14 of the Church of England, with 4,852 sittings; 4 of Independents, with 1,132 s.; 5 of Baptists, with 1,072 s.; 5 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 1,064 s.; 3 of Primitive Methodists, with 286 s.; and one of Lady Huntingdon’s Connexion, with 200 s. The schools were 16 public day schools, with 1,178 scholars; 25 private day schools, with 337 s.; 22 Sunday schools, with 2,255 s.; and 2 evening schools for adults, with 54 s. The workhouse is in Westwood. The hundred includes only Bradford and four other parishes. Acres, 17,426. Pop., 9,422. Houses, 2,205.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].


Below is a list of people that were declared bankrupt between 1820 and 1843 extracted from The Bankrupt Directory; George Elwick; London; Simpkin, Marshall and Co.; 1843.

Baker John Shoare, Bradford, Wilts, innkeeper, Oct. 12, 1830.

Biggs George, Bradford, Wiltshire, clothier, Nov. 16, 1824.

Bolwell Benjamin, Bradford, Wiltshire, carrier and beer seller, March 18, 1836.

Elam Thomas William, Bradford, Wiltshire, clothier, Feb. 1, 1823.

Fisher George Dike, Bradford, Wilts, maltster, Jan. 5, 1836.

Gale Thomas, Bradford, Wiltshire, clothier, Feb. 18, 1826.

Gerrish James, Bradford, Wiltshire, innkeeper and victualler, May 13, 1826.

Hart Samuel, Bradford, Wiltshire, clothier, Feb. 18, 1826.

Howell James, Bradford, Wiltshire, baker and tallow chandler, Dec. 27, 1839.

Kelson James, Bradford, Wilts, brewer, July 27, 1832,

Parsons Samuel, Bradford, Wiltshire, victualler, June 17, 1828

Portch William, Bradford, Wiltshire, clothier, Jan. 8, 1825.

Price Robert, Bradford, Wiltshire, victualler, Feb. 15, 1828.

Pring John Jabez, Bradford, Wiltshire, grocer, Sept. 2, 1831.

Sartain Thomas, Holt, Bradford, Wiltshire, cattle salesman, Sept 9, 1834.

Shrapnell Philip, Bradford, Wiltshire, clothier, March 31, 1821.

Smallcombe Isaac, Bradford, Wiltshire, coal dealer, Dec. 16, 1842.

Watts Jas., sen., Bradford, Wilts, late Semington, dealer & chapman, July 9, 1822. 

Webb James, Atford, Bradford, Wiltshire, farmer, May 6, 1826.

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County: Wiltshire
Civil Registration District: Bradford on Avon
Probate Court: Court of the Archdeaconry of Salisbury
Diocese: Salisbury
Rural Deanery: Potterne
Poor Law Union: Bradford
Hundred: Bradford
Province: Canterbury

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