070103.Bradford-on-Avon, Norman Era Bridge

January 3, 2007 at 6:01 PM | Posted in Architecture, Bradford-on-Avon, Bridges, Cathedrals and churches, Chisel Marks, Christmas, Overcast, people, river, River Avon, towns, Vaults, Wiltshire | 13 Comments

Thanks for all the comments. There are a ton of great buildings around where I live now and am grateful for it. (However, I’d trade it all in for a Wendys.)

070103.179.Somset.BradforduponAvon.TitheBarn

In keeping up the closer-look at the bridge theme, I took a train today to Bradford-upon-Avon, which is the next town over on the rail. It’s a beautiful little place with many old buildings. This is one of the oldest bridges in the UK. It has a Norman core but was widened and refaced.

The cupola-ed goiter at the back there, hanging off the side of the bridge was originally a chapel. Back in the day, chapels were oft built on bridges because in taking out your coin purse (hopefully hidden from pickpockets) to pay the toll to cross, you couldn’t hide it quickly enough when passing the chapel and a donation arose from guilt. That’s my interpretation anyway. Since bridges were rare, and good bridges (such as this one) were utilized by merchants on long journeys for moving their goods, the location of these chapels guaranteed easy-to-find places where travelers could quickly pray for their journey on the road ahead.

This one was converted into a prison (you can still see the bars on the window!)

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