Sunday, August 10, 2014

Bradford-on-Avon holiday 2014: the history stuff

Still getting caught up with blogging about our holiday. I have finally finished all the coursework assignments I've been working on since January for a leadership and management qualification, which means I now have more time to do important things like blogging, and knitting(!).

These are the history related things we did whilst we were away in Bradford-on-Avon. I can't believe it was two months ago now. Better get planning the next holiday...

On the Sunday, after I'd been to church (Holy Trinity), we visited places in Bradford itself. This included the Saxon Church of St Laurence a tiny, cool (literally) little church tucked away behind Holy Trinity. It's possibly about 1300 years old (well, bits of it anyway, but probably more like 1000 years), and amusingly was "lost" for quite a while, which is the reason it's survived at all! It is still occasionally used for worship.

Entrance to the Saxon Church
Looking towards the altar

Then we crossed the river, admiring the views of the old mill buildings as we went

and walked up to the Tithe Barn and Barton Farm - a lovely collection of old farm buildings with workshops and craft studios nestling alongside them. The Tithe Barn itself dates from the 14th century. It's huge and very cool inside.

After lunch we decided to go a bit further afield and visited the Courts Garden, at Holt. This is a National Trust property, but the garden is the feature, and it is spectacular. There are more of my photos of it on Flickr.

After that we visited Melksham, which wasn't very interesting (despite what someone at church had told me that morning about it being better than Trowbridge. I think what they meant was it had a Waitrose, which Trowbridge doesn't), and then onto Trowbridge, which looked better, especially as I spotted a knitting shop. As it was Sunday it was closed, but we decided to return for a visit later in the week!

We spent the day in Bath, enjoying revisiting old haunts from last year's holiday, which I don't seem to have written up as a blog post, but here are some pics on Flickr.

We visited the American Museum in Britain (well worth a visit, particularly for the quilts) to see the Kaffe Fassett exhibition I wrote about previously. That was followed by a visit to Downside Abbey to see a friend, before we dropped in to have a cup of tea with another friend, before we drove back round to Trowbridge to get something to eat.

A bit more of a history day, as we spent the day in Salisbury, exploring the town and cathedral. More photos on Flickr. Salisbury was lovely, and I think we'll have a long weekend there at some point.

Our wedding anniversary! We visited Bradford-on-Avon Museum (tiny but worth a visit as they pack a lot into the space, and it's quite a quirky mixture of stuff) and Trowbridge Museum (bigger, and cunningly tucked inside the shopping centre), before heading over to Bath for the afternoon. Trowbridge Museum was fascinating, with a lot of displays about the local woollen industry. There was a school group there at the same time as us, so we had to skirt round them, but it's a lovely museum. We were also impressed with the way the Shires shopping centre had managed to incorporate bits of the old mill building (which the museum is in) fairly seamlessly into the centre - there is also a cafe in the middle of the shopping centre with a whole facade from the old building there.

Fibre feelie box at Trowbridge Museum

Our last day on holiday. We explored Chippenham a bit, before heading to the gorgeous Bowood House. This is what's left of a much bigger house (demolished in 1955), although what's left is still pretty big! What's left is what was known as the "Little House" (these things are relative). There are three floors of rooms and exhibitions in the surviving house to see, including the chapel and library, plus huge gardens and parkland to walk through. More photos on Flickr.

View across the terrace. Yes, that is the 'Little House'.

Some of the parkland, looking back towards the house

The lake, with more park in the background

A grotto

The waterfall
 So, a great holiday, plus some ideas for places to visit in the future. I'd love to go back to Salisbury again, for instance.

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