It is so nice to be able to walk the dogs in the fields of the English countryside. We walk in green pastures with cows (watching out for cow pies) and wild flowers everywhere. Here is David and the dogs on one of our 2 daily walks. And here are some cow friends wondering what we are doing in their pasture. After the morning dog walk and after we try to coax Max to eat (he is 17 and does not find eating too necessary), we try to go off to a local town for a look / see. Two days ago when it was still sunny we drove to Bradford on Avon, about five miles north, for a couple of hours of sightseeing.
Bradford (from “broad ford”) is a town in west Wiltshire, England, with a population of about 9,402 . The town has roots in the Roman era and has historical buildings that make it popular with tourists. Bradford was a town built upon the woolen weaving industry, and oddly enough also used to process rubber into tires — well, tyres– and other items. We walked over the 13th-century stone bridge with a small building on it. Turns out that this was the local jail — right over the river. We walked up to the Saxon church and took some photos to share. According to Wikipedia, “The Saxon church dedicated to St. Laurence may have been founded by St. Aldhelm around 705, and could have been a temporary burial site for King Edward the Martyr. It was re-discovered by Canon William Frampton in 1856, having been used for secular purposes (apparently becoming a house, a school and part of a factory). In his research, Canon Frampton, who had an interest in archaeology, found reference to the church in the writings of the 11th century historian William of Malmesbury.” It is amazing to sit in a plain small stone church (the size of a small chapel) and realize how many people have prayed, married and been buried from here since the 8th century. They have cleaned it up and returned it to its simple form. Here is a photo of the outside. You can see from the angle over the door that an adjacent building has been removed. The two buttresses are of more modern stone; they were probably necessary to support the wall when the building was removed. The inside has an arch leading to what was the altar.
After exploring this unique example of an ancient British church we crossed over the Avon to go back to town to get lunch. We shared a lunch of fish and chips and pea soup at a lovely restaurant on the river that used to be a weaving mill. With two sodas, lunch came to £22 – about $31. It is very expensive to eat out in England. ###Budget travel tip; try to eat at home or bring your lunch.