BRADFORD ON AVON
Belcombe is an 8 minute walk from the centre of the exceptionally picturesque town of Bradford on Avon, which offers some lovely independent shops and a selection of cafés, pubs and restaurants. www.bradfordonavon.co.uk
Bradford on Avon dates back to Roman times. The church of St Laurence is believed to have been founded in 705 by St Anselm and may have been the burial ground of King Edward the Martyr, after he was murdered in 798. At the time of the Norman Conquest, Bradford on Avon was one of the 10 boroughs of Wiltshire. The town’s name comes from the ford – “Broad-ford” – across the river Avon, which was turned into a stone bridge under the Norman’s and then widened in the 17th century. The river gave the town it’s power supply to drive the mills that made the wool cloth. Bradford on Avon was part of the white heat of the Industrial Revolution, as industry moved from individual houses to purpose built wool mills. Thirty such mills were built in Bradford town alone and kept working until the wool industry shifted its main operations to Yorkshire in the 19th Century. The last local mill closed in 1905 and many of the old textile factories have been converted into modern flats and apartments.
The beautiful city of Bath is located 20 minutes from Belcombe by car (6.6 miles). Alternatively, the train from Bradford on Avon goes direct to Bath in 15 minutes.
Bath is best known for its Roman-built baths. The city became a World Heritage Site in 1987.
The city became a spa in c. AD 60 when the Romans built baths and a temple in the valley of the River Avon, although hot springs were known even before then. Bath Abbey was founded in the 7th century and became a religious centre; the building was rebuilt in the 12th and 16th centuries. In the 17th century, claims were made for the curative properties of water from the springs, and Bath became popular as a spa town in the Georgian era. Georgian architecture crafted from Bath stone includes the Royal Crescent, Circus, Pump Room and Assembly Rooms. Many of the streets and squares were laid out by John Wood the Elder who was responsible for building Belcombe. In the 18th century the city became fashionable and the population grew. The author Jane Austen lived in Bath in the early 19th century.
The city has theatres, museums, and other cultural and sporting venues, which have helped make it a major centre for tourism. Museums include the Museum of Bath, Museum of Architecture, Victoria Art Gallery, Museum of East Asian Art and the Holburne Museum. http://visitbath.co.uk.