A Local Guide to Bathford
A village and civil parish just three miles east of the city of Bath, Bathford is a quaint and idyllic spot extending over 1800 acres, with a population of just over 1700 residents.
A Brief History of Bathford
Bathford Bridge, where the A363 crosses the By Brook (also known as the Box Brook, the Weaver, and Withy Brook) was originally built during the 13th or 14th century, in order to replace the ford which gave Bathford its name. Bathford was part of the hundred of the Bath Forum, and the ancient charter Codex Diplomaticus Aevi Saxonici contains descriptions of a manor parish consisting of three tithings, with Bathford in the centre, Warleigh to the south, and Shockerwick to the north.
Bathford has historical relations to the surrounding ancient areas, such as the site of a Roman villa which sits near the river crossing, described in John Aubrey’s Monumenta Britannica. There is also the Horselands on the opposite side of the river, a large meadow where Roman cavalry were traditionally exercised.
Location of Bathford
The village of Bathford is located on the A363, one kilometre south of the A4. Bathford extends up one side of the Avonvale Valley, with multiple routes along the valley ridge, which used to be the site of active stone quarrying, offering stunning views of the valley below as well as Solsbury Hill nearby.
Sights to See
Bathford is home to some stunning landmarks such as the Showerwick House, built as a country house around 1750 by John Wood the Elder. Prior to this, the site was a manor, purchased from the estate of Anthony Carew by the Wiltshire family. The family commissioned Wood to design the House, which today is a designated Grade I listed building consisting of offices and a nursing home. Brown’s Folly also stands on the Farleigh Rise near the parish, and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
The parish is also home to several religious sites, such as St Swithun’s Church, which is believed to hold parts that date back as far as the 12th century. The church is the resting place of Admiral Lord Nelson’s sister, Ann, and has Romanesque origins, with a profound dedication to St. Swithun which is thought to have been put in place during 1323 AD.
Things to Do
The Bathford Village Club offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere, located in the heart of the parish with several events and activities to enjoy. Each Saturday, you can enjoy an evening of live entertainment, as well as line dancing classes offered every Monday and a three course Sunday Roast held monthly. There is also a Lunch Club which runs fortnightly, as well as the Friday night Happy Hour. The club also runs two skittles teams, and is always on the lookout for new players to join the ranks.
Locals will often enjoy a trip to the Bathford Village Shop & Cafe, a community shop run by local volunteers which sells delicious local produce and a tasty lunch and dinner menu to enjoy, with all profits poured back into running the shop and funding community activities.
For a stunning natural walk along the parish, the Bybrook River is a beautiful place to visit, a small tributary of the River Avon which passes through the city of Bath. The river’s sources are the Burton Brook and the Broadmead Brook, with a wide variety of flora and fauna swimming in its depths. Avonvale Cricket Club, founded in 1883, and Bathford Rugby Club are also based in the village, and will often play games within Bathford’s beautiful natural grounds.
Bathford also holds a number of events such as the annual flower show, hosted in the village hall each September, which gives locals the chance to enter their produce in a variety of categories.