A Local Guide to Newbridge
An electoral ward located on the western edge of Bath , Newbridge is home to multiple residential spaces and several well-respected schools.
Newbridge takes its name from the New Bridge that sits over the River Avon just outside of the city of Bath. Originally built in 1734 to cross a ford, it is one of the last remaining transport structures between Bristol and Bath from the period. With pierced spandrels and arches on each side to let flood water easily flow through, the bridge was assessed in the 1830s to make it even wider.Today, it carries the A4 road from Bath to Bristol out of the ward.
Throughout history, Newbridge has largely remained a residential area, developing into a suburb over time. The historic Weston Hotel, a four-storey building constructed circa 1890 in the Arts and Crafts style and designed by architect William Frederick Unsworth, sits close to the Weston railway station, becoming Grade II listed during 2011 and operating as a public house until 2019.
Between 1901 and 1939, a tram service operated from the city centre of Bath to Newton St Loe, and crossed down Newbridge Road and over the bridge.
The year 1915 saw British engineer and businessman Sidney Horstmann and his brothers build Newbridge Works, a large factory that sat within the then outskirts of Bath. Their general engineering company, the Horstmann Gear Company, used ‘Newbridge’ as a trademark for some of its products, operating with time switches, gauges, gas street lighting controls, and latterly central heating controls. The factory sadly shut down in the year 2000, and the site has now been redeveloped for residential use.
Location of Newbridge
Newbridge is situated North-West of the city centre, neighbouring Weston and Twerton. As an electoral ward, the area can be divided into three distinct areas. From south to north, those areas include:
- Locksbrook. This is an industrial and residential spot that sits between the River Avon and the former Mangotsfield and Bath railway line.
- Newbridge. This is the main hub of the ward, inhabited by the majority of the local residents, situated in between Newbridge Road and Newbridge Hill.
- Combe Park. This part is towards the north-east, and contains the Royal United Hospital, the Lansdown Cricket Club, and a small section of housing alongside Combe Park Road and Cedric Road.
The boundary changes that came about during 2019 mean that Newbridge now also includes two civil parishes that are located outside of the city boundary: Kelston and North Stoke.
Sights to See
Newbridge’s famous Partis College also sits on Newbridge Hill, a designated Grade I listed building that was originally constructed as a large block of almshouses between 1825 and 1827, built in Greek Revival style. Founded by Ann and Fletcher Partis for women “who had been left in reduced circumstances”, today, the college still offers accommodation for women over the age of 50 in membership of the Church of England.
Things to Do
Cyclists will be pleased to note that the National Cycle Network Bristol and Bath Railway Path runs westward from the ward towards the city of Bristol, with another path running eastward towards the centre of Bath. The Newbridge Meadows village green sits not too far away, perfect for taking a stroll through on sunny spring days.
There is also the Minerva Bath Rowing Club, which offers the local community and visiting tourists the chance to enjoy the sport of rowing, available for all levels from recreational to international. Newcomers can get involved in their five-week rowing course which goes over all the basics and gets people confident in being around a boat for the first time.
Newbridge is also home to a variety of shops, with the main shopping area situated on Chelsea Road, offering stores, restaurants, and hairdressers. Among such attractions sits the beautiful Boathouse restaurant and pub. Nestled on the bank of the river, this is the perfect spot for an afternoon tipple or evening meal.
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