WiltshireBRADFORDONAVONStNicholas(derekharperCC-BY-SA2.0)1 DerekHarper

St Nicholas (The Lock Up)

Some of the earliest evidence of habitation here comes from fragments of Roman settlements and discoveries from archaeological digs have revealed the remains of a large Roman Villa decorated with well preserved mosaic on the playing grounds of St Laurence School.

Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire

Opening times

Open by appointment.


Town Bridge
Bradford on Avon
BA15 1BY

The town centre grew up around the ford across the river Avon. It was supplemented in Norman times by the stone bridge that still stands today and remains the natural focus of the town. The Norman side is upstream and has pointed arches, whereas the newer side has curved arches. Being a packhorse bridge originally, two of its 13th century arches are still intact these days.

The 'lock up' was added in the 17th century when the bridge was widened. There are different theories as to the original purpose of the 'lock up'. One being it was a tiny chapel dedicated to St Nicholas, whose emblem, the gudgeon, appears on the top of the weather vane. By the 1700's it was a jail known locally as 'the blind house'. It was usually occupied by drunks who were said to be 'under the fish and over the water'.

  • Social heritage stories

  • Captivating architecture

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Parking within 250m

  • On street parking at church

  • Level access to the main areas

  • Dog friendly

  • Café within 500m

  • Bus stop within 100m

  • Other

Contact information

Other nearby churches

Saxon Church of St Laurence

Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire

Bradford on Avon was an important religious centre in Saxon times and St Laurence church is an ancient building, thought to be one of the most complete Saxon buildings still in existence.

Holy Trinity

Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire

The church is Norman with Perpendicular additions.

Christ Church

Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire

The church was built in 1841 by George Manners of Bath.