References to the Leper Hospital which was later the Poor House until it moved to Avoncliffe in
Wiltshire Web Site in 1837.
The settlement was developing in the 13th century and we have the earliest evidence for the cloth industry in 1249 with a reference to a fulling mill owned by Adam le Fohur (the fuller). Fulling, the pounding of wet cloth to produce a shrinking and thickening effect, was the first of the processes to be mechanised using water powered mills. In 1235 a leper hospital, dedicated to St. Margaret, was founded to the south of the river along what is now Frome Road, but was then called St. Margaret's Street. By now settlement was concentrated to the north of the river and the leper hospital would have been about one mile away from other dwellings. In 1280 the Abbess of Shaftesbury claimed the right to hold a three-day fair over the feast of the Holy Trinity (the first Sunday after Pentecost), so Bradford now had an annual fair as well as its weekly market.
Jones History of Bradford on Avon
By a deed dated 37 Henry VI., Philip Stone conveys to Nicholas Hall one acre of arable land, lying “ion fine ville de Bradeford juxta grangiam Dne Abbatis de Shaston ex parte orientali, “ and which is furthereddescribed as being two pieces of land belonging to the said Nicholas Hall, one which “abuttat super le Longhegge,” and the other, “super viam quae ducit versus hospital Ste Margarete.” In the will of Henry Long, Esq., of Wraxall, 1490, he bequeathes, - “pauperibus Domus Sancte Margarete de Bradford, vis viid.”
The Hospital of St. Margaret, and its memorial is preserved in the street which is still called St. Margaret’s Street, and in Morgan’s Hill, which as late as 1724, was called St. Margaret’s Hill. From the same deeds, confirmed by later documents, we find that the street leading from about where is now the entrance to the railway station to the Old Women’s Almshouse was called St. Catherine’s street, probably from the dedication of the chapel in question.
Leyland –History
Leyland, who visited Bradford about 1540 described the town as ”made all of Stone” and as standing “on the north bank of the Avon”. There was a “little street” over Bradford Bridge at the end of which was an hospital of the King of England`s foundation”.