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Avoncliff - The Secret History of an Industrial Hamlet in War and Peace

By Nick McCamley

A thoroughly researched, well written and truly fascinating account of this diminutive Wiltshire community situated on the River Avon, Kennet and Avon Canal and Railway between Bradford on Avon and Bath. Particularly strong on social and industrial history.

Published 2004
ISBN 1 903341 23 X

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Picture of book coverNew book on Avoncliff

Avoncliff is a Wiltshire hamlet situated at a narrow point along the valley of the Bristol Avon between Bradford on Avon and Bath. It has no church, chapel or school though it does boast an ancient pub and a railway halt; it also lies on the course of the Kennet and Avon Canal which crosses the Avon here by a monumental aqueduct.

What Avoncliff possesses in abundance is evidence of a long and varied industrial past. In the author's own words: 'The Avon has swept along the industrial detritus of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries from the whole of England and deposited key elements of each upon its banks.'

Its extensive underground quarries played a vital role during the Second World War both as a factory and as a repository for many of the greatest treasures of the nation's museums and art galleries.

In addition to this remarkable story, Nick McCamley presents the history of the Canal, the Railway, the Workhouse, the Waterworks and World War Two defences, always relating the local story to the wider national scene.

As well as drawing on his fifty-year acquaintance with the area the author has researched his subject deeply. The result is an often surprising, sometimes amusing but always totally absorbing account of a tiny but fascinating Wiltshire hamlet called Avoncliff.

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