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