The Old Market
The meetings of Court Leet were ordinarily held in olden times in the Town Hall, or Market House. As early as 1715 however we find a Court held at' the sign of the Swan' (apod sigmtm Cygni). The old Town-Hall was a plain and unpretending building that stood in the centre of the Town,-(the surrounding site is still called the ' Old Market Place ')- and joined the block of houses which constitute the ' Shambles.' The mark of the gable-line is still perceptible on the blank wall against which it formerly stood. It was oblong in shape, about 25 feet long and 15 feet broad, and was supported on two sides by a row of stone pillars, all the space below being open, and appropriated principally to butchers' stalls. Between pillar and pillar was inserted some wooden palisading. Above, on the first floor, there was a room in which the Courts were held and the business of the Manor transacted. Hard by, were the pillory and the stocks, the upright post of the former probably serving as a whipping pillar to which young culprits were bound. The stocks were afterwards removed to the foot of fhe Bridge, on the south side, whence they have no^ disappeared altogether. Not a few are there among °Ur ancients who regret that the days are passed, in which a little summary punishment checked the onward progress of crime' without the necessity of consigning the young offender to a gaol and thus branding him with a mark of disgrace that no i eth of time can obliterate. [These offices and practices all passed away on or before the entrustment of the local government to a body of Town Commissioners, who subsequently developed into an Urban Council]
With all these relics of bygone days, the old Town Hall, as we have just intimated, has itself passed away. It had long been in a decaying state for want of repairs. Again and again had presentments been made concerning it, as a place not only 'unfit but unsafe to transact the Lord's business in.' Once at least the Borough Jury were bold enough to present the Steward, for cot attending to their presentments in this particular. No attempt however was made to sustain the tottering fabric, and one night the building fell. Whether its (all was caused by accident or design,-rumour strongly asserts the latter,-men cared not to enquire. The person is now living who carted away the materials of the ' Old Town Hall' of Bradford, which he previously purchased for the sum of Twenty Shillings. -extract from Rev. Jones History of Bradford on Avon

Within the last three years, however, our townsmen have given good proof that public spirit is not yet extinct amongst them, for in 1855 they erected at the cost of several thousand pounds a large and handsome Town-Hall, in which it gave them all sincere pleasure, to welcome, and that, too, heartily the members of the Wilts Archaeological Society in August, 1857. -extract from Rev. Jones History of Bradford on Avon