Bradley (house)

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The east front of Bradley

Bradley is a small medieval manor house set amongst woodland and meadows in the valley of the River Lemon about a half mile to the west of Newton Abbot, Devon, England. The house is now in the ownership of the National Trust.

The house[edit]

Bradley is one of the smaller and less pretentious manor houses of the early fifteenth century, and has the advantage of having a contemporary chapel detached from the main house. The architect may have been influenced by Dartington Hall, some six miles to the south. Interesting features include the missing gatehouse, the interior of the chapel, the fenestration of the east front and the wall paintings.[1]

The house is one of the most complete medieval manor houses in Devon. Much of it is the creation of Richard and Joan Yarde who owned it from 1402. On the walls of an upstairs room is preserved a late medieval pattern of stencilled black fleur-de-lys. The great hall is emblazoned with the royal arms of Elizabeth I, and there are a number of other rare features.[1] There was a gatehouse until the mid nineteenth century when it was demolished. The woods surrounding the house have been designated as a SSSI, being a fine example of natural limestone woodland.[2]

The chapel was consecrated in 1428 and is just 21 ft (6.4 m). It is a simple building with a stone altar, a fine east window, a tiny gallery and the original wagon-shaped braced-collar roof.[1] It was desecrated in the Protestant Reformation and later used in different periods as a poultry house, a billiard room, a dining room and a barn. The roof was restored in 1993.[2] The house contains a collection of Pre-Raphaelite art and Arts and Crafts furniture.[3]

A distant view of Bradley showing its location in the wooded valley.

Flowing past the house is the Bradley Leat which used to provide water for the manorial mills which were located where the cattle market in Newton Abbot now stands.[3] Bradley was given to the National Trust in 1938 by Mrs A. H. Woolner, daughter of the Egyptologist Cecil Mallaby Firth. Her family still live in the house and manage it on the Trust's behalf.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Anthony Emery (2006). Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales, 1300–1500: Volume 3, Southern England. Cambridge University Press. pp. 499–501. ISBN 978-1-139-44919-9. 
  2. ^ a b "Things to see and do at Bradley". The National Trust. Retrieved 15 August 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Bradley Manor House". Britain Express. 28 June 2016. Retrieved 15 August 2016. 
  4. ^ "National Trust, Bradlet Manor". Arts Council England. Retrieved 15 August 2016. 
  5. ^ "'Manor' class details, 7800 - 7829". The Great Western Archive. Retrieved 15 August 2016. 
  • Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner (1989). The Buildings of England — Devon. Harmondsworth [Eng.]: Penguin. ISBN 0-14-071050-7. 
  • The National Trust: Bradley (Guidebook). 1989.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°31′34″N 3°37′33″W / 50.52611°N 3.62583°W / 50.52611; -3.62583