The Houses of Great Bradley
Great Bradley Hall
The oldest house in Great Bradley is the Hall. In fact, the present building is the latest in those grounds. The remains of a large moat fit a pattern seen in other places of a double court, the house in the main court and the stables and work sheds etc in the outer court. This is, however, conjecture and further investigation is needed to confirm the theory. The present house is certainly at least eighteenth century, and is known to have been much extended in Victorian times.
The known old farmhouses of Great Bradley are those at East Green (East Green Farm and Pettets Farm House), Fox Farm House, Pond House, Mill House and Matthew's Farm. All have old features inside, using brick which may well have been locally made. Old maps show three farms beyond the end of Matthews Lane (two owned by St. John's College at Ever, or Over, Green, and one other to the south of the green and owned by the manor), and at Lanacre or Long Acre Green were three more, Lanacre, Galleys and Horse Pasture Farms, but all six of these have disappeared now.
Cottages & Pubs
There are many cottages still standing in the village, and many more have disappeared in the last 100 years. Most remaining cottages have been small one or two "up" places, that have been restored and enlarged, like the Rose Cottages in Evergreen Lane and The Street, Sugar Loaf, Bramblemere and Bluebell Cottage. Yew Tree Cottage is an example of three cottages that have now become one. The three previous pubs in the village. The Fox (or Fox and Goose), the Crown (or Rose and Crown) and the Three Tuns are all old buildings, but probably The Fox is the oldest. Other old houses in the village include Old Farm and Quince Cottages in East Green, Fantails, the cottages opposite the Fox, Willow Cottage and Hill House. There were pairs of brick cottages built at the extremities of the village, at Spring Barn, St. John's Cottages, and on the Cowlinge Road, at the turn of the last century
Bluebell Cottage on the main street
The Modern Houses of Great Bradley
In 1966, land which had previously belonged to Mr. R.S. Ryder of Great Bradley Hall was sold in order that a mixed development of 40 homes could be built. By the time all these homes were occupied, the population of the village had increased by 50%, and it is probably of value today, when great concern is being expressed over the 'dying'' villages of Suffolk, to consider the change brought about by the advent of such a development in a rural area. Woodland Park Estates developed Clarendale Estate over the mid to late 1960s on the site previously used as a cricket pitch.
The four basic designs of houses were named Ditton, Kingston, Western and Montcalm. Tony and Marie Knight recall moving into No. 7 Clarendale in April 1968 when only 12 of the 40 houses had been built. Their house in the mid price range, was bought for �4,050. Some of the 12 houses were rented to Americans from Lakenheath and Mildenhall bases. Development of the site was slow for, in the latter stages, a house was built only when a plot was sold.
In the early stages the site presented several hazards for young children: there were uncovered drains and piles of rubble covered in weeds. This probably was the main reason for the formation of a residents' association. Alan, the brother of the builder Jimmy Miller, moved into No. 2 Clarendale. Residents of Clarendale quickly integrated into village life and, despite occupying the cricket pitch, received a friendly reception from long time village residents.
Many of the properties were purchased at a reasonable price when compared to the market price of properties in the more heavily populated areas, particularly those in Cambridge. Whilst most people moving on to the estate originated from other areas of the country, young couples whose families had lived in the immediate area of the village for many years and who did not wish to leave their familiar environment but to remain within the village structure, were also accommodated. In other Suffolk villages where such development was not permitted, it is impossible, for economic reasons, for young people to purchase a property, and so the decline in population begins
A number of houses have been built on individual plots over the years. This shows the demolition of Clem Smith's house on the Main Street and the house that replaced it.
In June 1988, Messrs. R. S. and C. W. C. Ryder of Great Bradley Farms announced the intention to undertake a development at Fox Farm, and to relocate the farming business away from the centre of the village. It was proposed that 25 houses would be built at Fox Farm, and a separate 3.5 acre recreation ground adjacent to the development would be made available. Villagers were invited to a meeting in the Village Hall on 13th June 1988, at which an outline of the scheme was shown. Local press reported that about 200 attended the meeting. The main site was approximately 8 acres, and the development was offered for sale by formal tender on 15th October 1993. Originally, access to the B1061 road was to be limited to four of the houses, with the main access being through Evergreen Lane. Many local residents and the Parish Council stressed preference for the access to be solely to the B1061. This change was eventually accepted after improvement to the visibility splay, which included resiting the telephone box from in front of The Fox pub to Evergreen Rd, and the number of houses was reduced to 23. The development by H. C. Moss was completed over two years, 1996/98.
Water Lane Barn
Water Lane Barn was converted to a residential property in 2004.