Great Bradley Hall
Bradley Hall from driveway
Great Bradley Hall (The Hall) is the most significant building in the Parish, and it is tucked away so that most passers by will hardly notice it. The building is the latest manifestation of a classic Suffolk Manor House, the principle residence of the Lord of the Manor of Great Bradley. The ownership of the manor can be traced back to Saxon times and is currently owned and lived in by Margaret Ryder.
The present house is stated in Pevsner's 'Suffolk (Buildings of England)' as being 17th century; it is certainly late 17th or early 18th. In about 1877, the Hall had a drawing room, two bedrooms and a dressing room added which, again, Pevsner described as'good 19th century', but there were quite possibly early l9th century alterations made as well.
The Victorian addition to the house is easy to observe from the road, for it is the wing which faces the drive and which is built at right angles to the remainder of the house. It has a Burwell brick chimney as opposed to the red brick chimneys of the original part, and its architecture is very similar to that of the Old Rectory. In other words, the original part of the house was one rectangular building, with the main entrance to it being half way along the complete structure on the west side, the house being of room-width depth. A dairy also existed in earlier days at right angles to the main structure of the house.
The Jacobean quarters at the rear of the house are spacious, light and airy, and the present dairy, which is large and pleasant, is complete with marble slab. Here, butter was made and stored until the early 1950's.
From the kitchen quarters there were two staircases, one of which has now been blocked in. There are cellars underneath and attics above extending the whole length of the roof space. There is a spring under the kitchen window the water from which runs down into a pond in the garden.
The interior of the house is beautifully maintained, whilst the additions and alterations which have taken place over the years have been sympathetically constructed and have contributed a charm all their own to the earlier manor house.
The part timbered, part brick barn, which runs along the west boundary of the churchyard, is magnificent in its proportions. The timbered section is said to be late 17th century and has recently been cleared inside to reveal massive oak timbers of great height and length. The pitch of part of the roof clearly indicates that it was designed to take a thatch. On the adjoining brick section the words 'Wright 1821' are carved on one of the interior beams. The whole area of the barn makes one enormously long, high building which is unique in the area. Indeed, this perfectly preserved building must be a showpiece.
Great Bradley Hall about 1915 (from a postcard)
The Postcard is stamped 22 Feb 1915 from Hampstead, to Miss Olieff [?] Langley, West Hill, Putney Heath.
Message reads - Dear M. I am so sorry about Tuesday, but I am not allowed visitors, you will understand wont you ? Some other time we must arrange for . Trust you are well. With love A.B