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Historic England Research Records

Bradley Hall Farmhouse

Hob Uid: 22143
Location :
County Durham
County Durham
Wolsingham
Grid Ref : NZ1080036200
Summary : Moated site, including the ruins and remains of a fortified house, a pillow mound and a series of fishponds of medieval date, situated on the left bank of the Bradley Burn. The fortified manor house, probably of courtyard plan, is thought to be of 14th century date, remodelled in the late 16th or early 17th century and further altered in the late 18th century. Most of the features described above are visible as earthworks on air photographs.
More information : NZ 108 362. BRADLEY HALL (GT). MOAT (GT). (1)

"... Bradley Hall. An irregular four-sided site enclosed by a ditch which remains perfect on the north and west, and in part on the east, but is obliterated on the south ... In the south-west part of the area, and probably just within the line of the destroyed southern arm of the ditch are farm-buildings which are in part ancient ..." (2)

"... A licence to fortify the house (Bradley Hall) was granted by
Bishop Langley in 1431. The oldest portions of the existing building may be ascribed to this period. They consist of a series of barrel-vaulted apartments, in one of which there is an early fireplace and a pointed doorway, whilst similar doorways occur in some of the others. The apartments which formerly existed over the two western vaults have fallen into complete ruin, but over those at the east end a seventeenth century house has been built ... The whole range of building is about 70 feet long, and about 30 feet wide. It was formerly surrounded by deep moats and a curtain wall." (3)

A drainage ditch, dug right across the moated enclosure behind Bradley Hall in 1951 from SE to NW, showed no signs of walls or buildings but there was a layer of regularly laid stones, presumably the surface of a court-yard. "The stratification consisted of 18 in of loam above sand. The bank was composed of sandy clay. The new ditch had a broken a large, horse-shoe-shaped drainage tile in the bottom of the moat." (4)

The oldest portion of Bradley Hall is a rectangular structure, 5 m high composed of massive undressed stones, and consisting of four barrel-vaulted compartments with wall varying in width between 1.7 m and 2.5 m. The adjacent NE block appears to be an 18th century addition, as evidenced by a typical Georgian doorway in the east wall. The interior westernmost wall of the medieval structure contains what may be an original fireplace, a square recess and a rectangular opening which tapers inwards towards the exterior of the wall. In the exposed portion of the north wall is a pointed doorway, above which is a square window. West of the doorway are the remains of another opening which passed through the wall at an angle; this is now blocked-in. There are two other pointed doorways in the north wall, and traces of a possible third - all of which are now blocked in. There is also an ancient fire-place in the east wall. Of the 17th century house built over the two eastern vaults of the medieval building (authority 3) only fragments of the east and west walls remain. The former is ivy-covered and featureless, whilst the latter, 1.8 m high (above the vault) and 1.4 m thick has a rectangular window (0.7 m high by 0.5 m wide). The latter lies within a small stone compartment on the roof of the easternmost vault. (For the present position of one of the small stone figures found during the demolition of this building - see plan - also ground photos).

At NZ 1087 3614 is the present entrance to the underground passages. This is a modern, cement-lined, rectangular recess, 0.8 m by 0.4 m and 1.7 m deep. It has a broken cover-stone. From this point the passage, 0.7 m wide and 1.3 m high extends northwards. Its sides and vaulted roof are stone-lined throughout. The fortified building appears to have occupied the southern angle of a strong enclosure consisting of two ramparts of earth and stone with a medial ditch which served as a moat. These defences are still well defined except at the southern angle where a disturbed surface area is all that remains to indicate the line of the banks and ditch. Extending south-westwards from this line are the remains of three wide banks. These appear to be of the same period as the main earthwork, but their purpose is uncertain. The whole of the surface area within the enclosure is very disturbed, but the fragmentary banks and mounds are too vague to be surveyed except for a solitary bank which extends NE from the NW angle of the fortified house. (5)

Grade II building, now partly in ruins. Inhabited part late
Georgian. (6)

As described. Published survey of earthworks (25"). (7)

Existing survey revised by RCHME during a survey of scheduled monuments in County Durham.

Well preserved moat ditch and banks. The outer west bank is very irregular, having been breached in several places, presumably to drain the higher ground to the west into the moat, and is now under cultivation. The interior of the moated area shows traces of slight earthworks and relatively recent disturbance. The moat is about 2 m deep at maximum and its accompanying banks are about 0.7 m high; the interior earthworks are 0.3 m high or less. The banks extending to the south represent closes and appear to contain ridge-and-furrow cultivation; this is most noticeable in the close centred at NZ 1082 3610. (8). See also air photographs. (8a)

The monument includes the remains of a moated site, the ruins and remains of a fortified house,a pillow mound and a series of fishponds of medieval date.

The moated site measures a maximum of 110 metres east to west by 125 metres north to south with a broad ditch up to 7 metres wide and 1.8 metres deep. At the south eastern corner of the island of the moated site there are the standing and earthwork remains of a fortified manor house thought to be of 14th century date, re-modelled in the late 16th or early 17th century. The house is thought to have been of courtyard plan in which at least three ranges were placed around a central yard. The east range houses the present farmhouse.

Some 25 metres north of the northern side of the moated site there is a pillow mound measuring 8 metres long by 2.5 metres wide and standing up to 1 metre high.

Immediately to the south of the moated site there is a row of three enclosures which are thought to be the remains of a series of fishponds. (11)

Listed by Cathcart King. (12)

Medieval features including a moat, a series of earthwork banks and possible fishponds are visible as earthworks on air photographs. The features are centred at NZ 1080 3620.
(13-15)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 25" 1897
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Source Number : 2
Source : The Victoria history of the county of Durham, volume one
Source details :
Page(s) : 357
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Source Number : 10
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Wear Valley, 05-JUN-1987
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Source Number : 11
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 04-Apr-01
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Source Number : 12
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the islands. Volume I : Anglesey - Montgomery
Source details :
Page(s) : 138
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Source Number : 13
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR OS/95645 0035 28-JUL-1995
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Source Number : 14
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR NZ 1135/1 (17072/35) 02-FEB-1998
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Source Number : 15
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR NZ 1036/4 (17086/30) 02-FEB-1998
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Source : Bradley Hall/ink survey
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Source : Bradley Hall/pencil survey
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Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Boyle. JR. 1892. Guide to Durham,
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Source Number : 4
Source : Archaeology of Weardale : sixth summary of research 1950-52
Source details : 1955
Page(s) : 14-15
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Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 DADavies/25-JUN-1953/OS Archaeology Division Field Investigator
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Source Number : 6
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Weardale Rural District, July 1966
Page(s) : 15
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Source Number : 7
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F2 BHPritchard/24-NOV-1972/OS Archaeology Division Field Investigator
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Source Number : 8
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Mark Bowden/21-AUG-1991/RCHME: Durham SAMs Project
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Source Number : 8a
Source : Aerial photograph
Source details : NLAP NZ 1036/1-3
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Source Number : 9
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 19-Mar-99
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : C14
Monument End Date : 1399
Monument Start Date : 1300
Monument Type : Fortified Manor House, Moat, Fishpond, Pillow Mound, Courtyard House, Bank (Earthwork)
Evidence : Ruined Building, Earthwork, Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Remodelled late C16-early C17
Monument End Date : 1632
Monument Start Date : 1567
Monument Type : House, Drain
Evidence : Ruined Building, Extant Building, Subterranean Feature
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Late C18
Monument End Date : 1799
Monument Start Date : 1767
Monument Type : Farmhouse
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Durham)
External Cross Reference Number : 1901
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : DU 16
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Durham)
External Cross Reference Number : 1902
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 28599
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 407907
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : NZ 13 NW 1
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : CLEVELAND COUNTY ARCHAEOLOGY SECTION
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date :
End Date :
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON NZ 13 NW 1
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1953-06-25
End Date : 1953-06-25
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON NZ 13 NW 1
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1972-11-24
End Date : 1972-11-24
Associated Activities : RCHME: DURHAM SAMS PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1991-06-01
End Date : 1991-12-01
Associated Activities : BRADLEY HALL, WEARDALE
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1993-12-31
Associated Activities : BRADLEY HALL
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1998-01-01
End Date : 1998-12-31
Associated Activities : ENGLISH HERITAGE:DURHAM- ASSESSMENT OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESOURCE IN AGGREGATES AREA, NMP PROJECT VARIATION.
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2007-04-11
End Date : 2007-08-31
Associated Activities : BRADLEY HALL, WEARDALE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2008-01-01
End Date : 2008-12-31
Associated Activities : LAND AT BRADLEY HALL
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2014-01-01
End Date : 2014-12-31