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HER Number:MDV1423
Name:Bradfield House, Uffculme


A substantial country house, the seat of the Walrond family from 13th century to 20th century. The house was probably built in the late 15th or 16th century with subsequent alterations in the late 16th and early 17th centuries and again in the 1850s. Latterly a school.


Grid Reference:ST 051 099
Map Sheet:ST00NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishUffculme
DistrictMid Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishUFFCULME

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: ST00NE/4
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I): 95776
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: ST00NE6

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • COUNTRY HOUSE (Built, XV to XIX - 1401 AD (Between) to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV57023.

Ralegh radford, c. A. /bradfield, in g. A. Payne (ed) uffculme: a culm valley parish/(1988)42-47/(ulhg)/in pf.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV57025.

Des=devon gardens trust: historic parks and gardens - review (1999)/in smr.

Lysons, D. + Lysons, S., 1822, Magna Britannica. Devonshire, 540 (Monograph). SDV323771.

Bradfield has been in the ownership of the Walrond family since the reign of Henry III. Much of the house is in its original state. The hall has a timber, Gothic roof. There are numerous coats of arms on the outside.

Hayward, J., 1862, Proceedings of the congress of the British Archaeological Association at Exeter, 248-252 (Article in Serial). SDV57013.

Hayward, J., 1867, Unknown, 79-84 (Article in Serial). SDV57022.

Anon, 1872, Unknown, 431-432 (Migrated Record). SDV57017.

Mainly Elizabethan. Carefully restored though original plan has been altered by the destruction of the old kitchen and offices to make a carriage drive. The hall is late Tudor, with the arms of Edward VI in plaster on one end wall. The dining- and drawing-rooms have rich Jacobean work.

Anon, 1903-4, Untitled Source (Article in Serial). SDV57018.

Bradfield was mentioned in the editions of Country Houses and Gardens Old & New for December 1903 and January 1904.

Waterfield, R., 1931, Proceedings at the Seventieth Annual Meeting, held at Exeter, 23rd June, 1931, 49-52 (Article in Serial). SDV347412.

Record of visit to Bradfield by members of the Devonshire Association with a note on the house by Mr Reed. The drawingroom walls are panelled with arabesque carved pilasters. The carved wooden chimney piece has a coloured overmantel with the Tree of Jesse. The strapwork plaster ceilings are of about 1610. The dining room was formed about 1867 out of two rooms, probably the late 16th century original dining room and a cellar. It contains a unique 16th century century oak table, 14.5 feet long.
Bradfield has a long association with the Walrond family. It was granted to Richard Walrond in about 1216. In 1332, John Walrond was granted a licence for a chapel. No remains survive of this today, the chapel in the park is modern. In 1688, troops of William of Orange were quartered at Bradfield.
See article for further details.

Reader, F. W., 1936, Tudor Domestic Wall Paintings, 259 (Article in Monograph). SDV120291.

Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: South Devon, 58 (Monograph). SDV336217.

One of the largest Elizabethan mansions in Devon. No indication of anything pre 16th century. Inscribed dates are 1592, 1604 and to the time of Edward VI (mid 16th century). Restored 1861.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1953, ST00NE6, Photos (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV57008.

One of the largest Elizbethan mansions in Devon. No indications of anything pre 16th century. Restored in 1861 (Pevsner 1952).
Site visit 27th November 1953. The house is now a school and in a good state of repair.
There were articles on the property in Country Life, Vol. 14 (1903, p926-934) and Vol. 15 (1904, p18-26).

Ralegh Radford, C. A., 1957, Bradfield House, Uffculme, 143-144 (Article in Serial). SDV362639.

The Great Hall is the oldest part of the house, forming a central block. The house was remodelled in the 16th century when an east facing façade was added and the north wing rebuilt. Rectangular windows were inserted into the hall. The east room of the north wing has an elaborate plaster ceiling and rich panelling. The plaster ceiling uses the same moulds as those for the Job Room in Bradninch Manor. The panelling is also similar; that at Bradninch being completed by 1603.
Bradfield was restored by John Hayward in the 19th century. The south wall was rebuilt, incorporating a new entrance.
Bradfield House, which has been associated with the Walrond family since the 12th century, was one of the placed visited by members of the Royal Archaeological Institute at their summer meeting held in Exeter in 1957.

French, K. + French, C., 1957, Devonshire Plasterwork, 127, 128, 130 (Article in Serial). SDV4676.

Bradfield has a Period 1 (1550-1600) single rib ceiling, of similar design to other large houses within a 15 mile radius of Exeter and also a Period 2 ceiling with enriched ribs.

Copeland, G. W., 1964, Proceedings at the 102nd Annual Meeting, 23 (Article in Serial). SDV57390.

The richly carved and embellished woodwork of the inner porch is paralleled by that in the Manor House at Bradninch.

Department of Environment, 1966, Tiverton RD, 37 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV57016.

One of the most important Tudor houses in Devon. The exterior has been much restored and it was partly rebuilt 1860, but it has an interesting interior with a magnificent great hall and parlour.

Timms, S., 1981, Bradfield House, Uffculme, File 493 (Ground Photograph). SDV57012.

Black and white photos of Bradfield House.

Department of Environment, 1987, Uffculme, 79-80 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV57887.

Uffculme Local History Group, 1988, Uffculme, A Culm Valley Parish (Monograph). SDV363381.

Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N., 1989, The Buildings of England: Devon, 177-179, plan (Monograph). SDV325629.

The seat of the Walronds from the 13th to the early 20th century. It has a deceptively 19th century appearance when approached from the south but its core, visible from the east, is a major late medieval hall, re-windowed c.1600, when a large new wing was added at the upper end. The Tudor character was reinstated in a restoration of c.1860, a conscientious effort for its date, by John Hayward. At this time the entrance was moved to the reconstructed south front and a large service wing added further west.

Gray, T., 1995, The Garden History of Devon: An Illustrated Guide to Sources, 54, 55 (Monograph). SDV671.

Cox, J., 2009, Some Early Photographs of Bradfield Manor from the National Monuments Record, Photos (Article in Serial). SDV351744.

A series of photographs held by the National Monument Record show restoration underway in 1852-4.
Two of the photographs, dated 1852 and 1853, show 'before' and 'after' elevations of the cast front. These are a record of the self-conscious Victorian aesthetic contrasted with the house as it was before. In April 1852 the east front is shown rendered, the front projecting wings windowed with large pairs of double-hung sashes. The render has been stripped from two sections of the wing to the right. Perhaps these were test panels to investigate the stone. Two large turrets on the ridge of the old hall probably ventilated the roof and, like all the gables and kneelers on the east front, are crowned with delicate squiggly finials, probably iron (and perhaps 17' century?) one with a weathervane. The east front garden is ornamented with two graceful lead statues on plinths and divided up into plots which might have been the remnant of a knot garden, but may be entirely an early 19th century or earlier invention. As far as one can determine, the cast boundary wall of the garden is of simple stone rubble, not unlike an agricultural wall.
The 'after' photograph, taken 1853/54 shows the transformation of the east elevation. The render has been stripped off. The sash windows, evidence of an 18th or early 19" century phase of the house, have been replaced with 2-tier canted bay windows with mullions and transoms and carved stone parapets. The new windows probably let in no more light than their predecessors (perhaps less), but gave more interesting and wider views out of the house from their returns. The roof profile has been made grander and more vertical, the old turrets on the ridge replaced with taller openwork versions with arcading and bell-shaped lead roofs, the right hand turret with a bell. The old sender finials have been replaced with chunky stone pinnacles. All the chimney shafts have been rationalised and rebuilt, at least at the top, with decorative stone bands.
The alterations to the east front of the house are completed by a transformation of the area in front of it, a reminder that the historic treatment of spaces around a building is an integral part of architectural character. Hayward completed the east front court with a pair of massive and rather intimidating gatepiers, topped with urns, and a pair of wrought iron gates, allowing the front to be seen, but identifying, beyond doubt, the private nature of the space in front of the house.
Another photograph in the same series, dated 23rd June 1853, shows the south side of the main block of the house, entirely rebuilt. Empty put-log holes (along with the relative compieteness of the elevation), indicates that some of the scaffolding is coming down, although there s still a workman on the roof.

Blaylock, S., 2010, Archaeological Observations during Alterations at West Bradfield House, Willand, Devon. 2006-2007 (Report - non-specific). SDV347314.

Building recording carried out during alterations to install a new stair and other facilities showed that although the standing remains of the south range are of 17th century and later date, there was also a medieval predecessor to the 17th century south range that had been bonded to the hall (east) range at its south-west corner. This presumably accommodated a kitchen and service rooms.
The finishes of the plaster surfaces seen at ground floor level in the corridor to the north of the entrance hall and morning room (the "cloister passage") suggest that this area formed part of the interior of the house in the medieval and 17th century phases. This may have taken the form of a pentice, an external corridor or semi-enclosed passage.
See report for full details.

English Heritage, 2011, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV347072.

Substantial country house, the seat of the Walrond family from 13th century to 20th century and serving now as a boys' school. The earliest surviving part of the house is the early to mid 16th century hall, probably completed in the reign of Edward VI (nee VIVAT E REX painted on dais end wall). The hall is aligned north/south and was entered through a south-east porch at the screen's passage end, with a retiring room forming a small wing at the north-east, dias end. Between circa 1592 and 1604 (2 datestones) the building underwent a radical transformation although the interior of the hall remained intact. The higher end was adapted to form a cross-wing containing the drawing and dining rooms, with the principal bedrooms above. The service end was transformed (but apparently not completely demolished) in 1861 when Sir John Hayward engaged John Hayward who designed the present entrance front that forms a cross wing to the south of the hall, and added a service block to the west. Hayward retained or repaired much of the early 17th century fenestration of the rest of the building, but (for reasons of structural stability) he replaced the great 8-light east window of the hall with two 4-light windows, and added to the north front (to act as buttresses) 2 large internal lateral stacks. Haywards careful restoration of the hall roof and internal wall decorations was described by him in an article in the Transactions of the Exeter Diocesan Architectural Society. The building is heated by tall axial, end and lateral stacks, is constructed of random rubble limestone with Beerstone dressings, with gable-end dry slate roofs. 2 storeys, with a 3-storey south porch; the house stands on slightly falling ground allowing for a basement to the north side.
Exterior: main (entrance south) front: by Hayward adopting the style of the rest of the house of circa 1600; symmetrical 5 bays; central 3-storey projecting porch; the round-headed entrance arch with keyblocks, Doric columns on moulded plinths with ribbed decorative panels and entablature, appears to be a copy of the original entrance into the south-east hall porch, in situ in 1903-4, but now gone (photographs in Country Homes article cited below). Side bays, separately gabled, with 2-storey bay windows. All windows with ovolo-moulded surrounds, transoms and mullions; all principal angles with moulded cap finials on polygonal buttresses. To the west of this range, but recessed from it, is an informal service block forming an asymmetrical 6-window range, all the functional components variously treated. East front: (the original main front), now symmetrical as a result of Hayward's south cross wing balancing the 17th century north range; these cross wings, together with the 16th century porch and dais end retiring room, are separately gabled; wings with 2-storey bay windows to east; all other windows of 3 or 4 lights, all stone with ovolo-moulded transoms and surrounds, mostly renewed by Hayward. Rear north range: 4 bays, each separately gabled, with dominant internal lateral stacks (by Hayward). The 3- and 4-light ovolo moulded windows are either early 17th century originals or carefully copied replacements. Interior: the 16th century work. Hall, 4 bays, with fine Hammerbeam roof; moulded arched braces, collars and lainposts with pendants, moulded wall plate with cornice; 3 sets of moulded purlins with cusped windbraces and subordinate braces. The roof is one of the finest of its kind in Devon, comparable, stylistically, to that at Weare Gifford. Screen with gallery above; 2 entrances into hall, under paired round- headed arches, divided by fluted pilasters with panels between with double ribbed decorative work. Elaborate armorial reliefs to parapet of gallery. Hall with linenfold panelling with a cornice made up of heads and grotesques with primitif Renaissance detailing. Window reveals with 16th century painted coats of arms (uncovered by Hayward). Dais end wall painted with 2 large standing figures against a foliage background, and the legend VIVAT E REX: the early 17th century work. The drawing room is celebrated for its richly carved panelling, overmantel and internal porch. All this has been covered over for protection and was not visible at the time of the resurvey visit (November 1985). Illustrations and descriptions (see reference) make it clear that this is an interior of the highest importance. The dining room panelling is less elaborate and appears to have been largely restored by Hayward. the 1860's work. Hayward's work in the entrance range includes plaster ceilings in the style of circa 1600, and chimneypieces using detailing and motifs found elsewhere in the building. It is of considerable intrinsic merit.

Gaimster, M., 2011, Post-Medieval Fieldwork in Britain and Northern Ireland in 2010: Devon (Article in Serial). SDV361542.

WILLAND, WEST BRADFIELD HOUSE (ST 0518 0995). S. R. Blaylock undertook historic building recording during alterations to the house. The building was probably constructed in the late 15th or 16th century, with alterations including re-fenestration in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, and alterations in the 1850s (citing Exeter Archaeology Report 10.02).

Ordnance Survey, 2023, Mastermap 2023 (Cartographic). SDV365227.

Bradfield Hall marked.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV120291Article in Monograph: Reader, F. W.. 1936. Tudor Domestic Wall Paintings. Archaeological Journal. 93. Unknown. 259.
SDV323771Monograph: Lysons, D. + Lysons, S.. 1822. Magna Britannica. Devonshire. Magna Britannica: A Concise Topographical Account of The Several Counties o. 6: Devonshire. Unknown. 540.
SDV325629Monograph: Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N.. 1989. The Buildings of England: Devon. The Buildings of England: Devon. Hardback Volume. 177-179, plan.
SDV336217Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: South Devon. The Buildings of England: South Devon. Paperback Volume. 58.
SDV347072National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2011. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV347314Report - non-specific: Blaylock, S.. 2010. Archaeological Observations during Alterations at West Bradfield House, Willand, Devon. 2006-2007. Exeter Archaeology Report. 10.02. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV347412Article in Serial: Waterfield, R.. 1931. Proceedings at the Seventieth Annual Meeting, held at Exeter, 23rd June, 1931. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 63. A5 Hardback. 49-52.
SDV351744Article in Serial: Cox, J.. 2009. Some Early Photographs of Bradfield Manor from the National Monuments Record. Devon Buildings Group Newsletter. 27. A4 Stapled + Digital. Photos.
SDV361542Article in Serial: Gaimster, M.. 2011. Post-Medieval Fieldwork in Britain and Northern Ireland in 2010: Devon. Post-Medieval Archaeology. 45. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV362639Article in Serial: Ralegh Radford, C. A.. 1957. Bradfield House, Uffculme. Archaeological Journal. 114. 143-144.
SDV363381Monograph: Uffculme Local History Group. 1988. Uffculme, A Culm Valley Parish. Uffculme, A Culm Valley Parish. A5 Paperback.
SDV365227Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2023. Mastermap 2023. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #81184 ]
SDV4676Article in Serial: French, K. + French, C.. 1957. Devonshire Plasterwork. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 89. A5 Hardback. 127, 128, 130.
SDV57008Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1953. ST00NE6. OSAD Card. Card Index + Digital. Photos.
SDV57012Ground Photograph: Timms, S.. 1981. Bradfield House, Uffculme. Devon County Council Conservation Section Listed Buildings Photos. Photograph (Paper) + Digital. File 493.
SDV57013Article in Serial: Hayward, J.. 1862. Proceedings of the congress of the British Archaeological Association at Exeter. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 18. Unknown. 248-252.
SDV57016List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1966. Tiverton RD. Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 37.
SDV57017Migrated Record: Anon. 1872. Unknown. Archaeological Journal. Unknown. 431-432.
SDV57018Article in Serial: Anon. 1903-4. Country Houses & Gardens Old & New. Unknown.
SDV57022Article in Serial: Hayward, J.. 1867. Unknown. Transactions of the Exeter Diocese Architectural and Archaeological Society. i. Unknown. 79-84.
SDV57023Migrated Record:
SDV57025Migrated Record:
SDV57390Article in Serial: Copeland, G. W.. 1964. Proceedings at the 102nd Annual Meeting. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 96. A5 Paperback. 23.
SDV57887List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1987. Uffculme. Historic Houses Register. A4 Spiral Bound. 79-80.
SDV671Monograph: Gray, T.. 1995. The Garden History of Devon: An Illustrated Guide to Sources. The Garden History of Devon: An Illustrated Guide to Sources. Paperback Volume. 54, 55.

Associated Monuments

MDV54726Related to: Bradfield House Park and Gardens (Monument)
MDV59214Related to: Bradfield, All Saints (Building)
MDV11451Related to: Chapel at Bradfield House, Uffculme (Monument)
MDV59213Related to: Formal Gardens east of Bradfield House (Building)
MDV59211Related to: Former Stable Block 100 metres West of Bradfield House, Uffculm (Monument)
MDV59212Related to: LODGE in the Parish of Uffculme (Monument)
MDV74413Related to: The Avenue south of Bradfield House (Monument)
MDV74414Related to: Tree Clump south of Bradfield House (Monument)
MDV74415Related to: Tree Clump south of Bradfield House (Monument)
MDV74416Related to: Tree Clump south of Bradfield House (Monument)
MDV74417Related to: Tree Clump southeast of Bradfield House (Monument)
MDV74418Related to: Tree Clump southeast of Bradfield House (Monument)
MDV74419Related to: Tree Clump southeast of Bradfield House (Monument)
MDV74420Related to: Tree Clump southeast of Bradfield House (Monument)
MDV74421Related to: Tree Clump southeast of Bradfield House (Monument)
MDV74422Related to: Tree Clump southeast of Bradfield House (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV5088 - Archaeological Observations during Alterations

Date Last Edited:Dec 1 2023 4:22PM