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HER Number:MDV9141
Name:Bradley Manor, Newton Abbot


A medieval manor house dating from the early 13th century, remodelled in the 14th century with 15th century extension and subsequent alterations and additions.


Grid Reference:SX 848 708
Map Sheet:SX87SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishNewton Abbot
Ecclesiastical ParishHIGHWEEK

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Devon Record Office: 564M/10/107
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX87SW/19
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I): 464566
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX87SW12
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX87SW23

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MANOR HOUSE (XII to XIX - 1101 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, SX87SW12 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV348862.

Bradley Manor. Built 1420. Chapel built 1428. Extensive alterations 1495. Presented to the National Trust in 1938. In excellent state of repair.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, SX87SW23 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV348868.

Swete, R. J. (Revd), 1792-1801, 564M 'Picturesque Sketches of Devon' by Reverend John Swete, 564M/10/107 (Record Office Collection). SDV337942.

Other details: Illustrations.

Parker, J., 1859, Untitled Source, 351 (Monograph). SDV275385.

Originally formed a quadrangle but three of the sides have been taken down. The chapel and hall remain, the chapel being in a projecting wing. Lysons' Magna Britannia of 1822 has an engraving prior to demolition which shows the gatehouse, now destroyed.

Harris, S. G., 1886, The State of Newton and its Neighbourhood before the 15th century, 217-8 (Article in Serial). SDV338593.

The Domesday Manor of Bradelei was held by Edmer in the time of King Edward. Haimeric de Arcis held it at the time of Domesday.

Ordnance Survey, 1906, 109SE* (Cartographic). SDV336786.

Watkin, H. R., 1926, The Early History of Bradley Manor, near Newton Abbot, 245-255 (Article in Serial). SDV338592.

The early history of the associated manors of Teignweek, Newton and Bradley is given, up to the time of their being held by the Bussell, or Bushell family. At the time of the Domesday Survey the estate of Bradley was included in the Manor of Teintona.

Firth, F. H., 1934 - 1938, Bradley Manor, 271-275 (Article in Serial). SDV348867.

Descent of ownership and history given.

Alexander, J. J., 1936, Early Owners of Bradley Manor, 187-195 (Article in Serial). SDV348864.

Owners given from Lucas the Butler, who came over from Anjou with Henry II in 1154 to Richard Yarde who died in 1533.

National Trust, 1940, Bradley Manor (Pamphlet). SDV348863.

1944, Untitled Source (Article in Serial). SDV348866.

O'Neil, B. H. St J., 1948, War and Archaeology in Britain, 38 (Article in Serial). SDV339391.

Damage to the fabric of Bradley Manor during the Second World War noted.

Hoskins, W. G., 1954, A New Survey of England: Devon, 442-3 (Monograph). SDV17562.

The house is a good example of a 15th century manor house, of small west country type, containing a great hall, screens, buttery, passage, solar and chapel.

Seymour, D. J., 1955 - 1958, The Smaller Manor Houses of Medieval Devon, 10 (Article in Serial). SDV6523.

Originally 13th century. Main building dates from 1420. Façade of 1495 quite undisturbed. Chapel attached in 1428 with Tudor screen in ante-chapel. Plaster barrel ceiling and ornately panelled room.

Devon County Council, 1975, Newton Abbot Town Trails, 57-8 (Article in Monograph). SDV352459.

Bradley Manor which dates from 1250 was once the home of two of the most renowned families in the town, the Bushels and the Yardes. Most of the building dates from the 15th century and the Great Hall with the heraldic arms of Elizabeth I is a notable feature. The manor is now owned by the National Trust.

Woolner, D., 1978, Bradley Devon (Pamphlet). SDV338230.

The new National Trust guidebook gives details of the history of manor and building together with descriptions of the interior and exterior. In summary, Bradley was the manor house of the Manor of Teignwick and is documented as early as 1238. The earliest surviving fabric is part of the mid 13th century house built on an east-west axis with a first floor hall. This fragment formed the south wing of the new house which was erected between 1405 and 1427 by the Yarde family. The east front was added in 1495. This 15th century structure still survives, although it has undergone alterations, particularly in the mid 16th century and late 18th century and early 19th century. The 15th century manor house has the usual three room cross passage medieval plan and faces east. It was built with an enclosed courtyard and gatehouse, but the latter was demolished in the late 18th or early 19th century. The Yardes added a chapel on to the front of the house at the north end. This chapel, which still survives, was licensed in 1428. Many building features described with photos and drawings.

Department of Environment, 1982, Re-survey Notes for Newton Abbot, 55 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV348865.

Built by Richard and Joan Yarde circa 1419. East front added in 1495 with five gables with asymmetrical set oriels. Interior has two-storey hall with solar and gallery. Screens passage. Early 16th century screen to ante-chapel. 17th century screen to great hall came from Ashburton. Chapel has perpendicular east window and barrel vault.

Department of Environment, 1983, Newton Abbot, 34 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV298253.

National Trust, 1984, Bradley Manor (Report - Survey). SDV307144.

Mostly 15th century with circa 1250 south wing. The 13th century house of limestone rubble comprised first floor hall, approx 8.2 metres by 3.9 metres, lying east-west with rooms at either end. Oak framing for the hall floor is complete beneath the modern floors. 15th century house added to the old house at its east end. This had a ground floor hall originally 12.8 metres by 6 metres. A kitchen was added to the east end of the earlier house. The front of the new house was enclosed by a high wall and gatehouse. A chapel added was added in 1427. The 13th century hall was divided into two and re-roofed. An exterior stair was built against the north wall to serve these rooms. The western part of this hall extended twice by end of the 15th century to become a banqueting room. At this time the house was given a new ornamental east facade. A wing of outbuildings was added in the Jacobean period. A new approach drive and lodge were constructed circa 1830. The south wing was converted into a residence in the Victorian period. The west end of the ground floor became a dining room, and banqueting room above became bedroom and drawing room. Four 17th century windows over the kitchen were replaced with a mock gable and gothic window. The medieval stair on the north side was replaced by a full length corridor with an internal staircase. Circa 1860 the 15th century wing was transformed from a cottage and farm buildings into a 'genteel residence'.

Brown, S., 1998, Bradley Manor, Newton Abbot. An Archaeological Watching Brief (Report - Watching Brief). SDV348869.

A watching brief during the excavation of a pipe trench for a new water supply revealed a series of deposits and features associated with post-medieval yard surfaces and land reclamation. These included the inflll of a river channel or large ditch (possibly moat) south and east of house, dated to the 17th centuryor earlier, extending to 33.5 metres, only 5 metres to south of the 13th century part of the house. The relationship between the channel and the house is of great interest as medieval moated sites are rare in Devon. This site occupies such low ground at the edge of the flood plain of a river that it would be surprising if the property was not protected by an encircling drainage system. The excavation produced no medieval finds, not even in residual context. It is, therefore, impossible to ascribe any of deposits to medieval period.

Ordnance Survey, 2012, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV348725.

English Heritage, 2012, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV348729.

Manor house. Early 13th century, remodelled for Richard and Joan Yarde after 1402; late 15th century extension and later work, principally in 19th century. MATERIALS: limewashed roughcast over local limestone rubble, Cornish (originally local) slate roofs with stacks to the valleys flanking the centre, gable ends of the rear block, and the slope and ridge of the rear wings. PLAN: L-plan, the original 13th century hall-house to the south was altered and retained as part of a rear left wing to a planned, early 15th century house. It was originally a 2-storey building with upper hall, the upper floor being approached by an external stair, and was extended to west in late 15th century to make large upper chamber. The early 15th century through-passage hall with a solar to the right (north), a projecting service end and 2-storey porch to the left, has a chapel (consecrated 1428) projecting to the north-east. The porch and chapel were connected in the late 15th century by a passage forming a late C15 front. Projecting to the south from the rear-left (south-west) corner of the south wing is a 17th century service wing. EXTERIOR: 2 storeys. Late 15th century east front, of 5-window range with leaded windows, has five uneven forward-facing gables, that to the left, altered late 19th century, is set back, the chapel to the right projects forward; the long roof-line of the early 15th century hall is visible behind. The chapel has a hoodmould over a 3-light window with panel tracery; the left return has two 2-light cinquefoil-headed windows under flat-arched hoodmoulds. The other gables, articulated by off-set buttresses, have original mullioned and transomed oriel windows of 2 and 3 cinquefoil lights with ogee arches to the upper panels, mask stops of symbols of the four Evangelists to the hoodmoulds (traces of early bright red and green paint were discovered, some are restored), and late 19th century castellation. The gable to the right has a smoothly-corbelled rectangular 2-light oriel window supported by a central off-set buttress. Below, two plain 2-light windows, flanking the buttress, have similar hoodmoulds and low transoms. The gable to the right-of-centre, slightly wider, has a central buttress supporting a 3-light oriel window set in a narrow canted bay. To the left is a small single-light window with a plain label mould. To the right is a stack to the valley, to the ground-floor right is a 2-light window similar to that of the oriel, to the left are pointed granite arches to the porch, the original door with a ring handle; the left side of the porch has a similar arch to the former service end. The gable to the left-of-centre has a 2-light oriel window in a rectangular bay supported by an inverted triangle springing from a central foliate corbel with a plain shield to the front; simple brackets below the moulded sill with circular and square bosses to the coved lower edge. A 2-light window below has an ornamental band under the hoodmould and grotesque mask stops. The left-hand (south) gable to the service end, reconstructed 19th century, has an oriel window similar to that of the gable to the right, directly below it is a plain 4-light window. The rear (west) elevation, altered 19th century, has a long lateral roof to the hall with a lower hip-roofed projection to the left; a hip-roofed half-dormer to a tall 4-light window over a horizontal 9-light window, both to the upper end of the hall; a central single-storey canted bay with 3 lights to each facet has a hipped roof up to the eaves. The pointed-arched doorway to the rear of the through passage is to the left of the gabled 2-storey service end with 2-light windows to right of each floor, that to the ground floor has a hoodmould. The rear wing incorporating the 13th century building projects westward. The 4-window north side in the rear courtyard is early 19th century, the gabled west end has a 2-storey 19th century canted bay with a stable range extending to the right. North elevation has first-floor 2-light windows at eaves level, 2-light ground-floor windows have hoodmoulds. The 17th century service wing running north-south has a wide segmental arch flanked by blind 4-light mullioned and transomed windows and other smaller windows. INTERIOR: the east end of the 13th century house was rebuilt as a kitchen (the left-hand gable). 4 rough crossbeams; in the south wall is a massive fireplace of three roughly-dressed granite slabs that shares a flue with a brushwood oven to the left. The unheated service room to the south, left, of the porch and hall has 3 chamfered crossbeams with run-out stops resting on stone corbels. There were formerly 3 entrances, two remain, that from the south side of the porch and another just inside the porch into the screens passage. The panelled screen to the right is 17th century, repositioned from the former Mermaid Inn at Ashburton. The west end of the passage has a similar granite arch doors at each end have restored wooden bolts. The great hall is the full height of the house; it has 3 purlins to each side of a simple early 15th century five-bay arch-braced collar beam roof on a decorative wallplate, once painted with red and yellow and decorated at the foot of each truss with a small carving. Some colour on the wallplate remains. Arms of Yarde and Ferrers in north-east corner. To the centre of the east wall is a fireplace similar to that of the kitchen; to the north-east end is a wide pointed arch to the former bay window to the upper end of which 2 carved capitals to the impost remain, now filled with a richly-carved wooden screen of circa 1530-40, linenfold to the base, arabesques to the top, a door to the ante-chapel on the east front and a 20th century tympanum. Painted on the upper part of the north wall is the upper part of an Elizabethan coat of arms. Beyond the hall is the parlour and solar (unseen), extended by one bay into the hall in the late 16th century, projecting into the hall with Tudor arms on dividing wall; it has a chimney in the north wall, a window seat under a 9-light window and a winding stair to the solar. The solar is lit by a half-dormer, both now altered. The early 15th century chapel to the north-east, has a plastered wagon roof with significant bosses at the intersection of the ribs including the arms of Yarde and Ferrers. Flanking the 3-light panel-traceried east window are 2 high granite corbels for statues or candles. Early 15th century west window, formerly an external window to parlour. The front half of the freestone top of the rubblestone altar was found serving as a gate post and recovered in 1927. The upper floor of the west wing, the former house, was extended in late 15th century to make a large upper chamber approx 13 metres long. It has an arch-braced collar-beam roof with wind braces below the purlins. Evidence for remarkable surviving late 15th century decorative schemes: restored east end is stencilled with black fleur-de-lys on a white ground; on the east wall is an unusual sacred monogram IHS with symbols of the Passion; on the south wall is a painted striped curtain. The room to the east was richly appointed in the late 17th century. It has a very fine coved ceiling ornamented with realistic fruit, flowers, swags and large shells above the cornice, full-height bolection-moulded panels flanking a cyma-moulded panel, two 2-panel doors and a fireplace with overmantel. The room in the south-east corner has an early 17th century grand plaster armorial overmantel with a carved oak surround on the south wall. An early 19th century corridor on 2 floors, with stairs, was added to the east side of the rear wing, to the first floor are 2 pointed-arched doors with intersecting panelling to the top and 2 rows of 4 pointed-arched panels below. A remarkably complete medieval manor house, including evidence for late medieval decorative schemes. Date listed: 16th July 1949.

Kirkham, G. + Sturgess, J., 2017, Bradley Manor, Newton Abbot (Report - Survey). SDV360104.

The earliest phase of the manor house dates to the 12th or 13th century and comprises the remains of a small, rectangular stone, rubble building aligned east-west. This building although surviving as a one storey structure may have been two storeys when first constructed. This would make the phase 1 building just four bays long with a chimney set just of centre within its south wall. What remains could represent an early solar at first floor level with unheated cellar below.
During the second phase of construction the building was extended to both the east and west in the 13th or 14th century, likely under the ownership of the Bussel family.
During the 14th or 15th century a gatehouse and walled courtyard were constructed.
A chapel was added as a wing to the north end of the east wall in around 1427.
In the late 15th century major remodelling was undertaken, this included extended the east range, and extending the south range to create a large first floor room . This phase of building also saw the construction of the north and west ranges which have since been demolished.
The arms of the Yarde and Ferrers families are depicted on the roof timbers of the hall, indicating some works to the roof and parlour during the 15th or 16th century.
During the 17th century, the manor was again expanded and remodelled, including new internal staircases, fireplace and the remodelling of the panelled room, with the addition of ornate plasterwork and panelled walls. A threshing barn was constructed to the west end of the south range.
The north and west ranges were demolished during the late 18th or early 19th century during the ownership of the Lane family. This phase of building also included a large amount of work to the south range. In addition The north end of the threshing barn was converted into a self-contained dwelling. In the first part of the 19th century a new drive from the Totnes Road was constructed leading to the south side of the house, this had become the new main entrance.
In the mid to late 19th century the gatehouse and courtyard wall were demolished and a pump house was built (reusing a window from the gatehouse). The hall was converted for use as a cider store or barn with a loft added and the chapel was used as a hen house. In the late 1850s and 60s the hall was then converted to a drawing room . The parlour was converted for use as a kitchen and the chapel for use as a dining room. Another pump-house was also added as a lean-to structure against the north side of the building.
In the final phase of construction the screens passage was re-established by the insertion of a 17th century timber, panelled partition wall taken from the Mermaid Inn in Ashburton. The chapel was restored and the parlour converted back to its original use from a kitchen.
For full details including a detailed description of each room, see library linked report.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 442-3.
SDV275385Monograph: Parker, J.. 1859. Some Account of Domestic Architecture in England. Unknown. 351.
SDV298253List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1983. Newton Abbot. Historic Houses Register. A4 Spiral Bound. 34.
SDV307144Report - Survey: National Trust. 1984. Bradley Manor. National Trust Archaeological Survey Report. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV336786Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1906. 109SE*. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 6 inch Map. Map (Paper).
SDV337942Record Office Collection: Swete, R. J. (Revd). 1792-1801. 564M 'Picturesque Sketches of Devon' by Reverend John Swete. Devon Record Office Collection. Unknown + Digital. 564M/10/107.
SDV338230Pamphlet: Woolner, D.. 1978. Bradley Devon. National Trust Guidebook. Unknown.
SDV338592Article in Serial: Watkin, H. R.. 1926. The Early History of Bradley Manor, near Newton Abbot. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 58. A5 Hardback. 245-255.
SDV338593Article in Serial: Harris, S. G.. 1886. The State of Newton and its Neighbourhood before the 15th century. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 18. A5 Hardback. 217-8.
SDV339391Article in Serial: O'Neil, B. H. St J.. 1948. War and Archaeology in Britain. Antiquaries Journal. 28. Unknown. 38.
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #109343 ]
SDV348729National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2012. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV348862Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. SX87SW12. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV348863Pamphlet: National Trust. 1940. Bradley Manor. National Trust Guidebook. Paperback Volume.
SDV348864Article in Serial: Alexander, J. J.. 1936. Early Owners of Bradley Manor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 68. A5 Hardback. 187-195.
SDV348865List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1982. Re-survey Notes for Newton Abbot. Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 55.
SDV348866Article in Serial: 1944. Country Life. Unknown.
SDV348867Article in Serial: Firth, F. H.. 1934 - 1938. Bradley Manor. Transactions of the Torquay Natural History Society. 7. Unknown. 271-275.
SDV348868Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. SX87SW23. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV348869Report - Watching Brief: Brown, S.. 1998. Bradley Manor, Newton Abbot. An Archaeological Watching Brief. Stewart Brown Associates Report. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV352459Article in Monograph: Devon County Council. 1975. Newton Abbot Town Trails. Devon Town Trails: European Architectural Heritage Year. Paperback Volume. 57-8.
SDV360104Report - Survey: Kirkham, G. + Sturgess, J.. 2017. Bradley Manor, Newton Abbot. Cornwall Archaeological Unit. 2017R017. A4 Bound + Digital.
SDV6523Article in Serial: Seymour, D. J.. 1955 - 1958. The Smaller Manor Houses of Medieval Devon. Transactions of the Torquay Natural History Society. 12. Unknown. 10.

Associated Monuments

MDV9880Related to: Bishop's Palace, Bishopteignton (Building)
MDV9146Related to: Castle Dyke, Highweek, Newton Abbot (Monument)
MDV18784Related to: Cross Shaft at Bradley Manor, Newton Abbot (Monument)
MDV30498Related to: Dovecote at Bradley Manor, Newton Abbot (Monument)
MDV30495Related to: Fishpond at Bradley Manor, Newton Abbot (Monument)
MDV91998Related to: Gate and Railings north-east of Bradley Manor Lodge, Totnes Road, Newton Abbot (Monument)
MDV30497Related to: Gatehouse to Bradley Manor, Newton Abbot (Monument)
MDV30489Related to: Ghosts Bridge, Bradley Manor, Newton Abbot (Monument)
MDV27112Related to: Highweek Settlement (Monument)
MDV38625Related to: HOUSE in the Parish of Bickington (Building)
MDV22961Related to: Lodge, 8 Totnes Road, Newton Abbot (Building)
MDV30499Related to: Old Entrance to Bradley Manor, Newton Abbot (Monument)
MDV30492Related to: Quarries, Berry’s Wood, Newton Abbot (Monument)
MDV30496Related to: Stables at Bradley Manor, Newton Abbot (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7224 - Historic Building Record and Landscape Assessment: Bradley Manor, Newton Abbot, (Ref: 2017R017)

Date Last Edited:Feb 27 2020 8:56AM