Bradley Hall

For more than 300 years until its demolishion in 1924, Bradley Hall stood within the parish of Kingswinford, perhaps one of the most picturesque of any timber framed buildings ever to have been constructed in the Midlands.

Originally it was the home of Dennis Bradley, a local yeoman. This family were associated in the 17th century with glass making recently introduced into the area by foreigners from Lorraine, families into which the Bradleys married. In the early 19th century they were involved in the local manufacture of iron. During this time Bradley Hall had become a great place of antiquity, but remained unnoticed by historians until the Rev. Stebbing Shaw in 1801 decreed it worthy enough to be included in his work "The History of Antiquities of Staffordshire". He wrote in his book "about the middle of the village, encompassed by lofty walls, stands an ancient half timbered mansion, with gable ends, mullioned and transomed windows and other marks of the time. It was erected in 1596, the date being visible on the outside of one of the windows. At this date it was owned by the Homfray family.

Bradley Hall was an Elizabethan house built on an 'E' shaped plan, containing within, an imposing and elaborate oak staircase. The outside timbers included ornamental features, a form of embelishment adopted in the West Midlands, and a curious bay porch. From the time of its being noticed by Shaw, the Hall became a mecca for the artist, then later the photographer.

King Charles II must have passed close by on his journey to Boscobel in 1651 after the Battle of Worcester and it is claimed that he received food and shelter there. Although near to the earliest movements of the Industrial Revolution, the Hall appeares to have remained completely unaffected indicating that it was built primarily as a yeoman farmers' residence. It was certainly classed as a farmhouse in the 18th century and ended its days as a farmhouse when Henry Webb, its last known occupant, was described as a farmer butcher.

It was within this status that the Hall in 1923-24 came on the market to be sold. Eventually it was sold for its materials alone, which were taken to Stratford upon Avon then reassembled, but with a difference, to become 'Bradley Lodge'. However the building still remains the unmistakable embodiment of the original Hall.

The old site was taken over by Mr C.Corbett, also a butcher, who built a more modern house. His son Mr L.Corbett later took over the business and also the new house which had now assumed the name 'Bradley Hall'.

By 1962 the son, because of ill health, was forced to sell and within a short time speculators had cleard the building from the site.

The name 'Bradley Hall' has lived on since 1958 in the form of the new "Home for the Aged" located just off Stream Road, 'New Bradley Hall'.