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Description: Bradfield House
Date Listed: 24 October 1951
English Heritage Building ID: 95776
OS Grid Reference: ST0518409958
OS Grid Coordinates: 305184, 109958
Latitude/Longitude: 50.8813, -3.3491
Explore more of the area around Uffculme, Devon at Explore Britain.
ST OO NE UFFCULME
8/122 Bradfield House
Substantial country house, the seat of the Walrond family from C13 to C20 and
serving now as a boys' school. The earliest surviving part of the house is the
early to mid C16 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 C17 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
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 C17 north range; these cross wings, together with the
C16 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 C17
originals or carefully copied replacements.
Interior: (1) the C16 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 C16 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: (2) the early C17 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. (3) 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.
References: Pevsner, S D; unpublished material in NMR; articles in Country Homes and
Gardens Old and New, December 1903, and January 1904.
Listing NGR: ST0518409958
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.