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Bradgate: house, chapel, garden and watermill

A Scheduled Monument in Newtown Linford, Leicestershire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.6869 / 52°41'12"N

Longitude: -1.2105 / 1°12'37"W

OS Eastings: 453464.519075

OS Northings: 310201.242396

OS Grid: SK534102

Mapcode National: GBR 8LS.DSZ

Mapcode Global: WHDJ3.CQTJ

Entry Name: Bradgate: house, chapel, garden and watermill

Scheduled Date: 26 June 1924

Last Amended: 15 August 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008831

English Heritage Legacy ID: 17105

County: Leicestershire

Civil Parish: Newtown Linford

Traditional County: Leicestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Leicestershire

Church of England Parish: Newtown Linford

Church of England Diocese: Leicester

Details

The monument is situated within the former medieval deer park, now a country
park, of Bradgate, north west of Leicester. It includes the ruins of a late
15th century mansion with formal garden earthworks and a watermill site and
leat to the east.

The mansion was begun by Thomas Grey, the first Marquess of Dorset, in about
1490 and completed by the second Marquess in the early 16th century. There
were considerable 17th century additions. Lady Jane Grey, who was to become
Queen of England, was born here in 1537. The house withstood attack during the
Civil War, when the Greys were a noted Parliamentarian family, but was not
badly damaged. There was a fire in 1694, but only the north west tower was
affected and in 1696 William III visited the house. The house was abandoned in
1719 on the death of the first Earl of Stamford but stood complete until about
1740.

The house which, together with Kirby Muxloe Castle, is one of the earliest
brick buildings in the county, is a Listed Building Grade II*. It was built on
a grand scale, the overall plan of the house and courtyard measuring 85m x
75m. The layout is `U' shaped in plan, with a main block on the northern side
containing the Great Hall, parlour etc. and wings projecting southwards from
each end to enclose an irregular courtyard. The east wing contained private
apartments and the chapel, the latter being the only surviving roofed
building; it contains a monument to Henry Grey and his wife dated 1614. The
west wing contained services including a kitchen and bakery of which the large
fireplace and ovens can be seen. The west wing retains three towers; the two
standing at the angles are polygonal and the intermediate one rectangular in
plan. A corresponding polygonal tower stands at the south eastern corner of
the east wing. North of the main block is a large, approximately square
courtyard originally enclosed by buildings and walls.

To the east of the buildings is a formal garden known as the tilt yard which
is a Listed Building Grade II and included in the scheduling. The area
comprises a sunken area about 2m deep with brick revetted walls. The
rectangular garden area measures 90m x 75m and is divided into four parts by
walkways. On the north eastern and eastern sides of the formal garden is a
leat, now dry, running south to the site of a former watermill situated on the
south eastern corner of the site. The mill building was still standing in the
mid-19th century and survives today as a below ground feature. The leat ran
from a fishpond situated to the north, which is much altered from its original
profile and is thus not included in the scheduling. On the south side of the
site is a substantial garden wall which is a Listed Building Grade II*, all of
which is included in the scheduling. The wall, which is built of red
brick, probably dates from the early 16th century.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

During the medieval period, and on into the post medieval period, a class of
high status residences of domestic rather than military character was
developed by the uppermost levels of society. These residences were
constructed of a variety of building materials, although standing remains are
usually of brick and stone. They provided high quality accommodation for the
leaders of society and their retinues and thus usually contained a number of
standard components: at least one hall, a chapel or chapels, kitchens, private
apartments and lodgings ranges. Frequently, service complexes are found in
association, containing buildings such as bakehouses, brewhouses, farms and
stables. The earthwork remains of formal gardens are often also a
feature of these sites.

The scale (often attested in documentary sources), as well as the
architectural and decorative pretensions of these residential complexes,
usually distinguish them from the dwellings of the members of lower orders of
society.

The house standing within Bradgate Park is, together with Kirby Muxloe Castle,
one of the earliest brick built buildings in Leicestershire and is an early
example of a country house built without defences. The house survives well
and, together with a formal garden and watermill site, is an important
medieval complex demonstrating the wealth of the very highest level of late
medieval society. It was the birth place of Lady Jane Grey, who became Queen
of England, and was also visited by William III a century later.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Liddle, P, A Guide to 20 Archaeological Sites, (1983), 34-5
Pevsner, N, Williamson, E, The Buildings of England: Leicestershire and Rutland, (1984), 108-9

Source: Historic England

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