Tag Archives: DEVON

BRADFORD MANOR

This old country house once  boasted an 1,110-acre estate complete with five farms and three workers’ cottages. They now make up the hamlet around the manor.

Bradford Manor - 2019 - Fine & Country (1)
The 10th Century Bradford Manor was damaged by fire in around 1770. Purchased and then rebuilt in the 1860s, the existing Manor was styled and rebuilt by J. T. English. Image: Fine & Country.

Bradford Manor, near Holsworthy, in Devon,  is being marketed by Fine & Country, with offers wanted over £1.95 million.

The manor house stands on the site of an older manor house destroyed by fire in the 1770’s and subsequently demolished.

Bradford Manor - 2019 - Fine & Country (2)
The previous Bradford Manor was a Doomsday recorded Manor dating back to the 11th century. Image: Fine & Country.

The present house was built in 1868 by Joseph Thomas English (1819-1892), a successful businessman who was married twice and had ten children. He was the younger brother of Henry Hampden English and together they founded English Brothers, timber merchants, of Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. J.T. English subsequently moved to Stamford (Lincolnshire), Stratford-on-Avon (Warwickshire), Stratton (Cornwall) and finally Bradford (North Devon). Amazingly these moves all took place in the 1860’s. When he built Bradford Manor the estate was 11,000 acres with five farms. As well as managing his estate he held shares in shipping, railways and finance.

Bradford Manor - 2019 - Fine & Country (3)
Bradford Manor contains many original Victorian features including panelled doors, fireplaces, moulded coving ceilings and a servants’ bell system. Image: Fine & Country.

Following his death the house passed through several sons but the longest tenant was Alexander Emanuel English (1872-1962), the younger son, who obtained the freehold of Bradford Manor in 1904. He was frequently absent in India and Burma during a long career with the Indian Civil Service.

The house was extended during the mid-20th century and comprises of 25 rooms. The sale also includes a Victorian walled garden, open fronted carriage barn, coach house, garaging and extensive stone and slate barns.

As property owner of this important historic and quality manor house the prestigious title, Lord and Lady of Bradford, is obtained which rarely becomes available.

Bradford Manor - 2019 - Fine & Country (5)
Bradford Manor has a pillared entrance with lighting and wrought iron railings. There is a front door screen with solid hardwood door and brass fittings, door lock and bell push with etched glass over, and sash side windows. Image: Fine & Country.
Bradford Manor - 2019 - Fine & Country (13)
Bradford Manor has four reception rooms and six bedrooms. Image: Fine & Country.
Bradford Manor - 2019 - Fine & Country (16)
Each room has been sympathetically refurbished in keeping with its age and style with particular quality in its recent library, kitchen and master bedroom en-suite bathroom. Image: Fine & Country.
Bradford Manor - 2019 - Fine & Country (18)
The first floor landing area contains a number of period features, including original sash windows with deep sill and wood panels. Image: Fine & Country.
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A period wood banister staircase climbs to the first floor. Image: Fine & Country.

OLDWAY

Built by the Singer family to take advantage of Devon’s mild climate and cosmopolitan society. One hundred years after use as a military hospital it faces an uncertain future.

Oldway Mansion - The Victorian Society
The tradition for building large villas in the hills overlooking Torbay began in the late 18th century. Image: The Victorian Society.

On the day that The Victorian Society has released their Top 10 Endangered Buildings List 2018, we take a look at Oldway Mansion at Paignton, the only country house to feature on this year’s listing.

One hundred years ago, life at Oldway was very different, if not more traumatic. American women were rendering generous and greatly appreciated help here to the wounded Allies’ forces, the house renamed as the American War Hospital. It was one of the finest and best-equipped in the whole range of Red Cross undertakings. Mr Paris Singer, who was well known as a skilful aviator, had given over his palatial residence with its hundreds of rooms and beautiful grounds, an ideal home for the wounded. Dr Penhallow was the chief surgeon, and a staff of over a hundred and fifty nurses carried on the work under Colonel Gunning.

Oldway - The Illustrated War News - Jan 3 1917 - BNA
Paris Singer rebuilt Oldway between 1897 and 1910. Four years later, he converted the mansion into a military hospital, after which he never lived here again. He departed for America where he developed the resort of Palm Beach. Image: The British Newspaper Archive.

This glorious house of 1873 was built by George Bridgman as a private residence for Isaac Merritt Singer, founder of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, and later rebuilt by his third son, Paris Singer, in the style of the Palace of Versailles. Following the end of an affair with dancer Isadora Duncan in 1917, Paris Singer went to live in the United States. Oldway Mansion became the Torbay Golf & Country Club in 1929 and was bought by Paignton Urban District Council in 1946.

Oldway - The Illustrated War News - Jun 3 1917 - BNA (2)
From The Illustrated War News. January 1917. The wounded soldiers seen in this photograph were enjoying a came of cards on the terrace of Oldway. Image: The British Newspaper Archive.
Oldway - The Illustrated War News - Jan 3 1917 - BNA (1)
From The Illustrated War News. January 1917. Oldway, at Paignton in Devon, was being used as the American War Hospital. Image: The British Newspaper Archive.

Following many different functions during the later 20th century, it was used as council offices from 1946 until 2007 when the council announced its intention to sell the building as it had become too expensive to maintain. This proved controversial with residents who wished it to continue being a public space. In 2012, plans for the building to be converted into a luxury hotel and sheltered retirement flats were approved by the council, but works never started. In 2016 there emerged a legal dispute between the developers and the council over the leases, which developers claimed had caused the delay on the redevelopment. This heated legal dispute ultimately brought an end to the planned development, leaving the council once again with the issue of how to proceed with the empty listed building.