Bradgate Stables, Leicestershire, June 2019

Help Support Derelict Places:

HughieD

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
DP Supporter
Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2013
Messages
5,275
Reaction score
10,612
Location
People's Republic of South Yorkshire.
1. The History
Initially information was hard to find on this place which was a bit surprising giving the size of it and its former house. But after repeated searching I eventually found one document that turned out to be the holy grail. The document in question was TR Project's Historic Building Assessment (under instruction from The University of Leicester) which can be found HERE

Even more interesting is the reference in this document to two thick files of archive material on the stables including numerous archive pictures held in storage by Hinckley and Bosworth borough Council.

The stables were linked to Bradgate House located near Groby, Leicester. They were both built in the 1850s, for George Harry Grey, Seventh Earl of Stamford. Referred to as the Calendar House because it had 365 windows, 52 rooms, and 12 main chimneys, it had a relatively short life when it was demolished in 1926, outlived by its elaborate stables, which are now in a ruinous and dilapidated condition.

Bradgate house:

48088992578_71dca35214_b.jpgBradgate house by HughieDW, on Flickr

The stables are situated 400m north-west of the present Bradgate House. The large inter-war domestic residence, which was extended with a range of additional office ranges, was built on the site of the former house circa 1932. This was most recently used by Bradgate Security Ltd but was vacated in 2017 when the company was dissolved and now lies in an abandoned state.

The stables were built by M.J.Dain of 'Dain and Parsons, London' in 1856 in a mock Jacobean style to house the Earl’s 47 horses. It was built on a lavish scale at a cost thought to be around £30,000 in old money when the Earl was made Master of Quorn Hunt in that year (a position he held until 1863). In its heyday the stable building was fronted by spacious kitchen gardens and a cluster of large glasshouses. Inside it boasted four accommodation blocks, a carriage house, no fewer than five haylofts, a forge and shoeing box, three tack rooms, and a boiler house with drying room over. The centre-piece is the south-facing entrance clock tower with its large marble panel containing the arms of the Earl of Stamford including a wyvern and a unicorn. These are all indicated in the plan here:

48090762106_1943bf246b_b.jpg20190619_081734 by HughieDW, on Flickr

In 1861 records noted that 19 grooms and coachmen were in residence in the stables. After the Earl quit the hunt the main usage of the stables disappeared, but despite this sometime between 1871 and 1877 Lord Stamford built a small gas plant behind the north-east corner of the complex to provide gas lighting to the stables. However, as early as 1881 the stables usage was in decline with only 7 people in residence.

Two archive picture of the stables back in their heyday, circa 1870-90:

48090795693_8452b7546c_b.jpg20190619_082014 by HughieDW, on Flickr

48082856196_78c512c970.jpg20190617_121636 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The ex-cricketer and House of Lords Whig Earl died in 1883, survived by his second wife, Catherine. On her death in in 1905 and being childless from both marriages, the estate passed to his niece. When she sold the estate in 1925 the house was bought by an architectural salvage company and demolished. The stables failed to find a buyer so for the next few years they were leased out to the Leicester-based The Greyhound Racing Association. The stables were put on the market again in 1928 but failed to sell again. After that records get a bit sketchy. However in the early 1960s the stables and the adjacent quarry were acquired by Redlands Aggregates who used the stables for vehicle and plant storage. A 1969 aerial photograph shows all the roofs intact bar the north-west corner.

Archive photos for the 1980s show a significant decline in the condition of the stable block. In November 1988, the stables were included on the Department of the Environment's Statutory List of Buildings of Architectural and historic Significance. Following the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England survey in 1992, attempts to rescue the building proved to be non-viable. Looking at pictures on the web, scaffolding appears to have gone up on the site sometime around 1992, which would explain why it is a little bit rusty. However, the clock tower was earlier scaffolded back in the 1980s. Archived photographic records indicate that the clock mechanism was in situ as late as 1993.

In 2002 a decision was made to remove the remaining collapsed roof structures and reduce the building to the parts that were capable of being stabilised with minimum intervention. This also resulted in the removal of all existing free-standing gable walls and chimney flues. The five-bay carriage house that formed the main feature of the North Range has been largely destroyed, with only two cast-iron columns surviving. Most recently, in 2010 the Victorian society named it as one of the 10 most endangered buildings in England and Wales.

The shell of the house today as viewed on Google Maps:

48082963047_33dc52c490_b.jpg2019-06-18_12-57-15 by HughieDW, on Flickr

2. The Explore
This is my take on this enchanting place, following on from BikinGlynn excellent earlier report. This place was completely off the radar until it was brought my attention by BikinGlyn. Having researched it, we arranged to meet up and explore it. We had to park close on to a mile away and walk back along the A50. However, rather than take the direct route along the approach lane we dived into the undergrowth and cut across country and most definitely took the scenic route on the way in. In the end we needn’t have worried as we didn’t see a soul apart from the cows in the field that surround the stables.

The place itself is fantastic. It’s highly photogenic, bar the aforementioned supporting scaffold lattice that surrounds the buildings. However, without which the place would have long become a pile of red bricks. Think it's the first time it's been reported on here.

3. The Photos
Apologies. Got a bit carried away with this place.

Gate in the woods on the way in:

48069754962_d4ebd5d691_b.jpgBradgate Hall Stables 03 by HughieDW, on Flickr

External elevation of the east wing;

48069689963_cefd52e136_b.jpgBradgate Hall Stables 04 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And internal elevation:

48074868272_9e22d02006_b.jpgimg1252 by HughieDW, on Flickr

View through the trees:

48081025783_230bbed564_b.jpgimg1321 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Some approach:

48081035546_7743470940_b.jpgimg1299 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Front elevations of the entrance:

48069650826_c25d615132_b.jpgBradgate Hall Stables 02 by HughieDW, on Flickr

48069544888_6f03e8f45b_b.jpgBradgate Hall Stables 29 by HughieDW, on Flickr

The glorious clock tower:

48082458118_105d5cd995_b.jpgimg1295 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Close-ups of the coat of arms:

48081115308_a16d15e16e_b.jpgimg1293bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

48081071021_69c47bb0d8_b.jpgimg1296 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Think this post is to stop carriages damaging the brick-work:

48082573502_e55d3a5c05_b.jpgimg1280 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Spiral staircase in the clock tower:

48069598428_77b2c199b0_b.jpgBradgate Hall Stables 21 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Further up said stair case:

48069640342_cd3272f540_b.jpgBradgate Hall Stables 23 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And at the top:

48069635637_fd162ed132_b.jpgBradgate Hall Stables 24 by HughieDW, on Flickr

48069628062_4a99cf0ec0_b.jpgBradgate Hall Stables 25 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Some of the original floor tiling:

48069592093_0c2fa358d8_b.jpgBradgate Hall Stables 22 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Looking down on the entrance way:

48069614247_1a502e7242_b.jpgBradgate Hall Stables 27 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Two views of the clock tower from the court-yard:

48069743737_7198d1d0b2_b.jpgBradgate Hall Stables 05 by HughieDW, on Flickr

48069726812_513d14d2e4_b.jpgBradgate Hall Stables 08 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Some removed chimney pots in the courtyard:

48082609383_8912c611c5_b.jpgimg1256 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Dutch gable of the west wing:

48069682128_1cf298b5db_b.jpgBradgate Hall Stables 06 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Water fountain set into the west wing:

48074930867_bf66e14856_b.jpgimg1246 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Two pictures from inside the west wing:

48069719717_afbddbae60_b.jpgBradgate Hall Stables 10 by HughieDW, on Flickr

48069645583_806001391b_b.jpgBradgate Hall Stables 13 by HughieDW, on Flickr

West wing spiral staircase:

48069650663_07d7ae5643_b.jpgBradgate Hall Stables 12 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And a small fireplace:

48074910882_7ebfca10f4_b.jpgimg1249 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Close-up of a brick from the local Leicester company that supplied them:

48069713962_a7dfa8f4af_b.jpgBradgate Hall Stables 11 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Left-hand-side of the coach house:

48069628176_aeb798be95_b.jpgBradgate Hall Stables 07 by HughieDW, on Flickr

View from the second-storey of the left hand tower that flanks the coach house:

48069666948_8e822cfb9d_b.jpgBradgate Hall Stables 09 by HughieDW, on Flickr

And the opposite tower:

48069582421_294e675fc6_b.jpgBradgate Hall Stables 16 by HughieDW, on Flickr

48074903493_2c9ce0c348_b.jpgimg1241 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Looking towards the west wing:

48069680662_53b77b55cd_b.jpgBradgate Hall Stables 17 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Water tower in the right hand tower:

48069675022_9d1a2560a6_b.jpgBradgate Hall Stables 18 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Small room at the back of the right-hand tower:

48069670382_00687c2360_b.jpgBradgate Hall Stables 19 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Inside where the coach house would have been looking south:

48069696332_327656bed0_b.jpgBradgate Hall Stables 14 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Possibly my favourite picture of the day of this enchanting place:

48080442572_fbb73e980b_b.jpgimg1275 by HughieDW, on Flickr
 

ocelot397

Regular Member
Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2013
Messages
148
Reaction score
302
It's good to see it hasn't degraded much at all in the five years since I went!
 

Scattergun

Regular Member
Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2012
Messages
232
Reaction score
292
Location
Darkest Struan
A well researched and fascinating history. Having the old layout plan alongside has helped breathe some life into an otherwise empty shell, though it's one of the grandest stable blocks I've seen. What's on the cards? Renovation? Preservation?
 

Mikeymutt

Regular Member
Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2013
Messages
3,168
Reaction score
11,825
I really do like this place. Great report Hughie and well wrote out as usual.
 

waveydave

Out & About Exploration
Joined
Nov 6, 2015
Messages
56
Reaction score
110
Location
Hinckley
Excellent stuff sir. This just came onto my radar whilst researching another place. Glad I found your report, cos I was pondering on the best route of access.
 

The Wombat

Regular Member
Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2013
Messages
1,683
Reaction score
2,700
Location
Leicestershire
Glad you got to see it Hughie, and you survived the security cattle ;)
You've inspired me to go back sometime before the rest of it crumbles into the ground
 

Latest posts

Top