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Bolling Hall, Bradford

4.5
#4 of 8 in Museums in Bradford
Specialty Museum Museum
Bolling Hall is one of the oldest buildings in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. It is currently used as a museum and education centre. The building is about a mile from the centre of Bradford. Its surroundings are suburban in character.Before the Industrial Revolution, Bradford was a small town and difficult to defend as it lay in a basin. However, Bolling Hall occupies a commanding position on a hillside. The earliest part of this building, dating from the 14th century, has been interpreted as a pele tower, although Bradford is somewhat outside the typical geographical area for these defensive structures.The Manor of Bolling (Bollinc) is first mentioned in Domesday Book and was at that time in the possession of a man named Sindi. The manor then came under the control of Ilbert de Lacy. By 1316 the manor was owned by William Bolling, and Bollings owned the estate until the late 15th century when control went to the Tempests who held the estate until 1649. The estate changed hands several times thereafter until eventually it was let to several tenants until being presented to Bradford Corporation in 1912. It was opened as a museum three years later.During the second siege of Bradford in 1643, during the English Civil War, the house was a Royalist base. On this occasion the Royalists took the town, which had strong Parliamentarian sympathies, and it was thought that the victors would put the inhabitants to the sword. There is a legend that a ghost appeared in the bedroom where the Royalist commander Earl of Newcastle was staying to tell him to "Pity poor Bradford". There is usually material on display relating to the English Civil War including a death mask of Oliver Cromwell. In the 18th century parts of the house were modernised by the architect John Carr, following a fire.
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Where to stay in Bradford

Hotel chains and less expensive accommodations populate the city center. Lodging is also scattered outside the center; however, a centralized location is safer and closer to the main attractions. A few B&Bs are hidden on the outskirts of the city and offer comfortable rooms in quiet neighborhoods.
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4.5
  • Steeped in history, very informative and a chance for younger children to dress up etc. Nice park across the road for younger children to finish the day off.  more »
  • We came away from our visit filled with enthusiasm to learn more about the history of Bradford and the area. We hadn't left really enough time to see everything and we will certainly return before too...  more »
  • What a gorgeous old house and the 'mask' cast taken from Cromwell's face lets you see the man himself. The building creaks and has a real ghostly feel to it. En suite toilets in a couple of bedrooms t...  more »
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  • Passionate staff and warm welcome. Entry is free, but feel free to make a donation. Originally owned by the Beaufort family and now in the hands of Bradford council. An interesting place to visit, it fills a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon.
  • Never knew it existed before I went for an event. Would love to go back and have a proper look around.
  • Very interesting old hall. Pity you can't go into all the rooms but you have to view them from the door
  • The staff are very dedicated. A very old building with links to the English Civil War. Free admission, big car park. Many exhibits and period furniture.
  • Step into the past. Free admission. Excellent for teaching the kids about bygone years. Thoroughly interesting and ghostly.