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Bradgate House

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House
Location type: House
Location address: United Kingdom, Charnwood
Number of texts: 2
3 stars
Made by wikipedia.org | Reference Andrew Norman | © CC 3.0
Made by wikipedia.org | Reference Wikipedia.org | © CC 3.0

Edward Grey’s son Sir John Grey of Groby married Elizabeth Woodville, who, after John’s death married King Edward IV. Their son Thomas Grey, 1st Marquess of Dorset made preparations for building the first Bradgate House in the late 15th century but died before work began. It was his son, Thomas Grey, 2nd marquis of Dorset who built the first Bradgate House, completing it circa 1520. This is one of the first unfortified great houses in England and one of the earliest post-Roman use of bricks. It was lived in by the Grey family for the next 220 years. It is believed that the house was the birthplace of Lady Jane Grey, later Queen, ruling for a mere 9 days before being overthrown by Mary I. Jane was executed in 1553 and when her father was executed the following year the estate passed to the crown. Local history claims that groundskeepers marked the occasion of Jane’s execution by pollarding the estate’s oak trees in a symbolic beheading. Examples of pollarded oaks can still be seen in the park. In 1563 the family regained favour, and the Groby manor, including Bradgate, was restored to Jane’s Uncle, Lord John Grey of Pirgo. His great-grandson was made Earl of Stamford. Later earls acquired estates in Enville, Staffordshire, and Dunham Massey, Cheshire.

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Made by wikipedia.org | Reference Wikipedia.org | © CC 3.0

Built in 1856 for the seventh Earl of Stamford, George Harry Grey, it was intended as a replacement for the 16th century Bradgate House built circa 1520, built by his ancestor Thomas Grey, 2nd Marquess of Dorset and home of Lady Jane Grey. The house was constructed in a Jacobean style on a site 2 miles south-west of Bradgate Park. The large, handsome mansion was referred to as “Calendar House”, supposedly having 365 windows, 52 rooms and 12 main chimneys. The Earl of Stamford was known for his extravagance. The stable block alone, built when the Earl became master of the Quorn Hunt, cost £30,000, a massive sum for those days. The house was sold for demolition in 1925 and subsequently demolished, leaving only the quadrangular stable block (52.6789°N 1.2511°W / 52.6789; -1.2511 (Bradgate House stables)), a grandiose building even in its current dilapidated state.

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