Pictures of Great Bradley
About Great Bradley
This is a spacious, well spread out village occupying a rural landscape between the Suffolk town's of Newmarket and Haverhill.
On entering the village one of the first things you see is the delightful village sign. This imaginatively depicts many facets of the locality - its church, an old oak tree, a windmill, a fox - probably after Fox Farm which stood at the centre of the village, a Roman coin found in the area, and the Prince of Wales Feathers, used because the sign was erected to commemorate the marriage of Charles, Prince of Wales to Lady Diana Spencer, the late Diana, Princess of Wales. The sign, sited in the village garden keeps excellent company, there is a bench commemorating the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, which took place in 1952, a Millennium Oak, planted in January 2000 in celebration of entering the 21st centaury, and there is now a stone commemorating the planting. The garden is a place of recreation, with other seats strategically placed so that this pleasant open space may be fully enjoyed by everyone.
Great Bradley is one of those lovely old Suffolk villages which is worth taking time to wander and explore, it reveals a wealth of interest, with an exceptional range of buildings typical of the Suffolk landscape, of these the most impressive is the 17th century Great Bradley Hall which can be found lying close to the village church.
St.Mary's Church is a superb structure with parts surviving from the 12th century. It has a handsome tower of the 14th century, quite probably this was built at the same time as its lovely windows were inserted. The building is adorned with a picturesque south-porch, built in the reign of Henry VIII, and shows additions and alterations from the 19th and 20th centuries. Inside, visitors will firstly note its peaceful atmosphere, then your eye becomes quickly drawn towards glowing woodwork, offset by a stark white walls and stone floor. There is a fine 18th century pulpit and a lovely carved stone font. An impressive Perpendicular arch divides the tower from the nave, and the roof covering the nave shows much of its original timber-framework with old tie beams and king posts. Other interesting interior features include the organ and an old fireplace.
The village is possessed of a calm, unhurried pace, yet has a strong community spirit with plenty going on to keep visitors entertained and the villagers busy. There are regular quiz nights, summer fete's and B.B.Q's, Victorian evenings are a popular feature of the village diary, along with bonfire night and Christmas festivities. Great Bradley's housing is a delightful mixture of styles, some old, some new and crossing the village there is a pretty stream spanned by a quaint bridge.
The region has plenty of accommodation for anyone wishing to stay and venture further in this lovely corner of Suffolk. Visitors will also find pleasant country inns in the area, restaurants and tea-rooms. Newmarket and Bury St.Edmunds offer the best opportunities for shopping, Bury has its magnificent cathedral, and both have museums. Pretty Haverhill, also has much of interest and close to where the county borders with Essex there is Saffron Walden with its lush covering of crocus fields.