Bolling Hall is a beautiful Tudor manor located in Bradford. It is 1mi away south of the city centre, in the suburb of Bowling. It is opposite Bowling Park, which is one of the largest parks in Bradford, and it is also near the southern bypass (Rooley Lane). The area is not the nicest in Bradford, and the manor is surrounded by a garden which looks rather derelict. However, it is one of the most interesting houses in West Yorkshire. Free entry, closed Monday and Tuesday, see the website for more details.
Although Bolling Hall has a very Tudor appearance, it was built in different stages. The oldest part of the house dates back from the 14th century. This part is a tower which is similar to the pele towers of the Scottish Borders. It was largely extended in Tudor times and John Carr redesigned many rooms in the 18th century.
The outside is quite symmetrical and homogenous, but the inside is quite a maze, with hidden nooks and corners. Wide stately rooms open onto small intimate panelled bedrooms and some rooms have quite an atmospheric feeling. The interiors present every period of English history, from the Medieval solar at the top of the 14th-century tower to the Victorian drawing room. There are also Tudor bedrooms and a Georgian dining room, as well as a touching Edwardian nursery.
The house played a role in the Civil War and a room presents that period in local history. Bolling Hall was then a Royalist stronghold while Bradford was on the Parliamentarian side, and it was an important strategic base during the Royalist siege of Bradford. According to a legend, a ghost would have appeared in one of the rooms during the siege, to implore the Royalist general not to kill the locals.
Around Bolling Hall: