Past Remains

A view of yesterday from today

Bradninch Hall, Exeter, Devon

This isn't one that I'd intended to include, but after taking photos of the courthouse inside the castle walls I decided to take pics of nearby interesting architecture, which included Rougemont House and the Hole in the Wall. So, it would have been rude not to take some of this building too! ;)

Interestingly, whilst researching the area, it was fascinating to see how the various buildings and the construction of the new Castle Street fit into the history of the Georgian 'new builds' near to the castle entrance. Castle Street was built in 1772, running parallel to the narrow, cobblestoned Little Castle Street, and it was just a year later when the Mediaeval buildings inside the castle walls were demolished to make way for the Palladian style County Court Assizes. Bradninch Hall was built circa 1800 and is situated between the Hole in the Wall and the castle entrance.

The photo below shows the Castle Gatehouse in the background.

Grade II listed, it's a two storey building constructed with Heavitree Stone, which is a dark red volcanic stone indigenous to Exeter. Brick facings surround the sash windows; the front door complete with a Tuscan porch and honeysuckle fanlight. A hipped roof with moulded cornice and a parapet. The dormers are a modern, later addition.

The b&w photo below was one that I took circa 1991-95, taken from the gates to Rougemont House and Gardens. To the right of Bradninch Hall is the later addition of Bradninch Court. To the right of that can be seen the lower part of the L-shaped Hole in the Wall adjacent to Little Castle Street.

I haven't been able to ascertain the original usage of Bradninch Hall, although it was probably residential at the time. However, in1902 the house was used as accommodation for female students attending Exeter University and in 1906 it was bought by the city council, extended and renamed with it's present title. I seem to remember reading that the original name was Exeter House, although I'm not sure and please don't quote me on that as I can't find it in my reserach notes...I read a lot of stuff! However, Bradninch Hall was the university's first hall of residence. It was later used as a Red Cross Hospital during World War I.

The photos above and below are of the later, additional Bradninch Court. I haven't discovered when this was built, but it may have been the extension that was adding during the early 20th century. It looks very modern though, although there are some interesting features to mitigate what would otherwise be rather a bland block, including the Georgian style stonework above the door and the circular brick facings above the windows with herringbone laid bricks. 

Both buildings are currently used by the WEA and other related organisations.

Below is another b&w photo from circa 1991, showing Bradninch Hall through the gate to Rougemont Gardens opposite.

These photos can also be seen in the Photo Gallery album.

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