Pictorial archive
Maps - Old and New
Properties in detail
  Houses on the west side
  Houses on the east side
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No. 5 "Cottesmore"
No. 5 Cottesmore
Built in the 18th century. The Mansard roof is not from the French influence but from early English tradition, in order to enable the use of shorter timbers. It is reputed to have housed three looms and a wool loft. More recently (in the 19th century) it was the home of two generations of the Shearcroft family who established their printing business in Braintree in 1786, and for a time conducted it from a shed in the garden.
No. 7 & 9
Nos. 7 and 9
These were undoubtedly one house built in approximately 1380, very little remains of the original structure as extensive re-alterations took place about 100 years later. Part of the interior was lined at that time with linen-fold panelling, but later building works have resulted in 5'6" being left visible in No. 7 and only 6" of the same panel in No. 9! There are some 16th, 17th and 18th century doors still remaining and even some with original door furniture. There is a cellar under No. 9, which could have been an entrance to the underground passage which once linked with the convent at the river end of the street.
No. 11 "The Old House"
No. 11 Old House
Built in the second half of the 16th century, the first floor was originally jettied at the front, but is now underbuilt. The house contains some fine pine panelling a notable feature of Bradford Street from the time that the wealthy wool merchants lived here. This was the residence of the famous Dr. Dale who kept the minutes of the Braintree Four and Twenty the fore-runner to the modern Council in the 17th century. Note the interesting octagonal chimneys built from two inch Tudor bricks.
The Old House is now a privately owned hotel.

Click here to go to The Old House hotel website

Click on the thumbnails below for further details about The Old House
No. 13 "Bradford House"
Nos. 7 and 9
A fine old house from the time of the prosperous days of the wool trade. It was originally constructed with a gatehouse which is now filled in as an art gallery and picture framers. This was provided to gain access to outbuildings at the rear which served different functions in processing wool. The house contains fine examples of pine panelling and a splended staircase from about 1720. Occupied from time to time by Wendles, Merrils, English's and Ruggles, all famous clothiers, more recently by Smoothy the notorious lawyer, and Boileys who used it as a bakery. There is a fine 18th century Venetian window facing the street.
Click on the thumbnails below for further details about Bradford House
Nos. 19, 21 & 23
Nos. 7 and 9
This block displays reconstruction features from the late 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. The front parts of 19 and 21 are 15th century and had an open hall common with part of 23 at one time, indicating single construction. Wings and extensions on the rear are in successive centuries. Occupied in the 17th century by the Boozy family who were clothiers, the house was at one time a quakers meeting house. More recently teazels have been found in the walls, remnants from the time they were used for brushing the nap on the wool. Records also show that the cottages at the rear were once occupied by a four foot dwarf Billy Reed, who was a watch maker in about 1900.
No. 25 "Georgian House"
No. 25 Georgian House
The present building is of about 1720, and appears to have replaced a previous structure, as there is 17th century work remaining in the rear wing. The quality of construction is very high with particularly fine staircases, panelling, fire surrounds and door cases. The roof is substantially a modem rebuild.

Cottage behind Georgian House.
This is a mid-16th century 2 storey, 3 bay timber framed house, with a very good quality frame which has chamfering of most members. The roof is side purlin with straight wind braces. There is a dormer at the rear which possibly relates to a former staircase tower. The original chimney stack still remains.

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No. 27 "Makers"
No. 27 Makers
The part of the house on the road front is of 17th century construction but the property incorporates a separate smaller two storey building at the rear, of 15th century construction. The name is believed to date from the 15th century and was probably that given to the original property at the rear.
No. 29 "Clinton House"
No. 29 Clinton House
This is a 17th century house with a typical 18th century front added afterwards. There is evidence in the structure of 16th century chimney work and framing indicating a former earlier building.
No. 31 "The Old Court"
No. 31 Old Court
This was the ancient Manor house of Friars, often to be found spelt 'Freyers' after Alban Frere. The existing house has a 17th century frame with remains of late 16th century work in the cartway. There is a splendid staircase from 1740 inside. It was occupied by the Wendle and Maysent families, both clothiers. The latter was responsible for producing the first 'Long Bay', which was the Bocking cloth which made the fortunes of many of the Bradford Street clothiers.
No. 37 "The Bawn"
No. 37 The Bawn
This 17th century house was built on the site of a much older one and is fitted with a recent 18th century front. The cellar has constant running water in it, which presumably comes from the springs on the hill on the north side of Bradford Street from which all the water was taken for processing in the wool trade. It was at one time occupied by a Doctor who had a whistle pipe installed which still exists. This runs underground to the cottages opposite which were occupied by his coachman and enabled him to be summoned more rapidly. There is a good late c. 18th century staircase in this house.
No. 39 "Gresham House"
No. 39 Gresham House
Another old house with a characteristic cartway but restored again in the 18th century. Probably 14th or early 15th century.

No. 41 "Dragon House"
No. 41 Dragon House
Built in the first half of the 16th century with a little cartway. There is an interesting outhouse here which could have contained a brick built wool washing vat 8 to 10 feet in diameter. Notice the remains of a woman's face set in the plaster on the front. This is an original figure very probably put there when the house was first built, some believe it is supposed to be Anne Boleyn.

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