Bradley Cottage (Bradley Farm, Bradley Orchard, Norton Court Estate Cottage - No 21)

At the time the Inclosures came to Norton in 1807 Plot No 71 was a house, 1 rod 6 perches, already in the ownership of Edward Webb of the Norton Court Estate.

This always seems to have been the cottage for the Norton Court Estate carpenters and their families.

In 1861, Norton Court Estate papers record that No 21 was occupied by the widow Clifford and the census from that year confirms that Elizabeth Clifford, a 74 year old widow was living here with her son David.  Elizabeth had been married to William Clifford and this helps to link the cottage tenants back in time to 1838 and earlier.

In 1838 William Clifford was living at The Green in a property that was described as a house, stable, shop and garden that was 1 rod 6 perches, the same as it had been in 1806, whilst an adjoining orchard was 1 rod, 12 perches, totaling 2 rods, 18 perches.  The gross estimated rental or annual value of each holding was £10 and the rateable value or net annual value of each holding was £8.

Neither William or Elizabeth were born at Norton but their first child baptised here was John in September 1822 marking their arrival in the village and as William was a carpenter at that date they likely came straight to No 21.  In 1841 William was living here with his wife and five children.  By 1851 there was just one son in residence with them, Henry a blacksmith, and William was employing one man.  William died in June 1852.  

The Gloucester Journal newspaper of 11 April 1863 reports a robbery from the premises; “George Henry McGregor, aged 29, collier, and William Shelton, described as a hawker, were charged with breaking into the dwelling house of Elizabeth Clifford, at Norton, on the night of 16th of January, and stealing a shirt, the property of David Clifford, and a pound of cheese and a quarter of a pound of tobacco. Mr Guise prosecuted, the prisoners were undefended.  The prosecutrix keeps a small shop at Norton, and on the night of the 16th of January she went to bed at her usual hour, leaving the house safe.  On going downstairs on the following morning she discovered that the house had been entered, and a shirt belonging to her son, which, on the previous night, she left on a chair in the kitchen with some cheese and a parcel of tobacco, had been stolen.  On the previous day the prisoners had been begging at the prosecutrix’s house and she gave them some bread.  Information of the burglary was given to the police, and suspicion having fallen upon the prisoners, by the active exertions of Mr Supt Griffin and police-constables Chipp and Day, they were traced to Pershore, near Worcester, where they were apprehended by PC Chipp.  It was subsequently ascertained by him that a shirt had been sold by the prisoners to the keeper of a lodging house at which they had slept, and the shoes of the prisoners were found to correspond exactly with some footmarks in a garden near the house of the prosecutrix.  The shirt was identified by the prosecutrix as the one she had lost from the fact that the buttons had been put on the wrong side.  The prisoners cross-examined the police officers at considerable length, with a view to shake their evidence with reference to the footmarks, but failed to do so.  They also defended themselves with much volubility.  The jury found the prisoners guilty, and a prior conviction having been proved against McGregor, the learned Judge remarking that the prisoners had pursued a career of crime, sentenced Shelton to three years, and McGregor to six years penal servitude”.

Elizabeth Clifford and her son David were still here when Elizabeth died in June 1871.

The next tenants were Thomas Bainbridge and his family and in the 1870s they held part of Yew Tree Farm and Bradley Farm at an annual rent of £170-0-6.  The Bainbridges had moved to Yew Tree Farm on a yearly tenancy by 1879.  Thomas was the son of Thomas and Mary Ann Bainbridge, was born in approximately 1835 at Hulland Ward Intakes, Ashbourne, Derbyshire, and in 1841 was living with his parents, who farmed at Smith Hall, Ashbourne, along with brothers John and Samuel and sisters Hannah and Harriet.  I have been unable to identify the whereabouts of the family at the time of the 1851 Census but by approximately 1854 they had arrived at Norton.  In 1861 Thomas was at Benges Farm with his parents and in 1863 he married Louisa Hayward, daughter of Edwin Hayward a boat owner of Sandhurst, and together set up home at Bradley Farm, Norton.  The 1860s and early 1870s saw Thomas’ family grow with the arrival of children; Thomas Heathcote, Henry Benjamin, Ada Agnes, John George, William Ernest and Liddy Lauren.  They moved to Yew Tree Farm in the 1870s and Thomas was to die there on 20th November 1880 aged 44 years.  He has a memorial in the churchyard at St Mary’s.  Thomas’ sister Harriet married John Creese of Bushley at Hasfield in 1865 and John Creese was to be the executor of Thomas’ Will.  Thomas’ widow remarried this John Creese at Fretherne in 1885.

The above photograph shows Thomas Bainbridge in the uniform of the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars.  He was awarded a silver cup in 1867 for being the best swordsman and this was presented to him by Capt Dorrington, MP for Stroud, at Lypiatt Park, his estate that was also used as a training ground by the Hussars.  The cup is now [2010] in the hands of Thomas’ great-grandson who also has the original of this photo and donated the uniform to the Soldiers Of Gloucestershire Museum in 1985.

The next positive identification of this property and residents  hasn’t been found till 1908 when Harry Ernest Bailey was paying the Norton Court Estate £8 10s on Lady Day Rentals for cottage No 21.  The same reference also states that the property was previously in the tenure of Alfred Stubbs which helps takes things back.

Alfred Stubbs had been born at Churchdown and was related to the Bailey family through his mother Comfort (nee Roberts).  By 1871 Alfred was living with a cousin, George Bailey, at Stratton St Margaret, near Swindon, employed as a carpenter. George had been born at Norton and the Baileys along with the Roberts family had been in the village throughout the nineteenth century.  Alfred Stubbs married George Bailey’s sister Eliza, and George married Alfred’s sister Eliza Stubbs.  

By 1881 Alfred and Eliza had come to live with Eliza’s mother Hannah (nee Roberts) at Norton, where Alfred was employed as the Estate carpenter.  It is likely that Alfred And extended family moved into No 21 some time after Elizabeth Clifford's death in 1871.

Alfred became a founder member of the Norton Parish Council in 1894 and remained a member until he died on 30 November 1906 and was buried on 5 December 1906 at St Mary’s, Norton.  At the quarterly Parish Meeting in the vicarage in January 1907 the Chairman referred to his death and proposed the following resolution which was entered in the Council Minutes and copied to his widow with an expression of the Council’s sympathy:

“The Council desire to record their deep sense of loss caused by the decease of Mr Alfred Stubbs who had been continuously a member from the first election in 1894.  They desire to keep in memory his devotion to Parish business, his punctuality and his generous willingness to put freely at their disposal his time and technical ability in carrying out their decisions. “

Alfred Stubbs was Harry Ernest Bailey’s uncle and it seems that Harry took on the role of Estate carpenter after Alfred’s death, coming to live at No 21 with his now widowed sister Eliza whose mother Hannah had died in 1895.  An Estate Rental Agreement for 24th March 1908 recorded; “Harry Ernest Bailey of Twigworth, No 21 The Green, in occupation of Mrs Alfred Stubbs, from 29 September 1907.  Alfred Stubbs had been the Estate Foreman prior to Harry Bailey”. 

It appears that by 1911 widowed Eliza had moved out with her daughter and was living in a three roomed property at The Green, Norton, whilst Harry, his wife Elizabeth, and daughter Ellen were living at No 21, a four roomed property at The Green.

Another Estate Rental Agreement of 29 September 1922 recorded “Harry Ernest Bailey of Norton, an orchard No 54 on OS 2nd Ed, 3a 2r 8p, at £20 per annum”, so Harry was apparently branching out, taking on land for his own use that amongst other things he used to keep bees.

In 1923 Harry was listed in Kelly’s Trade Directory for Gloucestershire as “Estate Foreman to Capt George Norton Walker Esq” and he was still recorded as holding this position in the 1935 edition.  Harry’s wife Emily Elizabeth  died in 1926.  In later life Harry was known as ‘Old Billie’ and was still living at No 21 when he died on 13 June 1944 and was buried at St Mary’s, Norton, where he has a memorial along with his wife.

Harry Ernest (Old Billie) Bailey

On 28 June 1941, Alfred Barnes of Tithe Cottages, Norton, signed an Agreement with the Norton Court Estate from 1 July 1941 for "the cottage at The Green, Norton, now or formerly in the occupation of William Bailey which it is proposed shall be reserved as a cottage for a carpenters mate employed on the Norton Court Estate … provided that if at any time after the date of the cessation of hostilities or the signing of an armistice … the tenant shall not resume his former employment as a carpenters mate on the Norton Court Estate within one calendar month after having been requested in writing … the tenancy shall cease … upon the expiration of such calendar month".

Harry’s daughter, Edith Gwendoline Bailey, had been born at No 21 and had married Norman Howard Gilder in 1942 at St Mary’s, Norton.  It is not known if Edith continued to live at No 21 after her father’s death or if Albert Barnes did take up tenancy but an Estate Rental Agreement dated 18th November 1946 records; “No 21 The Green, late of Harry Ernest Bailey then in occupation of his daughter and her husband Norman Howard Guilder who was farming Becketts Farm at The Leigh.  £16 10s per annum”.  This caused problems resulting in a court case concerning tenancy of No 21.  The Landlord, Capt Norton Walker’s case was that the cottage was tied to the position of Estate Foreman and now Harry ‘Old Billie’ Bailey was dead.  By this time the position of foreman on the Estate had been given to Percy Lionel Coles who was then living at Estate Cottage No 31, at Wainlode Hill.  A swap of cottages was proposed but Norman and Edith Gilder moved to The Leigh.

In 1949 the tenants at No 21 were Percy Lionel and Agnes Anne Coles who had signed a Norton Court Estate Service Agreement in 1949.  Included with the agreement was the offer “…to let you have the use of the sheds now in the garden of No 21 The Green for £5 per year payable quarterly.”  Capt Walker was “…also willing to give you the opportunity each year of purchasing the grazing of fields Nos 83 and 84 (1 acre, 2 rods and 26 perches) including the use of the stables, fowls house and pigstyes on the land for £9 payable in advance so long as you remain in his employ and continue to reside at No 21 The Green it being a condition that you do not keep any milking cows, pigs or sheep there”.  Mr Coles agreed to accept the outbuildings at No 21 for £5 but considered the grazing rights too expensive offering to reconsider the offer “… at half the price…”.

At the time of the 1952 auction of the Norton Court Estate the house was described as follows;

“The Estate foreman’s cottage, known as No 21.  This is an attractive cottage situate close to the main entrance to The Court.  It is built of brick with a tiled roof and contains; Hall, dining room 14ft x 14ft, back lobby with cupboard under stairs, larder, sitting room 12ft x 10ft, and three bedrooms, two having a fireplace.  Outbuildings consisting of EC, wood and coal sheds, timber store, paint shop, box and loft, open shed, two garages and pigscot, and a well-kept orchard and garden”.

Between at least 1954 and 1966 Idwal L and Jeanne A Hyett were living at No 21 and between at least 1985 and 2002 Virginia W 'Polly' Taylor was here.


In 2013 the property was marketed by Charterhouse at £650,000 and was described as follows;

"A unique opportunity to purchase an extended and modernised c1658 build character cottage. Benefiting from new windows, kitchen, conservatory, bathroom and a one bedroom detached holiday cottage. Energy Rating - Cottage: E and Annexe: D

Entrance Hall | Utility Room | Sitting Room | Study | Office | Cloakroom | Family Room/Summer Lounge | Kitchen/Breakfast Room | Conservatory |Study | Office| Four Bedrooms | En-Suite Shower Room | Bathroom | Gardens | Holiday Home consisting of: Open Living Area Bedroom | Shower Room | Gym |Storage Room | Ample Parking

Solid wooden door with small double glazed Gothic style window situated at rear of the the property leading into:

Entrance Hall13' x 6' (3.96m x 1.83m)

Ceramic tiled flooring. Exposed beams. Doors off to Cloakroom, Utility, Sitting Room, Family Room/Summer Lounge, Kitchen/Breakfast Room. Radiator.

Utility Room

6'7 x 6'5 (2.01m x 1.96m )
Patterned wood double glazed Gothic style window to rear. Round sink unit fitted in work surface. Wall mounted cupboard. Tiled flooring. Plumbing for automatic washing for freezer.

Sitting Room 

18'3 x 12'8 (5.56m x 3.86m )
Angled double glazed Gothic style window to side with display shelf. Double glazed gothic style window to front. Solid oak flooring. Original beams to walls and ceiling. Feature brick built inglenook fireplace with grate and flu. With lighting. Radiator. TV point. Original feature bread oven. Wall lights. TV point. Two Radiators. Arch to:

Study Area

13' x 6'5
Double glazed Gothic style window to rear. Radiator. Wall lights. Fitted wardrobe with hanging rail and shelf over. Walk through to:


7' x 4'4 (2.13m x 1.32m)
Double glazed Gothic style windows to side and front with views over fields. Wall light. Fitted desk. Access to loft space.


Tiled flooring. Painted beam. Feature high flush 'Chadder and Co' WC. Free standing wash hand basin with tiled backing. Ceiling light.

Family Room / Summer Lounge 

18'3 x 14' (5.56m x 4.27m )
Two double glazed Gothic style windows to rear. French double glazed doors opening to the garden. Beams. Solid oak flooring. Brick feature fireplace with gas 'woodburner'. Inset ceiling spot lights. Double radiator. TV point. Telephone point (subject to BT regulations).

Kitchen / Breakfast Room

25'11 x 17'10 (7.9m x 5.44m)

Two double glazed Gothic style windows to front. Range of wall and base level storage units. Gas Aga. Leisure Five ring Range with double oven.Concealed extractor over. Granite work surfaces. Inset Belfast style sink with mixer tap and spray. Tiled splash backs. Intergrated 'Neff' dish washer. Intergrated fridge with small freezer compartment. Space for microwave. Exposed brick work. Terracotta tiled flooring. Exposed original beams to ceiling and walls. Radiator. Gas fired boiler supplying domestic hot water and central heating.Nine inset ceiling lights. Under stairs storage with shelving. Door to stairs leading to First floor. Open to Conservatory.


16' 5 x 16'1 (5.51m x 4.9m)
Bespoke hardwood and glass conservatory with french doors to two sides giving access to garden. Indian flagstones with underfloor heating.

First Floor Landing
Double glazed Gothic style window to rear overlooking open field. Exposed ceiling beams. Access to loft space. Doors to all Bedrooms and Bathroom.

Master Bedroom

12'8 x 12'7 (3.86m x 3.84m)
Double glazed Gothic style window to front and side with open views. Solid oak flooring. Fitted wardrobes with hanging rail and shelving. TV point. Radiator. Built in storage cupboard with shelving. Door to En-Suite.

En-suite shower room

Fully tiled concealed cistern WC. Walk in double shower cubicle with deluge shower head. Inset lighting within the tiles. Wash hand basin sat on shelf with drawer under. Chrome ladder style towel rail. Ceramic tiled flooring, Inset ceiling lights (Push central lighting system.)

Bedroom Two

14'1 x 9'3 (4.29m x 2.82m)

Double glazed Gothic style window to side and rear with views to open fields. Built in wardrobe with hanging rail. Original exposed beams to ceiling and walls. Radiator.

Bedroom Three

9'1 x 8'3 (2.77m x 2.51m)

Double glazed Gothic style window to front overlooking open fields. Fitted wardrobe with hanging rail and shelving. Single radiator. Original beams to walls and ceiling. Telephone point (subject to BT regulations)

Bedroom Four

11'2 x 8'4 (3.4m x 2.54m)

Double glazed Gothic style window to the front overlooking open fields. Double radiator. Fitted wardrobes with hanging rail and shelving. Original exposed beams to ceiling and wall.


12'4 x 18' (3.76m x 5.49m)

Opulent bathroom with two double glazed Gothic style window to rear overlooking open fields with granite cills Freestanding double ended period style bath with central spout and taps. Granite vanity unit with double granite wash hand basin with chrome singular tap. Drawers and shelf under. Concealed cistern WC. Ceramic tiled flooring with under floor heating. Panelled walls. Beams to ceiling. Exposed beam. Airing cupboard with insulated hot water tank. Built in linen cupboard with shelving. Chrome ladder style towel rail. Extractor fan.


Gravelled driveway with wrought iron gate (electronically operated) leading to Detached Holiday Home and providing ample off road parking. Outside lighting. Walling and large wrought iron gate through to garden. Feature brick built porch. Mature hedging. Paved BBQ area.


100' x 90' (30.48m x 27.43m )

Situated to the side of the property mainly laid to lawn with flower, shrub, bush and tree borders. Bark play area. Attractive patterned tiled patio area around Conservatory. Small timbered vegetable garden. Mature fruit trees. A secured landscaped garden.

Garden Front

Small raised walled garden with views to open countryside. Mainly laid to lawn with flower, shrub, bush and tree borders. Side access to driveway at rear of property.

Detached holiday home

Door to:

Open plan kitchen / dining room / sitting room

17' x 11'5 (5.18m x 3.48m)

Open plan living area with door to side and double glazed Gothic style windows to front with views of open countryside. Open plan staircase to First Floor. Stainless steel single drainage sink unit fitted. Rooll top work surface with tiled splash backs.Range of matching wall and base level storage units. Electric hob with extractor and light over and electric oven under. Fitted fridge and washing machine. Laminate wood flooring. Extractor fan Two radiators. Ceiling light. Recessed ceiling lights. Wooden door to:

Shower room

Tiled flooring and walls. Close coupled white WC. Wash hand basin fitted into vanity unit with cupboards under. Large tiled shower cubicle. Chrome ladder style radiator. Extractor. Recessed ceiling lights. Wooden door to Gym. (Locked when letting out)


22'6 x 18' (6.86m x 5.49m)

Double glazed Gothic style window to side. Four double glazed Velux windows. TV point. Ample eaves storage. Two radiators. Recessed ceiling lights. Fitted electric boiler in cupboard.


21'10 x 8'4 (6.65m x 2.54m)

Double doors to front. Radiator. Small window to rear. Laminate wood flooring. Recessed ceiling lights (could be a second bedroom with permission). Door to Shower Room.

Bike storage

21'8 x 4'4 (6.6m x 1.32m)

Two ceiling strip light".