Bradley Cottages (Norton Court Estate Cottage No 22)

It is not until more recently that these cottages have been identified individually by Estate number and their early history will be taken in common.

 At the time the Inclosures came to Norton in 1807 Plot No 69, where the three Bradley Cottages can now be found, was recorded as a single house and garden in the ownership of Edward Webb of the Norton Court Estate.  The representation of the Plot on the following map extract shows a number of buildings and it is assumed that this was a farm with associated outbuildings at this time.

[Inclosure Map 1807]

The next helpful document after the Inclosure Act is found in 1838 with a Poor Law Terrier for Norton.  This identifies ‘Bradleys’ as No 57, 1 rod 20 perches, with two cottages and a garden plot all owned by Edward Webb of the Norton Court Estate.  The first cottage and garden was let to John Bailey, the second cottage and garden was let to Hannah Roberts and the garden was let to Richard Taylor who was at Green Farm.

The census of 1841 confirms that Hannah Roberts, aged 60, was widowed and living here with her son Thomas, an agricultural labourer.  Hannah’s husband Thomas had died in July 1835.  Next door was John Bailey, a 40 year old agricultural labourer with his wife Hannah and baby son George.  John Bailey had married Hannah, the daughter of Thomas and Hannah Roberts, in October 1838.  Samuel Roberts, a 70 year old brushmaker, was also in this area with his wife Esther, two adult sons and daughters.

A document that appears to date from the late 1840s, when Miss Elizabeth Frances Webb held the Norton Court Estate, records who occupied each of the farms on the estate and who and how many people lived in the cottages that were located on each of the farms.  The first three cottages were located at Bradley’s and in the first of these we have Hannah Roberts, her son and his wife, the second John Bailey, wife and child, and the third Samuel Roberts with two sons and a daughter.

The census of 1851 has Hannah Roberts, aged 75 and a retired shopkeeper, living with her now married son Thomas, his wife Hannah and their three young children.  John Bailey is still next door with his wife Hannah and two children.  Samuel Roberts, now 81, a widower, and still a brushmaker, was also still here with son Charles.

The Census from 1861 has Hannah Roberts, now 86, still living with son Thomas and his family of five children.  John and Hannah Bailey are still next door with one child.  Samuel Roberts died, aged 89, in April 1859 but son Charles is still here living alone.

Things have changed by 1871.  Hannah Roberts died in September 1862 but her son Thomas and family are still here.  John Bailey died in June 1867 and although widowed Hannah and daughter Eliza are still in the area I believe them to have been living elsewhere.  Charles Roberts is now living at Smithfield and it is not clear who was living in his cottage at Bradleys.  Thomas Bainbridge jnr of Benges Farm, Priors Norton, married Louisa Hayward in May 1863 and they moved to what was then being called Bradley Farm, most likely what was to become No 22.  By 1871 Thomas and Louis, who was using the name Susan, had three children.  The property adjacent to them was recorded as being ‘void’.

[2nd Edition, OS 25” Map, 1844-1888]

This 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 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.

Thomas Bainbridge died in November 1880 and by 1881 widowed Susan Bainbridge had moved to Yew Tree Farm.  James Piff, a 50 year old market gardener from Staverton, is at Bradley Farm Cottages with his wife Emma and seven children.  This is the only property recorded as Bradley Farm in the census.

In 1901 there are four properties described as Bradley Farm Cottages.  Samuel and Sarah Preston were in No 22, Charles Griffiths, a farm carter, wife Mary Ann and five young children in another, William Piff, a market gardener, wife Esther, four children and William’s father James in No 23, and William Stubbs, 83 year old living off his own means, with his wife Comfort, a daughter and grandson in the fourth.

We are now reaching the time when the cottages can be identified by Norton Court Estate Nos and the following account will be tailored for each cottage.  Whilst it becomes possible to identify the occupants of individual cottages this isn’t always possible and the following were all living in one of the Bradley Cottages but it is not known which one.

In 1924-26 Arthur Sims and wife Susanna who died aged 67 in July 1924.

In 1924 Edwin Shadrack and Margaret Alice Beard.

In 1924 William and Elizabeth Mary Freeman.

In 1924-26 Seth Roberts.

In 1926 Evan Phillip, Emily Mary and John Samuel Coles

In 1927-29 Albert, Leah, Adelaide and William John Giddings

In 1927 Jack Redvers Stubbs.

In 1889 Henry Preston was at No 22 Bradley Cottages.  Henry was born at Norton married to Mary Ann nee Freeman and was employed as a cordwainer and bootmaker.  Henry was still here in 1891 but by 1901 his brother Samuel Preston, a shepherd, was here, with his wife Sarah.

The following two photographs were published in the Cheltenham Chronicle & Glo’shire Graphic of 10th April 1909 under the caption : “Two brothers who married two sisters living at Norton near Gloucester.  Their united ages total 344 years”.

Left; Mr & Mrs Henry Preston of Norton nr Gloucester who have been married 62 years and are brother and sister of Mr & Mrs Samuel Preston.  Mrs Preston is 91 next birthday and Mr Preston 87.

Right; Mr & Mrs Samuel Preston of Norton nr Gloucester who celebrate their Diamond Wedding in July.  Brother and sister of Mr & Mrs Henry Preston.  Mr & Mrs Preston are each 85 next birthday.

Samuel was still here in 1908 when he paid the Ladyday rent on the cottage.

Samuel’s wife Sarah died on 10 February 1910 he followed her less than two weeks later on 23 February.  Henry died in March 1910 and was buried at Norton.  His widow appears to have gone to live at Twigworth, perhaps with her daughter now Mrs Tarr, and she died there in September 1916 aged 97 years.  She too was buried at Norton.

In 1911 Samuel Brown of No 22 started at Norton CofE school

In 1939 William Freeman, a farm carter, was here with his wife Elizabeth and daughter Eileen.  

From 1947, likely earlier, Archibald and Edith Hooper were here.  Archibald Frank was born in 1902 at Eldersfield, son of Herbert George, a shepherd, and Emily Hooper, married Edith Alice Overbury in 1930 at Haresfield, and appear to have had 7 children.  Edith Alice was born in 1902 at Haresfield, daughter of William Sidney, a platelayer on the Great Western Railway, and Laura Overbury.  Their first child born at Norton was in 1937 suggesting their arrival here in that year and they lived at Smithfield Cottage till towards the end of the Second World War.  They lived at 22 Bradley Cottage until their deaths; Archibald in 1983, Edith in 1984, and they have a memorial at St Mary’s, Norton; “In loving memory of Archibald Frank Hooper 1903-1983 RIP also his wife Edith Alice 1902 - 1984.  Reunited”.

In June 1952 the Norton Court Estate was sold at auction and the cottage, associated with Yew Tree Farm at that time, was described as follows; "Living room with fireplace and oven, and cupboard under stairs,  larder, coal house, back kitchen with furnace and two bedrooms, one having a fireplace.  Garden and EC".

In 1985 Sidney Taffs was here.

In 1985 cottage No 22 was granted a Grade II listing; “Semi-detached house. Early C18 and early-mid C18, altered C19. Flemish bond brick on blue lias plinth, square-panelled timber-framing with unpainted brick infill partly refaced in brick, red tile roof, brick stack. Rectangular plan. Early C18, square brick block right, 2½ storeys, ground floor lit by wood-mullioned cross window, 2-light casement lighting first floor, both windows with gauged brick heads, 2-light garret light with soldier arched head, bands between floors. Former doorway in right hand wall (now blocked) with window inserted in blocking. C19 plank door within segmental-headed surround at right-hand corner, square-panelled timber-framing above lit by 3-light window, one light retains original leaded panes. 1½ storeys early-mid C18 extension left, wall facing roadrefaced in brick with small C20 casement on right and sawtooth decoration at eaves. C20 plate glass casements respecting framing lighting ground floor of gable end, 2-light casement respecting lighting garret above. Large square stack at rear gable-end of brick block on right. Lateral stack at front of early-mid C18 extension on left”.

Was marketed by Taylor’s, Tewkesbury, in May 1993 at £109,950; "4 bedroom semi-detached cottage, believed to be many original beams and fireplaces".

In 2002 Colin M Chambers and Fiona M Bristow were here.


In 2014 the property was put on the market by Fine & Country at £450,000;

“A true gem in a village location. Step inside and you will be absorbed into the character and charm this Grade II listed period farmhouse brings, sumptuously provided by beautiful exposed beams, oak staircases and a wonderful feature of a stunning fireplace which will delight. With the accommodation over three floors, on the ground floor is a lovely kitchen featuring solid oak work surfaces and Oak French doors which lead you out onto the pretty garden. The living room is wonderfully cosy whilst still being spacious with a study room area off the main room.  The bedrooms on the first and second floor mirror the character of the ground floor and enjoy views over the garden and a neighbouring orchard.
When in the well-manicured garden which is set up from the road you have a lovely view up to Wainlode Hill. The garden is further complimented by a mature productive apple tree and a lit alfresco decking area perfect for entertaining, a double garage and driveway parking”.