Before the Industrial Revolution, Bradford was a small town and difficult to defend as it lay in a basin. However, Bolling Hall occupies a commanding position on a hillside. The earliest part of this building, dating from the 14th century, has been interpreted as a pele tower, although Bradford is somewhat outside the typical geographical area for these defensive structures. The Manor of Bolling (Bollinc) is first mentioned in Domesday Book and was at that time in the possession of a man named Sindi. The manor then came under the control of Ilbert de Lacy. By 1316 the manor was owned by William Bolling, and Bollings owned the estate until the late 15th century when control went to the Tempests who held the estate until 1649. The estate changed hands several times thereafter until eventually it was let to several tenants until being presented to Bradford Corporation in 1912. It was opened as a museum three years later.
During the second siege of Bradford in 1643, during the English Civil War, the house was a Royalist base. On this occasion the Royalists took the town, which had strong Parliamentarian sympathies, and it was thought that the victors would put the inhabitants to the sword. There is a legend that a ghost appeared in the bedroom where the Royalist commander Earl of Newcastle was staying to tell him to "Pity poor Bradford". There is usually material on display relating to the English Civil War including a death mask of Oliver Cromwell. There is partial access for wheelchair users; they are restricted to the ground floor level. Ground floor toilet. Some Braille room labels. Handbook in large print, braille and tape available to borrow or to purchase. Bradford Museums and Galleries are proud to announce the introduction of AppEar; a new system to help the visually impaired explore the collections. Visitors can now borrow a PenFriend from our reception desk to hear visual descriptions of the surrounding displays. For more information on the introduction of the AppEar system please contact Kirsty Gaskin tel 01535 618231 email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Location : Bowling Hall Rd, Bradford, West Yorkshire BD4 7LP
Transport: Bradford Interchange (National Rail) then bus - 1.5 miles. Bus routes : The 634 bus runs to Bolling Hall from Bradford Interchange.
Opening Times : Wednesday to Friday 11:00 - 16:00; Saturday 10:00 - 17:00; Sunday 12:00 - 17:00.
Tickets : Free.
Tel: 01274 431814