The second house from a circa 1895 postcard
The ruins of the first house from a 1905 postcard
Earlier Houses: A circa 1490 house, with 16th and 17th century alterations and additions, was the birthplace of Lady Jane Grey (1537-54, queen of England for nine days before being overthrown and executed by Mary I). In 1696 William III visited Bradgate. The house, one of the earliest brick buildings in Leicestershire and an early example of a country house built without defenses, was abandoned in 1719, after which it slowly slipped into decay. The ruinous house is today a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
Built / Designed For: 7th Earl of Stamford
House & Family History: The second (19th century) Bradgate House was a calendar house: it had 365 windows, 52 rooms, and 12 chimneys.
Garden & Outbuildings: In 1928 Bradgate Park was sold by the heirs of the Grey family to Charles Bennion, who, in conjunction with Leicester County Council, placed ownership of the park in a trust to be managed “in perpetuity as an open space or public park for the purposes of recreation” for the people of Leicestershire. The folly known as Old John, built in 1784 by the 5th Earl of Stamford, it sits on top of the highest hill in the park. The Grade II*-listed 19th century Jacobean style stables (which accommodated 50 horses) and kennels are ruinous. The ruins of the watermill and the remains of the formal garden are also visible.
House Listed: Demolished
Park Listed: Grade II
Past Seat / Home of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSE: Thomas Grey, 1st Marquess of Dorset, until 1501; Thomas Grey, 2nd Marquess of Dorset, 1501-30; Henry Grey, 3rd Marquess of Dorset and 1st Duke of Suffolk (father of Lady Jane Grey), 1530-54; Henry Grey, 1st Earl of Stamford, until 1673; Thomas Grey, 2nd Earl of Stamford, 1673-1720. SEATED AT 19TH CENTURY HOUSE: George Harry Grey, 7th Earl of Stamford and 3rd Earl of Warrington, 1856-83; Harry Grey, 8th Earl of Stamford, 1883-90; William Grey, 9th Earl of Stamford, 1890-1910; Grey family here until 1926.
Current Ownership Type: Preservation Organization
Primary Current Ownership Use: Public Park
Ownership Details: Owned by Bradgate Park Trust and operated as a public park