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Stoke-on-Trent Districts: Bradwell


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Bradwell, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire.

Bradwell Hall and the Sneyd family:

Bradwell Hall 1841
Bradwell Hall 1841
'Bradwell Hall in the Parish of Wolstanton, Staffordshire.'
Showing a three storey late Georgian house of brick, in a garden,
with a sunken wall in front.
J. C. Buckler.

William Salt Library - Staffordshire Past Tracks

"The Sneyd family can be traced back to the beginning of the 14th century when they owned land at Tunstall and Chatterley. By the beginning of the 15th century they were resident at Bradwell Hall, which was the principal residence of the family for the next 180 years. 
The economic and social rise of this yeoman family began with the removal of William Sneyd to Chester in 1461. When his grandson, William Sneyd, returned to North Staffordshire almost a hundred years later the family had acquired substantial wealth by trade, the holding of lucrative offices and by advantageous marriages.

William Sneyd made extensive purchases of land in Staffordshire and elsewhere including the manor of Keele in 1544; was made Knight of the Bath in 1547; was sheriff of Staffordshire in 1549 and 1558; was granted the patronage of St. Margaret's church, Wolstanton, in 1567 where he was buried in 1571.

His successor Ralph Sneyd built a new house at Keele which became the principle family residence in 1581. However, members of the Sneyd family continued to live at Bradwell Hall for a substantial part of the next 250 years."

Andrew Dobraszczyc

A watercolour by R.M. Colley, looking towards St. Margaret's Church, Wolstanton.
A watercolour by R.M. Colley, looking towards St. Margaret's Church, Wolstanton.
St. Margaret's Church is depicted here in its pre 1858 state.
Between 1858 and 1860 the church was altered by Gilbert Scott
in the style of the Gothic revival.

Borough Museum and Art Gallery, Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire Past Tracks

Bradwell Hall and deer park - Plot's 1686 map

The extract above from a 1686 map of Staffordshire shows the location of Bradwell Hall north west of Chesterton. It also shows that the family had acquired another symbol of social status - a deer park - located north of the house.

1832 Hargeaves map of Bradwell
1832 Hargeaves map of Bradwell
-click for larger map-

Bradwell Hall was built on the top of a small hill at a height of just over 600 feet above sea level which gave the occupiers extensive views over the surrounding landscape.

As seen in the 1832 map above - one of the most important features in that landscape was Bradwell Wood which occupied an area of about a hundred acres north east of the Hall. 
All the early maps show that the main access to the house was not from the main road on the west (the present A34) which ran through Chesterton but from a lane on the east which ran north from the village of Wolstanton through Bradwell Wood to Chatterley Hall.

The lane clearly shown on the map above followed the route of the current streets -Bradwell Lane, Arnold Grove and Riceyman Road. The dotted line has been added to indicate the boundary of the the Sneyd estate which on the east side generally followed the line of the Fowlea Brook.


Sneyd Family Arms
Sneyd Family Arms

The scythe is representative of the original  woodland nature of the district.
The Fleur-de-lys was granted for deeds done in the French wars under the Plantagenet Kings. 

Amongst others, the Sneyd family owned the large tract of land, in the parish of Burslem which bears the name of Sneyd.
Bradwell, in the Manor of Tunstall was formally the chief seat of the Sneyds. Hence the scythe from the Sneyd farms is found in both the
Tunstall and Burslem arms.

In 1310 Henry de Sneyde married Margaret the daughter and heiress of Nicholas de Tunstall.

Some of the immediate descendants were called "De Tunstall" otherwise Sneyd. But the alias was retained for only three or four generations.


Bradwell Nursing Home:

In the early 1930's Newcastle Borough Council (which had absorbed part of the area of Wolstanton Urban District Council) began to layout the streets below Bradwell Hall.

Housing development was interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 and did not resume again until the late 1940s. Within the space of twenty years the whole of the area south of the Hall had been built up with semi-detached houses by Newcastle Borough Council and by private developers.

Meanwhile, after the death of Ralph Sneyd (1863-1949) his executors broke up the Keele Hall Estate and Bradwell Hall was sold to the Twigg family in 1951.

There was a fire at the Hall in 1985 and the house was subsequently refurbished by Twigg family and converted into the Bradwell Nursing Home.


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