Bolling Hall

The Bolling Hall that stands today perched overlooking the city of Bradford – and now incongruously in the middle of a housing estate – was build in 1370 and extended in the 15th century. Before this time, the manor consisted of wooden framed buildings.

The History of Bolling Hall

The first reference of a manor house at Bolling can be found in the Doomsday Book which was compiled in 1086 with the first owner being an Ilbert De Laci who was presented with the manor by William the Conquerer for his services at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. It is not known how long De Laci held the manor, but it was in the hands of William Bolling by 1316.

During the War of the Roses (1455?1487) – a series of civil wars fought over the English throne between the House of Lancaster and the House of York, the head of the household at Bolling was Robert Bolling who was accused of high treason and who had his home and estate siezed. He appealed to the King and the hall was returned to him in 1475.

In 1446 Robert had betrothed his son Tristam to Beatrice Caverly (both under 12) and Tristam inherited the Hall in 1487. Together, Trisam and Beatrice had only one surviving child a daughter called Rosamund who married a Tempest, Richard in 1497. Following her fathers death, the house and land became hers, therefore passing it to the Tempest family. They extended the houses adding many rooms including kitchens, bedrooms and a great hall.

Richard was knighted in 1513 and managed to involve himself in The Rebellion of Northern Gentry in 1536 and was arrested and died in prison whilst awaiting trail in 1537.

Rosamund continued with the estate until her death in 1553, her oldest surviving son John succeeded her. He had no children so on his death it passed to his brother Nicholas.

At the beginning of the Civil War (1642) the last Tempest, Richard fought for the King and Bolling Hall was used as Royalist Headquarters in 1643, he later changed sides and was fined ?1,748 for his part in the war, this put him in financial difficulty. In 1649 he sold Bolling Hall to Henry Savile and in 1657 Richard died a debtor in Fleet Prison.

In 1668 the Hall was sold to Francis Lindley a barrister, he died a year later and his wife continued to run the estate until her son came of age, he lived there till his death in 1734, and his wife Caroline looked after it on behalf of their son Walter who was declared a `lunatic`.

Walter died in 1760 and it was passed on to a cousin Thomas Pigott, he died in 1770 and it passed to his cousin Captain Charles Wood. After 1870 it was divided into tenements and several families lived there. In 1912 the then owner Mr G A Paley gave it to the City of Bradford and in 1915 it opened as a period house and museum to the local public.

The Haunted History of Bolling Hall

  • The first reports of Bolling Hall being haunted date back to 1642 or 1643 when the Earl of Newcastle, who was staying at the Hall after marching his troops into Bradford, reported that his bedclothes had been pulled back and he claimed to see a woman wringing her hands and saying to him `pity poor Bradford`. Initially, the Earl had plans to devastate Bradford but after this encounter he had a change of heart and ordered his troops to kill only those who offered resistance. As a result, only 10 people were killed.
  • Once a newspaper offered a reward of £50 if anybody could manage to stay the night at the hall, the offer was never taken up.
  • Over the years and still ongoing others things that have been seen and heard such as : babies crying
  • A distressed women has been seen in what once was the nursery
  • In the blue room a man wearing long coat tails and a female ghost dressed in pink
  • The sound of rattling can be heard by the Georgian stairwell
  • There have been dragging noises across the floor
  • A ladies voice has been heard.

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