Bradfield really consists of two villages; High Bradfield and Low Bradfield. Both are dominated by St. Nicholas Parish Church, which dates from 1487, and can be seen from many parts of the Parish, standing 860ft above sea level. Inside are many interesting features such as the Saxon Cross, found at Low Bradfield in 1870 and subsequently placed in the church in 1886. The Norman Font is said to have been given by the Cistercian monks of Roche Abbey.
At the gate of the church stands the Watch House, a multiangular building. It was built in 1745 to prevent Body Snatching. As it is the only surviving Watch House in Yorkshire, it is of historical interest.
Beyond the church yard, behind the church is Bailey Hill. No one seems to know its true origin or purpose. It may have been a look-out post or a Chieftains home, but one thing is certain, it was used by Saxons and Normans.
Almost opposite “The Horns” stands the Old Work House built in 1769 to house the poor and homeless of the Parish.
At the top of Woodfall Lane is the former Church Hall. It was once the Church of England Day school, erected in 1841. It is now a private dwelling.
A steep 1/2 mile descent lakes us down Wood fall Lane to Low Bradfield. At the bottom of the hill lies the village shop and Post Office.
It is open long hours during the summer to cater for the influx of visitors. Opposite the shop is the “Cross Inn”, converted to a private house some years ago. Next to it a cluster of pretty cottages.
At the other side of a rough lane is the Village Hall. Situated in the corner of the Ibbotson’s Memorial Field, it is the centre of most village activities, ranging from the Historical Society to many a Wedding Reception! The lbbotson Memorial Field is also, the centre of village life. During the summer months there are cricket matches, bowls competitions and tennis tournaments, all to be seen on a pleasant summer stroll round the Field.
The large house overlooking the field, and indeed the whole village, is Burnside the home of the lbbotson family from 1865 to 1966. lbbotsons have lived in Bradfield for at least four hundred years, probably even longer than that.
Many pretty cottages stand in the centre of the village and the former smithy is now a garage and workshop.
Over the hump-backed bridge is a pleasant and popular picnic spot by the side of the stream. Beyond that, is the old mill dam. Situated in front of you at the road junction is the Village School, sadly no longer in use.
Turning left into Mill Lee Head you will find the former Sunday School, now converted for use by the Parish Council. Opposite this is the Methodist Chapel constructed in 1899. Next to the chapel stands the Water Filter Station. This was built in 1913 to purify water from Strines, Dale Dike and Agden reservoirs, situated further up the dale.
Extracted from “A Brief Guide to Bradfield”