Explore Bradford: Tory, Middle Rank & Budbury

Tory and Middle rank are terraces of houses on the hillside above Newtown, under the plateau of Budbury. They were developed piecemeal on land belonging to the Methuens, over a period from the 1690s until the 19th century. The name Tory refers to the old word tor, meaning a hill.

 

At the top end of Tory, on a spur overlooking the town is the chapel of St Mary Tory. Attached at one end of the small late medieval chapel is a house that seems to have been a hermitage, or perhaps a hostel for pilgrims.

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Click on the thumbnail pictures for a bigger view..

The western end of ToryThe western end of Tory was built at the end of the 18th century as one rank of houses that are distinguished by Tuscan doorways.

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ToryThe second rank of houses form a shallow crescent, with a canted bay at each end and a slightly projecting centre. The house in the foreground was a holiday home of the Bowes-Lyon family in the 1920s and the future Queen Elizabeth, wife of King George VI, spent some time there as a girl.

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The lower end of ToryHouses further down Tory are of mixed dates. The oldest, from the 1690s, are at the lowest end, leading from Conigre Hill. Many of these were in poor condition in the 1950s and threatened with demolition, provoking a national outcry.

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Middle RankMost of Middle Rank, the terrace below Tory, is of the very end of the 17th century, but were greatly restored in the 1960s. Most were in very poor condition and some of those at the far end had been derelict since the end of the 19th century.

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The Grove Meeting House (Zion Chapel)At the Conigre Hill end of Middle Rank is Zion Baptist Chapel. This started life in 1698 as The Grove Meeting House, a Presbyterian chapel which had become Unitarian by the end of the 18th century. Its congregation declined and it became the Sunday School of the Zion Chapel on the opposite side of Conigre Hill. The Conigre Chapel itself was demolished in the 1950s.

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Budbury

Above Tory is Budbury, a roughly rectangular Early Iron Age hillfort that was defended by steep slopes on two sides and by ditches and dry stone wall ramparts on the other two.. Excavations in 1969 found part of the wall and traces of buildings inside. Around this area pottery from the Late Bronze Age and Roman objects have been found too. It has all been built over now.

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Budbury HouseProminent on top of the hill and with possibly the best views in town is Budbury House. This is usually referred to as the Rug Factory from its original use when it was built in the 1850s (the Wiltshire Rug Co. was operating there in 1917). Today it is a short terrace of three-storey houses.

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Budbury Manor HouseAt first glance this would seem to be a 17th century house, but details show that it dates from two centuries earlier and even then may be a rebuild of a previous house. It is very likely to be Budbury Manor House, at one time the main building of the small manor of Budbury which was mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086.

 

Budbury Farm, across the road, was converted for the Misses Pearson Godwin in 1925.

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