Historic Buildings and Sites: Madeley Hall

Madeley Hall and Hall Barn

Madeley Hall

Madeley Hall is a Grade II* listed building which was built around 1700. It is a large brick house of five bays with two storeys and dormers in the hipped roof. The mellow brickwork, with keystones and stone lintels, gives the impression of a typical ‘Queen Anne’ mansion. The house formerly stood in an old fashioned garden with a broad flight of stone steps leading from a central path up to the terrace around the house.
The principal rooms were lined with 18th century oak panelling and have solid brass door furniture, probably contemporary with the house. The original kitchen contained a fine old fire-grate with double knobbed standards and an old turnspit that was worked by a dog running round inside a wheel!

Nearby is the Hall Barn, for many years a venue for Madeley social events. Beside it is the site of an old horse-drawn threshing engine, nowadays known as the cock pit. It is likely that the building was, in fact, used for both these purposes and that the circular area where the horse used to walk round to operate the threshing machinery was later used as a cock pit.

The house was probably built by the Ashwoods (a long-established Madeley family) and was originally at the centre of a large farm of about 180 acres. In 1770 Dorothy Ashwood married Henry Hawley and, by a marriage settlement of the following year, the property passed to the Hawley family of Leybourne Grange in Kent. It remained in their ownership until 1848 when Sir Joseph Henry Hawley sold Madeley Hall and the farm to Joseph Yate whose family, as tenants and agents of the Hawley’s estate, had already lived at the Hall for the greater part of a century.