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Bradley

Bradley is a small village roughly three miles East of Ashbourne.  Its odd-looking 14th century church used to have a wooden tower, until this was struck by lightning in the 18th century.  The single bell is now hung from a structure on the North wall.  Samuel Johnson was a frequent visitor to the village calling on the Meynell family at Bradley Hall; he is first recorded as a visitor in 1739..The village is surrounded by large ponds, great for bird-watching, attracting a good number of waterfowl; the largest is known as Lady Pond.  The village primary school has a good reputation and draws in children from a wide area; they have established a small nature reserve in the woodland behind the school.

The chief curiosity of the village is at Moorend and is known as “The Hole in the Wall”- an archway spanning the road between two cottages.  It has been suggested that this was a toll house; the walls facing each other beneath the arch have a blocked-up doorway and small window.   But as there are no windows through which to observe the approaching traffic, this interpretation is open to some doubt. The London to Manchester turnpike road used to pass through Ashbourne and certainly, Bradley is mentioned on the route, but it is also possible that the Hole in the Wall was a gatehouse to Bradley Hall.
The nearest public house is either The Ketch or the Red Lion, both in nearby Kniveton.