Hoddesdon, Urban and Rural

Pages 125-126

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Hertfordshire. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1910.

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In this section

66. HODDESDON, Urban and Rural.

(O.S. 6 in. (a)xxxvi S.E. (b)xxxvii. N.W.)


High Street, E. side

b(1). St. Monica's Priory, formerly Rawdon House, about ⅓ mile S. of the church, is a large red brick building with stone dressings, of two storeys and an attic; the roof is tiled. It was built by Marmaduke Rawdon in 1622; a stone over the porch bears the date, and several lead rain-water heads also have the date and the initials M.R. The original plan was rectangular, with a projecting porch and bay windows on the W. or main front, and a square tower, containing the staircase, at the back; a N.W. wing was added in 1880, and the building was very carefully restored. The W. Elevation has a plain stone cornice with a range of five curvilinear gables above it; in the middle gable, over the porch, is the date 1622; the other gables have circular openings, with a small stone cross in low relief above each opening. The projecting porch is of two storeys; the lower part has been restored, and has granite columns on each side; the upper part has engaged shafts of brick, with capitals which support a modern brick pierced parapet. On each side of the porch are two projecting bay windows in two storeys, with heavy mullions and transoms, and modern brick embattled parapets; all the windows have been restored, but the brick pilasters between those on the first floor are original. The attic windows are also mullioned, and have been restored. On the E. or Garden Front the square central tower rises above the roof and terminates in a pierced parapet, enclosing a gallery with cupola and sidelights of glass. The garden door is original and has a semi-circular head, elaborately fluted and panelled; all the windows have been restored. The rectangular chimney stacks are original, and have pilastered sides and projecting caps. The hall is in the middle of the original block, and has a plaster ceiling with a design of fleurs-delis, Tudor roses, etc., a plaster frieze of geometrical design and a wide fireplace with plaster figures. The library on the N. of the hall was probably originally the kitchen. The 17th-century, wide oak staircase, which is carried up to the attic, has heraldic newels and a pierced balustrade, with heraldic figures of dragons, griffins, etc., on the first floor, and figures, apparently Biblical, on the top floor. On the first floor landing is an elaborate four-centred doorway of oak, with a square head; the door is panelled and the lintel and pilasters are enriched with strap work. There are some old doors, panelling and beams in a few of the rooms, but most of the original fittings were sold in the 19th century, when the house became the property of Canonesses of the Augustinian Order. Three of the fireplaces are at Rothamsted. (See Harpenden.)

Condition—Good, but restored and altered.

b(2). Stanborough House, now the Conservative Club, 1/8 mile S. of the church, is a late 16th or early 17th-century house, with a central wing at the back, dated 1637, the plan of the building being T-shaped. The W. block (or head of the T), facing the street, is of two storeys and attics, and has timber-framed and plastered walls. The roofs are tiled, and there is an original chimney stack of narrow bricks. Externally this block is of modern appearance, but inside there are several original oak floor joists with chamfered edges and moulded stops. The wing of 1637 (forming the stem of the T) is of three storeys, built of brick, and has several rain water heads bearing the date: the N. front is divided by shallow pilasters into six bays, below the cornice at the second floor level; the line of the high parapet above this is broken by a semi-circular gable in the middle and a plain gable at the E. end of the front. The outer doorway, in the second bay from the W., has an original oak panelled door; each window on the ground floor has a shallow form of ornamental pediment; two of the original windows on the first floor are blocked. The E. or end wall of the wing has a curvilinear gable and modern windows. On the S. side are two chimney stacks with five square shafts, four set diagonally; the westernmost shaft is modern, and the others apparently re-built with old bricks. Inside the wing there is a fine oak staircase with heavy newels, some with double heads, a deep moulded handrail, and carved flat balusters, moulded to the rake of the stairs. Several rooms retain their original oak panelling, in small squares with stop-moulded frames, and one room has a carved oak chimney piece. Some oak panelled doors, studded with nails, also remain.


b(3). Hogges Hall, about ¼ mile S. of the church, is a building of two storeys, timber-framed, and covered with rough-cast cement; the roof is slated, but under it is said to be part of the original roof with some old tiles. The present plan is of an irregular half-H shape, and externally the house is entirely modern, but detail in the main block, which faces W., shows it to be part of a 15th-century building, probably of rectangular or perhaps L-shaped plan, with a N. wing, as at present, containing the kitchen, etc. This wing and two small rooms on the E. side of the main block have no detail by which they can be dated; the wing at the S. end was added by the present owner of the house. The hall, in the main block, appears to be the N. half of the original hall, and has an open timber ceiling with 15th-century beams; at the N. end is a timber-framed, plastered partition, in which is a 15th-century wood doorway with a cinque-foiled hollow chamfered ogee arch and plain chamfered posts; W. of it was formerly a similar doorway, and the notch to receive the arch can still be seen in one of the posts; these doorways probably led to the kitchen and buttery. The rooms N. and S. of the hall have old ceiling joists, but all the other details of the interior are modern, except a little panelling of late 16th and early 17th-century date, brought from elsewhere.


W. side

b(4). The Grange, about 700 yards S. of the church, is a two-storeyed house of brick. It seems to have been built in the 16th century, but was re-built early in the 18th century, and has later alterations and additions. The original plan is untraceable. One room is lined with early 17th-century panelling, not in situ, and has an overmantel and enriched cornice of late 17th-century date. In the domestic offices are three doors of c. 1600, with long, narrow, moulded panels, and there is also a fragment of a carved frieze panel, in oak, of the same date.

Condition—Good; much altered.

b(5). The Golden Lion Inn, about 500 yards S. of the church, is a small, two-storeyed house of plastered timber and brick, built c. 1600, and much altered in the 18th and 19th centuries. The plan is L-shaped, with the principal rooms, now parlour and bar, in the long wing, which faces the street, and the domestic offices in the short wing. The upper storey projects on the front, and is carried on rough-axed beams; a door on this level, under a small gable at the back, is reached by a ladder. The two chimney stacks have been re-built.

Condition—Good; much altered.

b(6). The Old Swan Inn, probably of late 16th-century date, is a two-storeyed house built of red brick and timber; the roof is covered with slate. The upper storey projects over a moulded oak cornice, and in the front is a large bay window, supported on two columns.

Condition—Good; much restored and altered.

b(7). The Griffin Hotel retains some timber work, probably of early 17th-century date.

Condition—Good; much altered and repaired.

b(8). Bell, in the Clock Tower, at the N. end of the street, about 200 yds. S.W. of the church, was cast by Thomas Bullisdon early in the 16th century, and bears the inscription 'Sancta Ana ora pro nobis.' It probably belonged to an ancient chapel, on the site of which the tower is built.

b(9). Cottages (Nos. 71–75), on the W. side of Amwell Street, are probably of the 17th century. They are built of brick and timber; the roofs are tiled.

Condition—Fairly good.

b(10). Stone Conduit-Head, formerly at the public well in the High Street, was removed in the 19th century, and is temporarily placed at Connal's Farm, about 2/3 mile E. of the church. It represents the three-quarter figure of a woman, life-size, holding a pitcher, and was given by Sir Marmaduke Rawdon (who built Rawdon House in 1622) to the town.

Condition—Damaged and weatherworn.


a(11). Tumulus, S. of road at Hoddesdonbury.