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The Manor House and No 55, Little Gaddesden

Description: The Manor House and No 55

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 14 May 1952
English Heritage Building ID: 157729

OS Grid Reference: SP9933213506
OS Grid Coordinates: 499332, 213506
Latitude/Longitude: 51.8114, -0.5605

Location: Church Road, Little Gaddesden, Hertfordshire HP4 1NX

Locality: Little Gaddesden
Local Authority: Dacorum Borough Council
County: Hertfordshire
Country: England
Postcode: HP4 1NX

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Listing Text

SP 91 SE (East side)

1/198 The Manor House and No 55
30.11.66 (Formerly listed as
14.5.52 No 55 Little Gaddesden)


House, now subdivided. 1576 for Sir Robert Dormer (plaque central on W
front 'AD1576/EE/NA.RD', service wing on S and alterations 1684 (RW head
on front dated), timber framed SW projecting wing (No. 55) C17 or
earlier, antiquarian restoration possibly 1787 (graffiti at: top of NW
stair 'WF 1787'), restoration and SE wing c.1880 for Lord Brownlow.
Tottenhoe stone ashlar, W front skinned in plaster 1958, E side
chequered stone and flint. Red brick S wings and casing to SW wing (No.
55) which has timber framing exposed on SW. Old red tile roofs. A 3
storeys symmetrical building facing W with a 2-storeys half octagonal
bay in centre flanked by 3-storey square projecting towers with
crowsteps of a half gable to N and S added for symmetry and concealing
lean-to roofs. Ovolo-moulded mullioned and transomed windows with iron
casements and old lattice leaded glazing. The fronts of the towers have
one window to each floor, 2-light with label to 3rd floor, 3-light below
a moulded string to 2nd floor, 3-light below a hoodmould on RH but small
high set 2-light on LH. Similar wide mullioned windows to central bay,
with parapet and small 2-light casement above. Datepanel on bay carved
with strapwork in egg-and-dart gadrooned sunk frame. Crow-stepped gables
between corner finials top the towers and obscure view of fine N
chimney. Sunk panel with label in each small gable, LH with clock hands.
Entrance now into side of RH tower but Buckler dwg of 1841 (HRO) shows
central doorway in ground floor of bay. RCHM Typescript suggests towers
original but crow-stepped gables and possibly top storey of towers added
c.1787. N wall has a massive ashlar chimney topped by 4 round shafts
treated like columns with bulbous bases, square abaci with stone knots
under 4 corners, supporting a deep continuous stone entablature (locally
called Jarman's Coffin). Stepped buttresses on N. E wall has mullioned
and transomed 3-light windows probably c.1684. The hall occupies the
whole ground floor of N block with 2 chamfered crossbeams and no
indication of an original partition. Splendid carved stone chimney piece
central on N wall with 4-centred opening carved spandrels, strapwork
rectangular surround, paired Corinthian columns sharing panelled dies,
carrying a moulded entablature with inlaid running scroll in frieze.
Overmantle with carved figures inset in projecting end piers under
enriched cornice with royal arms and ER painted central between scenes
with Elizabethan figures female on RH and male on LH said to depict the
arrest of Princess Elizabeth at Ashridge after Wyatt's rebellion 1553/4.
Large painted timber panel painted with scene of this arrest hangs
framed on wall, said to be a door found in cellar in 1890's. Arched
openings as screen at S end of room may have replaced the normal buttery
and pantry arrangement c.1684. Wainscotting probably from Old Ashridge.
Solar on 1st floor has simpler chimneypiece. Remains of former clasped
purlin roof over 1st floor remain above S wall. Timber framed SE 1½
storeys block altered and encased in C19 with N wall chimney of 2
diagonal shafts, and parallel brick extension with small 2-light windows
and moulded parapet. Large central chimneys. C19 extension to SE.
(VCH(1908)11-13: RCHM(1911)143-4 no.4: Pevsner(1977)237: RCHM
Typescript: senar(1983)99-100).

Listing NGR: SP9933213506

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.