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Cell Park, Markyate

Description: Cell Park

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 22 October 1952
English Heritage Building ID: 157926

OS Grid Reference: TL0588217246
OS Grid Coordinates: 505882, 217246
Latitude/Longitude: 51.8438, -0.4644

Location: A5, Saint Albans AL3 8QQ

Locality: Markyate
Local Authority: Dacorum Borough Council
County: Hertfordshire
Country: England
Postcode: AL3 8QQ

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Listing Text

TL: 01 NE
(East side)
2/147 Cell Park
22.10.52 (Formerly listed as
Markyate Cell)


Country house. E part 1539-40 for Humphrey Bourchier next site of church
of a suppressed priory of Benedictine Nuns founded 1145 by Abbot
Geoffrey of St. Albans with Christina of Markyate as first prioress,
dissolved 1537. S range c.1600 for Ferrers family but remodelled in mid
C17 for Thomas Coppin (d.1662) with brick S elevation and 2 large rear
stair towers similar to those at Aston Bury, Herts. A long mid C17 W
range was fronted by a 2-storeys classical range c.1734 for John Coppin,
and a single-storey library added at its N end (prob. for Rev John
Pittman-Coppin owner 1781-94). The W range was demolished and the rest
drastically remodelled 1825-6 by Robert Lugar for Daniel Goodson Adey as
a compact rectangular house with corner turrets and central porch added
to S front and new matching W front, linked by an arcade to low service
buildings to N. Fire damaged in 1840. Early C20 alterations for Sir
John de Fontblaque Pennefather involved moving entrance to N side in
remodelled courtyard with former main entrance feature re-used on N end
of carriageway through N range. The arcade became a ballroom. E part of
flint with Totternhoe stone dressings and chequered front: walling of
stone and knapped flints. Upper part on S of red brick with stone
pilasters. Rest of S front of narrow C17 red brick in English-bond
refaced on ground floor and above sills of attic windows in C19
Flemish-bond brickwork which is used on the whole W elevation. C19
turrets and windows on S have bluish brick quoins and reddish window
dressings, the latter partly obscured by later stucco surrounds. Porch
has Bath stone mullioned windows with carved jambs, that replacing the
former entrance copied from one above on 1st floor. Courtyard of lower
buildings in plain brick. Steep old red tile roofs generally. A large
isolated mansion set on a terraced hillslope in the middle of a large
landscaped park, 2-storeys, attics and cellars, assymetrical, in Tudor
style. The E part consists of a C16 2-storeys service crosswing
extending as a gabled projection to rear and with a large contemporary
chimney stack projecting on E side near S end of wing. The enlarged base
is said to contain a closed-up secret chamber entered over the
chimney-piece in the upper room (VCH(1908) 190B). Much C13 moulded
stonework built into N part of this E sidewall and repairs in red brick
at wallhead. 2 2-light moulded stone windows irregularly placed. S front
of this part has on ground floor a large 5-lights moulded C16 stone
window with Tudor arched head to each light and moulded stone label
over. A similar C16 2-lights mullioned stone window to left of larger
window. 3- and. 4-lights similar mullioned windows on 1st floor of
painted oak set in brickwork over a stone string course with stone
pilasters at ends and in middle. In the W wall of the C16 flint
crosswing, over a metre thick, is a depressed pointed stone archway
partly exposed over a corridor with three moulded orders, chamfer:hollow
chamfer:chamfer, on each face. 3 diagonally set square brick shafts atop
E chimney. Remainder of S front much taller, 3 windows wide symmetrical
design imposed, with narrow square projecting turrets at angles rising
higher with octagonal stage and ogee caps with vanes. 3 gables between
linked by parapets, centre gable triangular, the side ones shaped.
Central 2-storeys rectangular projection, in 1825-6 the entrance porch,
with strapwork cresting above the parapet and corner finials. Mullioned
and transomed moulded windows mainly of stucco but of Bath stone on
former porch. Rectangular leaded glazing. Narrow transomed false windows
in turrets with lattice leaded glazing. Groups of tall octagonal brick
chimney shafts with relief patterns of decoration. Shorter W front has
similar treatment with angle turrets, 2 windows between on each floor,
with a canted and a rectangular bay window and triangular attic gables.
Irregular N front facing into the courtyard has stone and flint C16
projecting gabled wing at E end, 2 tall C17 red brick gabled projections
fronted by the lower entrance block, and the end of the 1825 W range.
2-storeys entrance porch with carved stone plaque over round arched
entrance with pendant keystone and moulded imposts. Single-storey ranges
around N, E and W sides of court with arched carriageway through N
range. Outer N end decorated by Portland stone monolithic 3/4 Doric
columns with Bath stone round arch and entablature. In stepped gable
over an old stone plaque with carved strapwork. Old lion head and
pendant keystone set in arch, the older stonework and the columns
presumably come from the former S entrance. Adjoining the N end of the E
wall is a wide 4-centred archway in brick with a bell in a triangular
gable over. This was the former carriage entrance to the N courtyard
when it was a stable court, blocked in C20 by a linking corridor.
Interior has heavy plain ceiling beams in the E part, and a classical
early C19 white marble reeded fire surround with carved urns on the
corner blocks and centre panel, a decorated cast iron basket grate in
the nursery, but is otherwise of 2 periods, c.1825-6 and c.early C20. Of
the earlier period are the Jacobean style oak staircase round 3 sides of
an open well with moulded string, rusticated square newels and tall
pierced finials. Oak double doors at the foot has vigorous Jacobean
doorcase with double pilasters, fluted entablature and brackets with
acorn drops. This is on the axis of the former S entrance hall now
thrown together with the large adjoining room to E as the Billiard Room.
This has a rich plaster ceiling of moulded ribs in geometric patterns
with charges in the spaces. Arcaded deep frieze with Ionic pilasters.
Oak scratch-moulded panelling. 4-centred Tudor arched stone fireplace
with carved strapwork band at top. Similar stone fireplaces in most
rooms. The rather less heavy plaster ceiling in the SE room in the E
part ground floor is similar to that in the Billiard Room but probably
dates from after 1910 when the room was reported by the RCHM to be a
kitchen. Of this second period are the accomplished moulded plaster
decoration to many ceilings in the house, especially the segmental vault
with bands of vine scroll decoration in the Ballroom in the W link
block. These are in the Arts and Crafts Style and suggest the work of
Bankardt. (VCH (1908)190: RCHM (1911)150: Pevsner (1977)246: RCHM

Listing NGR: TL0588217246

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.