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The Priory, Rickmansworth

Description: The Priory

Grade: II
Date Listed: 3 October 1985
English Heritage Building ID: 158779

OS Grid Reference: TQ0609194246
OS Grid Coordinates: 506091, 194246
Latitude/Longitude: 51.6370, -0.4684

Location: Church Street, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire WD3 1DJ

Locality: Rickmansworth
Local Authority: Three Rivers District Council
County: Hertfordshire
Country: England
Postcode: WD3 1DJ

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Listing Text


474/13/136 CHURCH STREET
(West side)

(Formerly listed as:

Former Church House, c. early-C16, converted to dwelling by early-C18; altered C19 and early-C20. Timber frame to the first floor, brick infilled, the ground floor clad in brick ; pitched tiled roof and brick chimney stacks.

PLAN: This is a four bay building of two storeys with attics. There is a small addition to the west end of the north elevation, with access to the ground floor outhouses from the north side only; there is also a single story lean to addition to the west gable end.

EXTERIOR: The south elevation has four leaded casement windows to the first floor, two with gabled dormers; to the ground floor are two bay windows either side of the front door and a further window to the west. The front door has margin lights with decorative leadwork and a porch hood supported on wooden brackets. Some first floor framing survives. The west gable end has an early-C20 single storey lean-to with hipped tiled roof above which is a bay window, also with hipped tiled roof;there is also an attic window. The east gable end, to the street, has an early-C20 three-light Gothic ground floor window with coloured glass shields and diamond leaded panes, and there are two C20 attic windows. Timber framing survives to the first floor, where a lintel possibly indicates the position of an external door. Some of the timber frame and jetty are visible inside the sheds added to the north elevation.

INTERIOR: The plan of the ground floor consists of four rooms, with the additional lean-to kitchen to the west. The two central rooms were originally the hall. The front door gives access to the modern hall, which contains a wooden staircase and false fireplace with wood surround. A chamfered axial beam supporting numbered joists continues into the room immediately to the west, which contains a large C16 fireplace in the north side. This has a bressumer with cambered head. The fireplace has been reduced in size, and filled with C17 Dutch tiles. The room to the east of the hall preserves evidence in the beam of a wattle and daub partition, and the joists, like those in the hall, are numbered. The west room has a rough beam and plastered ceiling. There are early-C20 plank doors throughout.

The roof is of tie beams and queen strut construction, with jowelled posts to the tie beams and braces from post to tie beam. The purlins are chamfered, and there are two pairs of curving windbraces to each bay.

HISTORY: The Victoria County History records that there was a church house in Rickmansworth which belonged to the townspeople before the Dissolution; this was granted to William Tipper and Robert Dawe in 1588-1589. This may refer to The Priory, which by the early-C18 had been converted into a dwelling; it was further altered in the C19 and early-C20. This was originally a four bay two storey building with a ground floor hall, with one room to the west and two to the east divided by a wattle and daub partition; the east rooms are now one. The hall was heated by a massive external stack to the north side. The house was box framed and jettied to both north and south sides, its south side ground floor later faced in brick, and its first floor framing infilled. There is evidence of an earlier door in the framing to the first floor east gable end, indicating an entrance from an external stair. The present plan form dates to c.1900, when the lean-to kitchen was added to the west elevation. New windows and doors were also inserted at the same time.

SOURCES: Page, W (ed.) (1908) Victoria County History. A History of the County of Hertford. Vol.2

No.40 Church Street,The Priory, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It is of special architectural and historical interest as a C16 Church House which retains original timber framing and roof trusses.
* Its conversion to a dwelling in the C18 is of additional interest.
* Its integrity has not been compromised by early-C20 alterations.

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.