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The Priory, Wymondley

Description: The Priory

Grade: I
Date Listed: 27 May 1968
English Heritage Building ID: 162762

OS Grid Reference: TL2186327974
OS Grid Coordinates: 521863, 227974
Latitude/Longitude: 51.9369, -0.2287

Location: Priory Lane, Wymondley, Hertfordshire SG4 7HD

Locality: Wymondley
Local Authority: North Hertfordshire District Council
County: Hertfordshire
Country: England
Postcode: SG4 7HD

Incorrect location/postcode? Submit a correction!

There is also a scheduled monument, Wymondley Priory, Barn, Moat, Associated Earthworks, Enclosures, Platforms, Hollow-Way and Conduit Head., at the same location as this building or very close to it. This may be related in some way or possibly a different name for the same structure.

Explore more of the area around Wymondley, Hertfordshire at Explore Britain.

Listing Text

TL 2127 (East side)
Little Wymondley

11/150 The Priory
27.5.68 (formerly listed as Wymondley Priory)


Priory church, now a dwelling house. Founded 1205-7 by Richard de
Argentien first as a hospital and soon after as a priory of Augustinian
Canons, dedicated to St. Mary. Dissolved and granted to James Nedham
c.1536 (see brass in church) who adapted the priory buildings to a
mansion. Inherited and much improved by George Nedham 1688. Part of the
cloister may have remained c.1700, E parts said to have been destroyed
by fire in C18, fragmentary stone walls recorded by Oldfield c.1800.
Building stripped to shell and renovated 1973-4. The surviving building
consists of the W part of the unaisled nave of the priory church with
C16 and later extensions and alterations. Flint rubble C13 walls with
uncoursed knapped flint facing, limestone ashlar facing to E end of S
wall, the W gable top and buttress at the W end. Limestone dressings.
C16 narrow red brick in English-bond walling to SW block and similar
brickwork in N block. All now roughcast externally. Steep old red tile
roofs. A large 2-storeys and attics house, on a moated site, facing N.
Higher central part running E-W is the former priory church's nave.
Small 2-storeys C16 parallel block at SW lines with W end of nave.
2-storeys N-block is roofed by 3 parallel pitched roofs producing 3
gables on the N. Its W end is set back a little from the W end of the
nave. N-front designed to look symmetrical with 3 4-light transomed
windows to 1st floor and central entrance door with narrow single-light
window to each side of it. Similar 4-light windows to ground floor on
each side of centre. Studded old door. 2 internal chimneys in middle
part with one and two diagonal red brick shafts. The plan (VCH
(1912)189) indicates a possible arrangement of domestic accommodation
from N to S of pantry, entrance passage, hall (in the nave), and parlour
(in the SW block). Hall and parlour have chimneys on the E, and there is
a passage behind the hall fireplace separating it from the chimney
serving the kitchen in the E part of the nave. Work in 1973 exposed N
and S walls of nave. In S wall at 1st floor level 2 C13 tall lancet
windows with rebated outer opening and wide internal splays with corner
shafts, moulded caps and bases and 2-centred moulded arch with three
moulded elements. These were protected by the SW block. The cloister was
evidently to N and a fine processional door is exposed in the W part of
the N wall with superb moulded arch of multiple rolls and hollows and
dog-tooth decoration. Where S walk of cloister should have been was
found part of a late medieval traceried recess and part of a C16
wallpainting of running warriors in classical armour. The roof structure
of the nave is the most complete surviving feature. It is single framed
consisting of individual rafter couples each with a collar, straight
braces below collar, ashlar pieces near feet of rafter descending
vertically to sole-pieces over twin wallplates, the whole describing a
7-sided figure. Heavy floor structures inserted in nave to form 1st
floor and attics. 4-centred 1st floor stone moulded fireplace under
depressed 3-centred relieving arch. Clock mechanism on platform at W end
of roofspace of SW block. Clasped-purlin roofs with curved wind braces
in C16 parts. For 2 centuries the house was the seat of the Nedham
family, lords of the manor. In the later C18 it was the home of
Thomas Browne, Garter King of Arms and an eminent land surveyor. (RCHM
(1911)149: VCH (1912)188-9: Kelly (1914)296: Medieval Archaeology 18
(1974)191: Pevsner (1977)243: Roy Midmer English Medieval Monasteries
(1066-1540) London (1979)339: RCHM Typescript: inf Mr. Farris).

Listing NGR: TL2186327974

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.