British Listed Buildings

History in Structure

If you log in, you can comment on buildings, submit new photos or update photos that you've already submitted.

We need to upgrade the server that this website runs on. Can you spare a quid to help?.

Rothampstead Manor House, Harpenden Rural

Description: Rothampstead Manor House

Grade: I
Date Listed: 19 October 1953
English Heritage Building ID: 163617

OS Grid Reference: TL1252613169
OS Grid Coordinates: 512526, 213169
Latitude/Longitude: 51.8058, -0.3693

Location: Harpenden, Hertfordshire AL5 2BG

Locality: Harpenden Rural
Local Authority: St Albans City Council
County: Hertfordshire
Country: England
Postcode: AL5 2BG

Incorrect location/postcode? Submit a correction!

Explore more of the area around Harpenden Rural, Hertfordshire at Explore Britain.

Listing Text

(west side)

5/83 Rothampsted Manor House
(formerly listed as
19.10.53 Rothampsted).


Large manor house, now a hall of residence. Largely mid-C17
(payments for bricks 1648/9, 1653) for Sir John Wittewronge.
Some C16 timber frame inside. Extended on NW for SirJohn Bennet
Lawes in 1863. Interiors remodelled for Sir C.B. Lawes-
Wittewronge c.1900-10. Dark red brick. Plain tile roofs. The
C17 house is F-plan, the long part being the S range. The 2
wings on the NW had the recess between them enclosed in 1863 when
the W range was extended by 2 bays. 2 storeys and attics. S
range is double pile. 9 broad mullioned and transomed casements,
all with original oak frames and leaded lights. Square 3-
storeyed central porch-tower, flanked on the 1st floor by 1-
window recesses. The 2 bays either side have wide shaped attic
gables, the outer ones wider. Scrolled brick sides. Triangular
and segmental pediments. Continuous moulded brick cornice.
Plain 1st floor band. The ground floor windows have segmental-
headed relieving arches. Doric style cut brick porch with
bulging pilasters and simple entablature. Original oak door with
moulded panels. At the S end is 1 bay of a loggia, formerly
open, and returning for 3 bays on the S elevation. Chamfered
arches in square relieving frames, the brick painted white.
Above the porch are the arms of Wittewronge in a sunken panel,
and at the top a C19 wooden and leaded Gothic style cupola. The
W elevation is 5 windows, the 2 large windows on the N a
remodelling of 1900 by T.G. Jackson. 3 elaborate cut brick
gables on right have scroll-shaped sides and pediments, the
middle one with Ionic pilasters flanking the attic windows.
Gable pattern continued for 2 1863 bays. Cartouche in centre,
dated 1665, was added in 1906. The E side forms an open
courtyard, partly closed by the projecting bay of an L-shaped
mid-C17 service wing on the N. This wing is timber frame with
red brick infill, but has a mid-C18 facade towards the courtyard,
with parapet, floor band and 5 C18 casement openings. Segmental
arch to carriage way, the outer side with timber frame and
adjoining C17 doorway. Main ranges of house have some C17

Interior: The hall has reused mid-C16 linenfold panelling,
incorporating a frieze with heads, brought from Clare, Suffolk.
Morning room to N of hall has stone fireplace from Rawdon House,
Hoddesdon; white and black marble. Former dining room to S of
hall has mid-Cl7 panelling with fluted Ionic pilasters. Beams
plastered with running motifs. Stone Jacobean chimney piece.
Behind panelling is a remarkably complete scheme of late C16 or
early C17 wall paintings. Small room at S end of W range has C18
or C19 gilded wallpaper with painted flowers and good C16 chimney
piece and overmantel. Large dining room beyond is in an
extravagant 'Jacobethan' style. Linenfold panelling to doors and
walls. Large central fireplace with black marbme columns and
rich overmantel. Library wing at N end added in 1910 by V.T.
Hodgson and incorporates the most elaborate fireplace from Rawdon
House: grotesque caryatides of satyr and nymph,overmantel with
scenes of satyrs playing musical instruments. Leading off from
hall is a 1678 staircase. Open well. Tall shaped finials to
newel posts; tapering balusters with arches between them. Walls
from 1st floor to attic have painted relief of balustrade.
Similar smaller staircase E of hall, also with some painted
relief. The Pink Room on 1st floor has fireplace from Rawdon
House with animal carvings in overmantel. Good C17 doorcase to
main 1st floor landing. Another fireplace in The Brown Room.
(RCHM (1910), Pevsner (1977), RCHM Typescript).

Listing NGR: TL1252613169

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.