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Walled Garden at Hances Cottage and Beel House

A Grade II Listed Building in Amersham, Buckinghamshire

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Latitude: 51.666 / 51°39'57"N

Longitude: -0.5723 / 0°34'20"W

OS Eastings: 498833

OS Northings: 197324

OS Grid: SU988973

Mapcode National: GBR F6B.D3X

Mapcode Global: VHFSJ.1D85

Entry Name: Walled Garden at Hances Cottage and Beel House

Listing Date: 3 July 2009

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1393375

English Heritage Legacy ID: 507016

Location: Little Chalfont, Chiltern, Buckinghamshire, HP7

County: Buckinghamshire

District: Chiltern

Civil Parish: Little Chalfont

Built-Up Area: Amersham

Traditional County: Buckinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Buckinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Chenies and Little Chalfont

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

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Listing Text

166/0/10013 SNELL'S LANE
03-JUL-09 Walled garden at Hance's Cottage and B
eel House


Garden walls to walled garden at Hance's Cottage and Beel House. Of early C19 date with later C19 modifications.
MATERIALS: Largely of red hand-made bricks with some vitrified blue bricks. Also some later C19 red bricks.
PLAN: The garden walls enclose a polygonal garden approximately 3810 sq m (0.38ha).

DESCRIPTION: Garden walls of hand-made red brick with some vitrified blue brick inclusions although used in an ad hoc manner rather than to create a pattern. Substantial lengths as follows: NE wall, which appears to be battered, approximately 73m long; NW wall 26m; SW wall 96m and SE wall 20m. The bond lacks uniformity with different courses having different combinations of headers and stretchers, topped with simple copings formed of brick headers. NE wall is of the greatest height, as one would expect, at approximately 3.5 to 4m. To immediate NW of Hance's Cottage, a gateway allows access into the garden. This is flanked by shallow brick piers and has a flat brick head to the gate arch. Further gateways to the S and to NW. Raking brick buttresses support the internal face. Some modifications to the NW and SW walls where there have been repairs, rebuilds or added uppers courses. Some garden buildings use the wall as their rear wall but are not of special interest being late in date and roughly built. Comparison between the layout on first edition Ordnance Survey map and modern aerial photographs indicates that pathways which run parallel but inside the wall in the western part of the site are in the same position as in 1877.

HISTORY: The walled garden is likely to have been associated with Beel House to the north-west, to which Hance's Cottage was formerly an ancillary building. The same polygonal boundary, enclosing a garden which tapers to the north-west, is shown on the first edition Ordnance Survey map of 1877. This map shows lines of trees within the garden as well as network of paths and some glasshouses and shed towards the SE end. It most probably functioned as the kitchen garden to the Beel House.

Beel House is a small county house (Grade II*) in a park of C17 origins. It was considerably aggrandised and enlarged in the early C19 and it would seem likely that the walled garden is contemporary with this investment. Some of the stretches of walling with the vitrified blue brick inclusions are of early C19 date although with some later C19 modifications in the NW and SW walls. Close to the terminus of the SE wall is a later brick pier with stone coping. There are a number of glasshouses and garden sheds and a cross-wall at the south-eastern end of the garden. One such potting shed has the date 1867 on its eastern gable, indicating late C19 modifications to the garden. These features are not of special interest.

Hance's Cottage (Grade II) is a timber-framed property of probable C16 origin. It is understood that in the early C20 it was occupied by the gardener and chauffeur for Beel House before becoming a private dwelling in separate ownership from 1954 onwards. In 1986 the walled garden was subdivided and the north-western half was sold back to Beel House. The two gardens are now separated by a lower C20 wall with a central fence. This boundary is not of special interest. The garden was formerly used for commercial growing (when it was known as 'Beel House Nurseries') but is now a domestic garden to both Hance's Cottage and Beel House.

The Garden walls of the early C19 walled garden at Hance's Cottage (Grade II) and Beel House (Grade II*) are recommended for designation at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:
* An almost complete circuit of high garden walls largely in hand-made brick enclosing a former garden, probably the kitchen garden, to Beel House
* Group value with Beel House and Hance's Cottage.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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