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HHER Number:4129
Type of record:Building


Large Georgian red brick rectory, with 15th century masonry wing surviving from an earlier house which was also the manor house of the rectory manor

Grid Reference:TL 335 369
Map Sheet:TL33NW
Parish:Therfield, North Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire
Map:Show location on Streetmap

Monument Types

  • MANOR HOUSE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1500 AD)
  • VICARAGE (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Area of Archaeological Significance 49
  • Listed Building (II*)
  • Listed Building (II*) 162426: THE OLD RECTORY

Full description

The Rectory is a large building. The main, late 18th century building is of red brick. On the east side is a 2-storeyed 15th century structure, probably a wing of the original building ('no doubt the former manor house' <2>; there was a rectory manor at Therfield). There are foundations on the west of a similar wing <1>. The house was extensively rebuilt twice; the first time by John Mountford between 1640-43; little remains of this today. The second rebuild was by Charles Weston, who became rector in 1762; it is to him that the present appearance of the house is largely due. On the site of the hall and west wing he built a double-depth brick house which, on the garden (south) side, is of five bays and completely symmetrical, whereas the front (N) has four bays and an asymmetrical entrance <3>. The early wing is of flint rubble, rendered with clunch dressing.
'It was said in 1547 that courts leet and view of frankpledge were usually held at the rectory. The rectory manor was let on lease with the parsonage in 1553. The late incumbent, the Rev J G Hale, was accustomed to hold courts yearly in the 'Court Room' of the rectory. In 1336 Wymar de Corton conveyed a toft in Therfield to the parson for the enlargement of the rectory' <7>.
In 1912, there were 'brick outbuildings and a brew-house of the 17th century; in the yard is an old deep well' <7>.
19th century maps show that the carriage sweep in front of the house already existed in 1843 <4>. At this date there was a long outbuilding running west of the house and carriage sweep, evidently the stable block. North of this was another building [12027], which appears to have been a private chapel in the rectory grounds. North again, between the chapel and the churchyard, was a pond curving round into a wet ditch running along the churchyard boundary. By 1878 <5> these outbuildings had been re-organised into a small yard, and by 1898 <6> the two buildings (chapel and stable) shown on the 1843 map had gone.
Some of the later 19th century outbuildings still survive. Of the house itself, the service rooms behind the east end of the house, shown on the 19th century maps (and possibly including the brewhouse), were demolished in the 20th century. For the fishpond, which may relate to the 17th century house, see [4194].

Listed Buildings description (Digital archive). SHT6690.

RCHM (England), 1911, Inventory of the historical monuments in Hertfordshire, - p218 (Bibliographic reference). SHT9222.

<1> OS Records (Index). SHT8223.

<2> Pevsner, N, & Cherry, B, 1977, Buildings of England: Hertfordshire (2nd edition), - p362 (Bibliographic reference). SHT7257.

<3> Smith, J T, 1993, Hertfordshire houses: selective inventory, - p186-8 (Bibliographic reference). SHT16660.

<4> Tithe map and award, Therfield, 1843 (map) (Cartographic material). SHT1377.

<5> OS 25 inch map, 1st edition, 1877-78 (Cartographic material). SHT8116.

<6> OS 25 inch map, 2nd edition (1897-1901), 1898 (Cartographic material). SHT8113.

<7> Page, W (ed.), 1912, VCH Hertfordshire vol.3, - p276 (Bibliographic reference). SHT2329.

Sources and further reading

---Digital archive: Listed Buildings description.
---Bibliographic reference: RCHM (England). 1911. Inventory of the historical monuments in Hertfordshire. - p218.
<1>Index: OS Records.
<2>Bibliographic reference: Pevsner, N, & Cherry, B. 1977. Buildings of England: Hertfordshire (2nd edition). - p362.
<3>Bibliographic reference: Smith, J T. 1993. Hertfordshire houses: selective inventory. - p186-8.
<4>Cartographic material: Tithe map and award. Therfield, 1843 (map).
<5>Cartographic material: OS 25 inch map, 1st edition. 1877-78.
<6>Cartographic material: OS 25 inch map, 2nd edition (1897-1901). 1898.
<7>Bibliographic reference: Page, W (ed.). 1912. VCH Hertfordshire vol.3. - p276.

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