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HHER Number:4211
Type of record:Building


17th century house built for the Chauncy family; turned into castellated mansion in 1820

Grid Reference:TL 301 271
Map Sheet:TL32NW
Parish:Ardeley, East Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire
Map:Show location on Streetmap

Monument Types

  • MANOR HOUSE (Post Medieval - 1501 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Ancient Monument 20624: ARDELEY BURY MOATED SITE AND FISHPOND
  • SHINE: Ardeley Bury, medieval moated site, earthworks and parkland
  • Listed Building (II*) 159508: ARDELEY BURY (700 METRES TO WEST OF CHURCH)

Full description

In 1086 the manor of Ardeley was held by the Canons of St Paul's, London. The manor then included the whole parish and was assessed at 6 hides. In Chauncy's time Ardeley Bury stood in what had been an ancient park, and was surrounded by a moat [391]. It may occupy the site of an ancient hall let to Osbert of Ardeley in 1141. The present house was built in the later 16C. It was much altered in 1820 to form an 'enchanted castle' <1>. The house is later 17C according to <2>, built for the Chauncy family as tenants of St Paul's Cathedral. 'No part of the present house can be said definitely to be of medieval origin, and although some parts existed in Chauncy's day, extensive alterations have made it difficult to say much about them' <3>; since Sir Henry <4> is silent on the matter, it is likely that the Chauncys 'altered and enlarged an old house without doing anything noteworthy' <3>. The part of the house in an L plan corresponds to the late 17C house, but even this is probably of two builds, and 'the ascription to the late 16th century appears to rest solely on the evidence of panelling' <3>. It was extended to the south in the late 18C to make a classical style U-shaped house, facing south. In 1808 the dean & chapter of St Paul's sold the estate, which was bought in 1811 by Commissary-General John Murray. In 1820 he remodelled and extended the house into a Gothick castellated mansion facing east, with a new Great Hall north of the entrance. The standing building is in plum brick, Portland stone and stucco dressings, with a round tower in random limestone rubble on the south, and old red tile roofs. The plan is an irregular L-shape, 2 storeys and attics. The south front has brick octagonal corner towers and the central stone round tower all with battlements and false machicolations. The towers, the range to the left of the round tower, and the central part of the range to the right all date from c1820. For the park, see [9552].

RCHM (England), 1911, Inventory of the historical monuments in Hertfordshire, - p36 (Bibliographic reference). SHT9222.

Pevsner, N, 1953, Buildings of England: Hertfordshire, - p39 (Bibliographic reference). SHT8770.

Pevsner, N, & Cherry, B, 1977, Buildings of England: Hertfordshire (2nd edition), - p73 (Bibliographic reference). SHT7257.

<1> Page, W (ed.), 1912, VCH Hertfordshire vol.3, - p194-5 (Bibliographic reference). SHT2329.

<2> Listed Buildings description (Digital archive). SHT6690.

<3> Smith, J T, 1993, Hertfordshire houses: selective inventory, Plan, fig 6; p8-9 (Bibliographic reference). SHT16660.

<4> Chauncy, Sir Henry, 1700, The historical antiquities of Hertfordshire (Bibliographic reference). SHT2425.

<5> Martin, Edward, & Satchell, Max, 2008, Whear most Inclosures be. East Anglian fields: history, morphology and management, - p160 (Bibliographic reference). SHT2573.

Sources and further reading

---Bibliographic reference: Pevsner, N, & Cherry, B. 1977. Buildings of England: Hertfordshire (2nd edition). - p73.
---Bibliographic reference: Pevsner, N. 1953. Buildings of England: Hertfordshire. - p39.
---Bibliographic reference: RCHM (England). 1911. Inventory of the historical monuments in Hertfordshire. - p36.
<1>Bibliographic reference: Page, W (ed.). 1912. VCH Hertfordshire vol.3. - p194-5.
<2>Digital archive: Listed Buildings description.
<3>Bibliographic reference: Smith, J T. 1993. Hertfordshire houses: selective inventory. Plan, fig 6; p8-9.
<4>Bibliographic reference: Chauncy, Sir Henry. 1700. The historical antiquities of Hertfordshire.
<5>Bibliographic reference: Martin, Edward, & Satchell, Max. 2008. Whear most Inclosures be. East Anglian fields: history, morphology and management. - p160.

Related records

391Related to: MOATED SITE, ARDELEY BURY, ARDELEY (Monument)