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Much Hadham The Palace

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Bishop's Folly

In the civil parish of Much Hadham.
In the historic county of Hertfordshire.
Modern Authority of Hertfordshire.
1974 county of Hertfordshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: TL43051972
Latitude 51.85772° Longitude 0.07600°

Much Hadham The Palace has been described as a probable Palace.

There are major building remains.

This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law*.

Description

House. Originally the Manor House of Much Hadham and from before the Conquest until 1647 a residence of the Bishops of London. Early C16 and later periods. Red brick casing to timber frame structure. Old tile roof. 2 storeys and attics. Original house was an E-W hall range with cross wing on W. This cross wing was refronted in mid C18 with a 6 window, parapeted range. Ground floor has later conservatory, 6/6 sash windows and half- glazed door. Floor band, later casements to 1st floor, long eyebrow dormer just above parapet. On N elevation the front range has a pointed sash window with Gothic tracery bars. To E are 2 projecting gable ends, C18 with floor bands and moulded corbels. W gable end has sash window and small pane gable casement. Recessed centre with C18 gable and various casements. E gable incorporates early C16 brickwork and Ground floor, moulded, 4-centre arch doorway; E elevation of this has 1st floor 8/8 sash window. Further E is another C16 brick portion with modern gable, Ground floor has twin 6/3 sash windows. Further E is 2 gabled entrance front to Palace East, C18 brickwork probably to C17 range. 2 Ground floor, small pane, sash windows. Rear S elevation is long, 6 gabled range, original house 4 gabled on W, only the 4th gable showing any early C16 brickwork. Continuous floor band at eaves level. All windows C19 casements. C19, canted, 2 storey addition between 3rd and 4th gables. E pair of gables form symmetrical garden front. Adjoining Palace East on E elevation is C18 or earlier, timberframed and plastered outbuilding, weatherboarded to sill level on E side, which also has 2- and 3-light small pane casements. Slightly taller C19, painted brick, W extension, probably for stabling. Interior. Much altered. Palace West has re-used oak panelling in Ground floor of W range. S Ground floor with C17 moulded floor beams and C16 moulded stone fireplace, possibly moved from elsewhere, incorporating 1577 fireback with arms of Bishops of London. (Listed Building Report)

The Palace (adjacent to the parish church) was the manor house of Much Hadham, and the property of the Bishops of London until 1647, when it was sequestrated. It reverted to the Bishopric at the Restoration in 1660, and the Bishops, while reserving the right of residence, then leased the property to tenants. By 1817 and until 1863 the building was in use as a private lunatic asylum; in 1868 it passed to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners who in 1888 sold it as a private house. (Hertfordshire HER)
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated on Wednesday, July 2, 2014

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