Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


Ordnance survey map of JOHN OF GADDESDEN'S HOUSE
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Dacorum (District Authority)
Little Gaddesden
National Grid Reference:
SP 99292 13401


LITTLE GADDESDEN LITTLE GADDESDEN SP 9913 (East side) 9/188 No. 29/30 (John of 14.5.52 Gaddesden's House)


Court house, now a house. Circa 1500, altered to a house and extended in late C17, restored 1898 and used as a village reading room, sold and became a house c.1931, additions to front and N end of a C16 house from Hawstead, Suffolk, and late C17 N wing from Wrestlingworth Manor, Beds, 1948-52 by Frank Jennings architect. 1½ storeys rear extension c.1978. Timber frames on brick sills, exposed close studding on ground floor, panelled radial pattern pargetting to 1st floor boldly jettied on W front. Front wing higher red brick sill and exposed close-studding with plastered panels. Steep old red tile roofs. 3-light flush casement windows with iron opening lights and leaded glazing. A large 2-storeys building facing W with 2-bays upper hall at S richly finished with bold 4ft jetty, and wide arched openings on S and W like original shop windows. Stair on N possible original. N crosswing jettied at W gable possibly contemporary, has higher floor levels and plainer treatment. Gabled dormer in hipped front roof. Large chimney at junction of wings. Front wing is former 2-bay open hall with inserted floor and large internal red brick chimney from N Essex. 2 storeys N wing is painted brick with modillioned eaves cornice and cross windows with leaded glazing. The first-floor hall is unequalled in Herts for the profusion and quality of its ornament (RCHM Typescript) and presumably served a communal purpose such as a Marriage Feast House or a Court House. The connection of the C14 physician John O'Gaddesden with the present building must be spurious. Close studding, moulded arched wind braces, moulded cambered tie-beams with carved knee braces to moulded jowled posts. 2 intermediate trusses in clasped-purlin roof each with cambered collars and solid arched braces with carved spandrels and stub tie-beams with human heads (renewed by Lawrence Tanner in plaster at restoration). Conversion to a house in late C17 involved infilling of wide ground floor openings, inserting large brick stack at N with lobby entrance from W. Raised and fielded panelled ground floor room made by taking in part of a lean-to. 1st floor probably partitioned at central truss. Brick N wing with 1st floor corbelled on 3 moulded courses with a kitchen on ground floor. Transplanted C16 front wing has crown-post roof with 4-way bracing and octagonal post with moulded cap and base, also fine moulded joists and main beam in inserted floor. 4-centre arched chamfered brick fireplace, and diamond mullioned windows. Bolection moulded fire surround on 1st floor of N wing. (RCHM(1911)144 no.5: Pevsner (1977)237: RCHM Typescript: Senar(1983)90-91).

Listing NGR: SP9929213401


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
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Books and journals
Pevsner, N, Cherry, B, The Buildings of England: Hertfordshire, (1977), 237
Senar, H, Little Gaddesden and Ashridge, (1983), 90-91
Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Hertfordshire, (1910)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Reference: IOE01/02974/15
Rights: Copyright IoE Dr Richard Hart. Source Historic England Archive
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