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List Entry Summary

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


List entry Number: 1101350



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

County: Hertfordshire

District: East Hertfordshire

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Buntingford

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: II*

Date first listed: 19-Oct-1951

Date of most recent amendment: 06-Jul-1984

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 159780

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

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Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.



7/40 The Almshouses (Seth Ward's Hospital) 19.10.51 Nos 1 to 15 (odd)


Almshouses. 1684 (possibly by Robert Hooke) for Seth Ward Bishop of Exeter and Salisbury, mathematician and astronomer, friend of Wren. Plum brick in Flemish-bond, Portland stone dressings, and steep old red tile hipped roof. 2 storeys, U-shaped building around a court open to the E. 7-windows wide symmetrical front to W range and 5-windows wings to N and S. 2 windows to each floor on ends of wings which also have an offset plinth in line with the red brick courtyard retaining wall topped by a wrought iron railing on timber posts, swept up to a central gate approached by 2 steps. Portland stone is used for the rusticated quoins, plain floor band, bold modillioned cornice with egg-and- dart bedmould, moulded 2-light mullioned windows, eared door surrounds (without frieze below the cyma cornice), and elaborate carved centrepiece. At the rear the elements are represented by a deep coved cornice, brick band, and segmental brick arches to the heavy wooden casement 2-light windows. All chimneys rise from the back wall. Slightly projecting pedimented central bay in courtyard has a window over a wide stone doorway with ornamental head crowned with a swan-neck pediment enclosing the arms of Bishop Ward. On tablet over door '1684/THIS HOSPITAL WAS ERECTED AND/ENDOWED BY SETH WARD D:D: LD. BP. OF/SALISBURY & CHANCELLr. OF YE MOST NOBLE: ORDER OF YE GARTERWHO WAS BORN IN YIS:/TOWN WITHINYE PARRISH OF ASPDEN & EDVCA-/TED IN YE FREE- SKOOL OF BUNTINGFORD.' Fine scrolled stone trusses support the entablatcre with swelled frieze and moulded surround to battened door. Houses for 4 men and 4 women. Each on 2 floors with living room and another room on Ground floor and bedroom and smaller room on 1st floor. 2 houses in each wing with doors at each corner, 4 in main block separated by central feature. Leaded glazing in opening lights, and battened doors one step up from courtyard. A classical almshouses of 1684 of outstanding interest. (RCHM (1911)140: VCH (1914)79: Pevsner (1977) 117- 8).

Listing NGR: TL3627329338

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Doubleday, AH, The Victoria History of the County of Hertford, (1914), 79
Pevsner, N, Cherry, B, The Buildings of England: Hertfordshire, (1977), 117-8
Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Hertfordshire, (1910)

National Grid Reference: TL 36273 29338


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End of official listing