Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:

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

East Hertfordshire (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


TL 3629 7/40

BUNTINGFORD HIGH STREET (west side) The Almshouses (Seth Ward's Hospital) Nos 1 to 15 (odd)

19.10.51 GV II*

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: TL3627829328


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


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)


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

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 21 May 2002
Reference: IOE01/06617/36
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr A. Gude. Source Historic England Archive
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