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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: 1173939



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

County: Hertfordshire

District: Dacorum

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Markyate

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: II*

Date first listed: 22-Oct-1952

Date of most recent amendment: 19-Mar-1987

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 157926

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

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


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


MARKYATE DUNSTABLE ROAD (A5) TL: 01 NE (East side) 2/147 Cell Park 22.10.52 (Formerly listed as Markyate Cell)


Country house. E part 1539-40 for Humphrey Bourchier next site of church of a suppressed priory of Benedictine Nuns founded 1145 by Abbot Geoffrey of St. Albans with Christina of Markyate as first prioress, dissolved 1537. S range c.1600 for Ferrers family but remodelled in mid C17 for Thomas Coppin (d.1662) with brick S elevation and 2 large rear stair towers similar to those at Aston Bury, Herts. A long mid C17 W range was fronted by a 2-storeys classical range c.1734 for John Coppin, and a single-storey library added at its N end (prob. for Rev John Pittman-Coppin owner 1781-94). The W range was demolished and the rest drastically remodelled 1825-6 by Robert Lugar for Daniel Goodson Adey as a compact rectangular house with corner turrets and central porch added to S front and new matching W front, linked by an arcade to low service buildings to N. Fire damaged in 1840. Early C20 alterations for Sir John de Fontblaque Pennefather involved moving entrance to N side in remodelled courtyard with former main entrance feature re-used on N end of carriageway through N range. The arcade became a ballroom. E part of flint with Totternhoe stone dressings and chequered front: walling of stone and knapped flints. Upper part on S of red brick with stone pilasters. Rest of S front of narrow C17 red brick in English-bond refaced on ground floor and above sills of attic windows in C19 Flemish-bond brickwork which is used on the whole W elevation. C19 turrets and windows on S have bluish brick quoins and reddish window dressings, the latter partly obscured by later stucco surrounds. Porch has Bath stone mullioned windows with carved jambs, that replacing the former entrance copied from one above on 1st floor. Courtyard of lower buildings in plain brick. Steep old red tile roofs generally. A large isolated mansion set on a terraced hillslope in the middle of a large landscaped park, 2-storeys, attics and cellars, assymetrical, in Tudor style. The E part consists of a C16 2-storeys service crosswing extending as a gabled projection to rear and with a large contemporary chimney stack projecting on E side near S end of wing. The enlarged base is said to contain a closed-up secret chamber entered over the chimney-piece in the upper room (VCH(1908) 190B). Much C13 moulded stonework built into N part of this E sidewall and repairs in red brick at wallhead. 2 2-light moulded stone windows irregularly placed. S front of this part has on ground floor a large 5-lights moulded C16 stone window with Tudor arched head to each light and moulded stone label over. A similar C16 2-lights mullioned stone window to left of larger window. 3- and. 4-lights similar mullioned windows on 1st floor of painted oak set in brickwork over a stone string course with stone pilasters at ends and in middle. In the W wall of the C16 flint crosswing, over a metre thick, is a depressed pointed stone archway partly exposed over a corridor with three moulded orders, chamfer:hollow chamfer:chamfer, on each face. 3 diagonally set square brick shafts atop E chimney. Remainder of S front much taller, 3 windows wide symmetrical design imposed, with narrow square projecting turrets at angles rising higher with octagonal stage and ogee caps with vanes. 3 gables between linked by parapets, centre gable triangular, the side ones shaped. Central 2-storeys rectangular projection, in 1825-6 the entrance porch, with strapwork cresting above the parapet and corner finials. Mullioned and transomed moulded windows mainly of stucco but of Bath stone on former porch. Rectangular leaded glazing. Narrow transomed false windows in turrets with lattice leaded glazing. Groups of tall octagonal brick chimney shafts with relief patterns of decoration. Shorter W front has similar treatment with angle turrets, 2 windows between on each floor, with a canted and a rectangular bay window and triangular attic gables. Irregular N front facing into the courtyard has stone and flint C16 projecting gabled wing at E end, 2 tall C17 red brick gabled projections fronted by the lower entrance block, and the end of the 1825 W range. 2-storeys entrance porch with carved stone plaque over round arched entrance with pendant keystone and moulded imposts. Single-storey ranges around N, E and W sides of court with arched carriageway through N range. Outer N end decorated by Portland stone monolithic 3/4 Doric columns with Bath stone round arch and entablature. In stepped gable over an old stone plaque with carved strapwork. Old lion head and pendant keystone set in arch, the older stonework and the columns presumably come from the former S entrance. Adjoining the N end of the E wall is a wide 4-centred archway in brick with a bell in a triangular gable over. This was the former carriage entrance to the N courtyard when it was a stable court, blocked in C20 by a linking corridor. Interior has heavy plain ceiling beams in the E part, and a classical early C19 white marble reeded fire surround with carved urns on the corner blocks and centre panel, a decorated cast iron basket grate in the nursery, but is otherwise of 2 periods, c.1825-6 and c.early C20. Of the earlier period are the Jacobean style oak staircase round 3 sides of an open well with moulded string, rusticated square newels and tall pierced finials. Oak double doors at the foot has vigorous Jacobean doorcase with double pilasters, fluted entablature and brackets with acorn drops. This is on the axis of the former S entrance hall now thrown together with the large adjoining room to E as the Billiard Room. This has a rich plaster ceiling of moulded ribs in geometric patterns with charges in the spaces. Arcaded deep frieze with Ionic pilasters. Oak scratch-moulded panelling. 4-centred Tudor arched stone fireplace with carved strapwork band at top. Similar stone fireplaces in most rooms. The rather less heavy plaster ceiling in the SE room in the E part ground floor is similar to that in the Billiard Room but probably dates from after 1910 when the room was reported by the RCHM to be a kitchen. Of this second period are the accomplished moulded plaster decoration to many ceilings in the house, especially the segmental vault with bands of vine scroll decoration in the Ballroom in the W link block. These are in the Arts and Crafts Style and suggest the work of Bankardt. (VCH (1908)190: RCHM (1911)150: Pevsner (1977)246: RCHM Typescript).

Listing NGR: TL0588217246

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Doubleday, AH, The Victoria History of the County of Hertford, (1908), 190
Pevsner, N, Cherry, B, The Buildings of England: Hertfordshire, (1977), 246
Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Hertfordshire, (1910)
Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England, Part 21 Hertfordshire,

National Grid Reference: TL 05882 17246


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End of official listing