Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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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 35120 16289


TL 31NR THUNDRIDGE CAMBRIDGE ROAD (west side) Thundridge 2/6 Poles Convent (FCJ) (Formerly listed under 24.1.67 Poles Lane) II*

Country house, now a convent school. 1890-91 by Ernest George and Peto, for Edward S Hanbury (Builders: Simpson & Son of Paddington), short extension to service wing and new stables on site of older stables 1913 for H H King, became a convent school 1923, tower 3-storeys courtyard linking to stables and new chapel 1934 by Walters for the convent. Red brick with blue brick diaper, stone mullioned windows and dressings (but moulded oak windows to the service wing) and red tiled roofs. Later extensions in red brick and stone dressings in plainer Jacobean style. Decorative tile-hanging to upper floor of stables. The stables and convent extensions are all to the N of the main house, which has a double height Great Hall facing W backing onto the Dining Room which faces onto the garden (E). Entrance is by a 2-storeys porch on the W into the Entrance Hall (a screens passage) which opens into an arched Loggia on the E in the angle with the service cross-wing on the N end. A semi-octagonal bay window lights the middle of the Hall and there is a gallery at the S end reached by an oak stair in a rectangular glazed bay in the angle with the S crosswing. This has the Morning Room on the W and the Library on the E, both with stone bay windows. 2- storeys with additional attics in N service wing, rising to 3- storeys with moulded wood cornice in teaching courtyard to N around tall buttressed chapel with gallery over entrance at E end. Formal entrance front on W with buttressed arched porch, brick oriel window over and Dutch gable. 2-storeys mullioned and transomed stone bay windows to the hall and stair S cross-wing has a sculptured external chimney stack and there is a large chimney in Renaissance style with pediment and strapwork cartouche on the S end. The E front has an alternation of semi- hexagonal bays with shaped gables between. 6-windows long with large gable end windows in the projecting N crosswing. Arcaded Loggia with stone arches on stone columns in the angle. '1890' on lead hopper. More vernacular Arts and Crafts style treatment of garden front of service wing at N with moulded timber mullioned windows, door and window linked and corner sleeping gallery with Jacobean square pillars on upper floor. Stable yard buildings in matching materials with shaped gables, tilehung upper floor, and labels to windows. Interior of main house very ornate and unaltered. Oak panelling and moulded plasterwork in entrance hall and great hall, elaborate relief plaster friezes in entrance and great hall. Oak beamed ceiling on stone corbels in Great Hall. Late C17 classical style panelled Morning Room with pedimented chimney piece and doorcase and French marble columnar fireplace enriched with ormolu. Library panelled in mahogony and rosewood with inlaid rosewood bookcases and large carved rose marble corbelled chimney piece in early Italian Renaissance style. Long barrel vaulted plaster ceiling to Dining Room in strapwork with painted panelling and Jacobean carved chimney piece with over mantle. In kitchen to N of entrance hall a simple black marble fireplace with cast iron inset in Japanese Style by Barnard and Barnard. Original electric light fittings in main rooms. An unusually complete and unaltered example of a late C19 small country house. (VCH (1912) 379: Poles Magazine July 1927 (privately printed) 4 - 5, 27: Pevsner (1977) 372).

Listing NGR: TL3512016289


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

Legacy System number:
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Books and journals
Doubleday, A, The Victoria History of the County of Hertford, (1912), 379
Pevsner, N, Cherry, B, The Buildings of England: Hertfordshire, (1977), 372
'Poles Magazine' in July, (1927), 4-5
Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England, Part 21 Hertfordshire,


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

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Date: 16 Mar 2003
Reference: IOE01/09788/25
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Ahmad Z. Karim. Source Historic England Archive
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