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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: 1268974



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

County: Hertfordshire

District: East Hertfordshire

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Hertford

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: II*

Date first listed: 10-Feb-1950

Date of most recent amendment: 09-Sep-1996

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 461266

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.



TL3212NE BULL PLAIN 817-1/17/17 (East side) 10/02/50 No.16 Beadle House (Formerly Listed as: BULL PLAIN No.16 Dinsdale House)


House, now offices. 1702-4, extended 1706, C19 alterations, restored in 1974 by architects Thorne, Barton, Kirby and Nash. Dark red brick, Flemish bond, with cherry red dressings, hipped old tiled roof with lead-flat crown. Central entry/staircase plan, extended by bay to right (south) shortly after initial completion. EXTERIOR: 2 storeys, attics and basement; 6 (originally 5) bay facade. First floor has six 12-pane sash windows, recessed in plain wooden reveals (2nd, 4th and 6th windows blank in 1973); ground floor has 4 nearly flush-set 12-pane sashes with moulded architraves, beneath red rubbed brick flat arches, with projecting plat band above; central doorway, with 5 stone steps, 3 recessed-panel door with moulded surrounds, surround of panelled pilasters on stone plinth blocks, 6-light fanlight with rectangular panes, fluted consoles and carved acanthus leaf brackets supporting moulded cornice hood; plinth with splayed brick offset and sunken front area with four 3-light basement windows below segmental arches, modern reproduction iron railings. Arched carriageway at right with double header arch and modern iron gates. Rear elevation has 2-light mullion and transom windows with plain glazing, 2 similar windows on ground floor right of carriageway, and early C19 12 paned bow sash window at right; central projecting staircase bay, weatherboarded above orange-red brick ground floor. Restored long 24-pane stair window, with semicircular head and moulded cornice above. Roof: with 4 box casement dormers to front, 3 to rear, with modillioned eaves cornice to front, moulded cornice to rear, rebuilt red brick chimneystack with band on 3 modern pots at left (equivalent south stack demolished c1973). INTERIOR: central through hall with part oak panelling of late C17 pattern, possibly reset, fitted around bolection architrave with front right room, elliptical arch with slim pilasters leads to staircase hall. In the north-east corner is a small panelled parlour with bold moulded cornice, and to the

right of the fireplace a semicircular niche with shelves, arched head with flower painting, and carved cherub heads in the spandrels. Staircase of dogleg plan, newel construction, open string with tread nosings returned over cut profiled brackets, barley-sugar twist columns on vase balusters, two per tread and quadrupled at newels, moulded handrail, dado with moulded rail. First floor has full width front room, created c1831 when the building housed the library of the Hertford Literary and Scientific Institution. Plaster cavetto cornice, ceiling border of modelled scrolls and vine leaves. The rear south room has a simple coving and 1 of its mullion and transom windows is peg jointed. The attics have exposed purlins butted into principal rafters; in the south attics inclined hip rafters across the outer ceiling planes indicate the position of the original end of the building prior to 1706. A subsidiary stair rises to a rooftop lantern. Vaulted cellar below large rear right-hand (south) room, now plastered; in north cellar weatherbeaten beam with tongued and stopped chamfer may be reused from previous building on site. HISTORICAL NOTE: Dimsdale House was built c1702, commenced by Sarah Crouch, and in March 1704 a document of Release recorded the shell of 'a new messuage or dwelling house, which is not yet finished', among the Releasors being Richard Hoddy, bricklayer. The house was acquired by the John Dimsdales, elder and younger, the former Mayor of Hertford in 1706 and 1711, knighted 1725, died 1726, whose son Thomas was a physician who discovered inoculation. In 1706, John Dimsdale was granted an additional lease which enabled him to extend the house southwards over the carriageway. In 1831 the Literary and Scientific Institution took over the house. A century later it had become shabby and used as a factory: in 1946 it was acquired by Enfield Highway CWS for redevelopment, but saved by listing and a subsequent public inquiry, regarded as a test case of the workings of the historic building provisions of the 1947 Town and Country Planning Act; the Minister placed the preservation order on the building. It was, however subsequently included with the adjoining Bull Plain buildings in a Comprehensive Development Area, and its future was saved when the Hertford Civic Society successfully persuaded the Borough Council to remove the listed building from the CDA. It was purchased by Beadle Property Holdings (which gave the new name to the building) and was restored 1973-4, receiving a European Architectural Heritage Year Award in 1975. (East Herts Archaeological Society Newsletter: Dimsdale House Hertford: Vol.3, 6 & 39: Hertford: 1949-1953; Hertfordshire Countryside: Forrester H: Hertford Homes in Queen Anne's Day:

Letchworth: 1946-1960: 104-107; The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: Hertfordshire: Harmondsworth: 1977-: 190; Smith JT: English Houses 1200-1800: The Hertfordshire Evidence: London: 1992-: 275; Smith JT: Hertfordshire Houses: Selective Inventory: London: 1993-: 82-3; Page FM: History of Hertford: Hertford: 1993-: 118-20; Journal of the Eastern Region RIBA: Kirby D: 'Beadle House Hertford': 1974-: 29-32).

Listing NGR: TL3264712687

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Page, F M, History of Hertford, (1993), 118-120
Pevsner, N, Cherry, B, The Buildings of England: Hertfordshire, (1977), 190
Smith, J T, English Houses 1200-1800 The Hertfordshire Evidence, (1994), 275
Smith, J T, Hertfordshire Houses Selective Inventory, (1993), 82-83
'East Hertfordshire Archaeological Society Newsletter' in East Hertfordshire Archaeological Society Newsletter, (1949-1953)
'Hertfordshire Countryside' in Hertfordshire Countryside, (1946-1960), 104-107
'Journal of the Eastern Region RIBA' in Journal of the Eastern Region RIBA, (1974), 29-32

National Grid Reference: TL 32647 12687


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End of official listing