Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
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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)
Stanstead Abbots
National Grid Reference:
TL 38573 09955


TL 3809NE STANSTEAD ABBOTS RYE ROAD (north side) Lea Valley Park 15/1 Rye House Gatehouse 4.12.51 (Formerly listed as The Rye House)


Gatehouse to Rye House (demolished), lower part used as a museum. C15 for Sir Andrew Ogard a naturalised Dane (license to crenelate 1443) on this moated site beside the river. 1683 scene of the Rye House Plot to murder Charles II. Rebuilt except gatehouse at end of C17 (RCHM Typescript). Said to have been used as the parish Workhouse before 1834. Site made into a pleasure garden for London trippers c1868 by Henry Teale (1806 - 76). Site cleared and gatehouse restored recently for Lee Valley Park. The gatehouse is the only complete C15 part standing. Red brick in English-bond with some diaper ornament in black headers, and carved stonework to string courses and main entrance. Roofless upper storey. 2 high storeys and crenellated parapet to roof. A tall rectangular block standing on the inner edge of the moat, facinq E. SW corner carried up as stair turret above parapet. A hollow moulded stone string course runs around the buildinq at the base of the parapet and is decorated by grotesque heads at intervals. A similar string runs around the top of the stair turret with a head at each corner. Decorative elements are concentrated on the E front with a secondary elevation on the W formerly facing into the courtyard. E front nearly symmetrical with a moulded stone pointed gateway with carved spandrels in a rectangular frame. Boarded wooden double doors. Small upright windows to each side with elaborate moulded brick jambs and head and label dripmould. Above the door false machicolations in corbelled arched brickwork with relieving arch over. Advanced wallface patterned with diaper in black brick. Central merlon decorated by a raised rib and merlons each side pierced by arrow loops. False machicolations with intersecting arched corbels at a lower level on each side carry projecting diapered panels with moulded brick frame and large corbelled oriel windows with canted returns. These have large brick mullioned and transomed windows, 2-light on left but 3-light on riqht, and castellated tops. Large 1st floor window on left hand return with square head, moulded jambs and label. W elevation has a large pointed brick gateway in 2 chamfered orders, a small upright window on the left with moulded jambs, rectanqular head, and label. Corbelled 1st floor chimney rises above parapet in a tall composite barley-sugar shaft with moulded cap and base. Small unemphasised stair window to right. Front wall of an attached small wing set back on N end with a 3-centred arched doorway into the main gatehouse at the upper level, the springing of a tunnel vault over the ground floor, and a small window in the front wall, with 3-centred rere arch, at 2 levels. (RCHM (1911) 210: Archaeological Journall32(1975) 111-150). Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Listing NGR: TL3857309955


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

Legacy System number:
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Books and journals
'Archaeological Journal' in Archaeological Journal, , Vol. 32, (1975), 111-150
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

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Date: 27 Feb 2003
Reference: IOE01/10243/18
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr A. Gude. Source Historic England Archive
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