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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: 1342226



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

County: Hertfordshire

District: Dacorum

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Tring

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: II*

Date first listed: 29-May-1981

Date of most recent amendment: 29-May-1986

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 355726

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.


TRING MANSION DRIVE SP 9211 (East side) 11/90 The Mansion, Tring Park 29.5.81 (The Arts Educational Schools) (Formerly listed as The Mansion) GV II* Country house, now a school. Circa 1682-3 by Sir Christopher Wren for Henry Guy, Secretary of the Treasury to Charles II, altered c.1786 for Sir Drummond Smith, greatly altered externally after 1872 for the Rothschild family and partly rebuilt but retaining Wren's plan and conception. Interior extensively refitted in Wren manner. Red brick with lavish stone dressings and slated Mansard roofs. Now in French Renaissance dress the house is of basement, 2 storeys and Mansarded attics, with near symmetrical entrance front on N and similar garden front on S. Remarkable plan with smaller rooms concentrated in parallel N and S ranges and space between occupied entirely by double height great hall and double height staircase on a common E-W axis and separated only by an open colonnade on ground floor carrying a gallery over, which fronts the landing to the staircase and extends through the wings at each end on the same axis as the entrance from the N. The staircase is inset from the W end to allow the original kitchens to project at low level here without any obstruction to the 3 windows lighting the stair. Hall lit only from E, at 2 levels. Entrance front 2-2-3-2-2 bays, divided by chanelled pilasters and with cornice between storeys and modillioned cornice and balustrade above. Windows with architrave surrounds and cornices, cills with consoles, aprons and cill bands. Triple keystones and plate glass sashes. Centre has large stone round arched porte cochère with balustrade over, segmental pedimented stone framed dormer windows rise through the parapet, within the centre a three part one with elaborate top. Wide Mansard roof to centre, and similar pavilion roof to right and left. Garden front: similar, no porte cochere. Interior: very elaborate with huge central hall of two storeys with vaulted ceiling and with great staircase at one end. Decoration all in late C17 style. Good plasterwork and other features elsewhere. The interior is much of it in late C17 style and some of it, on close inspection might be original work of the Wren period. The conception of the great hall and staircase is original and extremely remarkable for the late C17 and is similar to the rather later arrangements at Easton Neston. Roger North who was acquainted with Wren, in his treatise Of Building (eds H.M.Colvin and J.Newman, Oxford (1981)73-4) confirms the house is by Wren, describes the spatial arrangement of hall, stair and gallery and also a variation of the design as built, from that first intended, with the entrance steps being within the N range rather than in front of it. 2 dwgs in RIBA Collection show the original design. Sir Drummond Smith's work in the 1780's remains in the refurbished rooms on the ground floor of the S range, with elaborate plaster ceilings. The Rothschilds after 1872 provided further bedrooms in French style pavilion roofs, enriched the exterior, added a large saloon in pavilion to SW, rebuilt E end of hall as a canted 2-storeys bay but renewed the cantelevered gallery across this end at lst floor level, put in a hydraulic lift, and provided kitchen and bakery etc. in grand style in glazed brick basements. Marble reliefs in saloon by W.S.Rome 1889 and chimneypiece links marble prow of a ship and lifesize female figures. (Pevsner(1977)369: RCHM Typescript: K.Downes The Architecture of Wren, London, 1982,103-4)

Listing NGR: SP9267911189

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Downes, K, The Architecture of Wren, (1982), 103-4
Pevsner, N, Cherry, B, The Buildings of England: Hertfordshire, (1977), 369
Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England, Part 21 Hertfordshire,

National Grid Reference: SP 92679 11189


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End of official listing