Berkhamsted Place,



BERKHAMPSTEAD PLACE, stands on a hill about a mile N. of the Castle. It is an E­shaped building, the wings projecting to the S.E., of two storeys with attics; the walls are of flint and stone, with brick additions; the roofs are tiled. It incorporates the remains of a courtyard house built by Sir Edward Carey, c. 1580, and sold to Henry, Prince of Wales, for whom the building seems to have been altered, in 1610. A fire, in 1661-2, destroyed nearly two-thirds of the house, which was afterwards repaired, probably by John Sayer, who held a lease of the property from 1662. On the S.E., the hall, built after the fire, occupies part of the old courtyard between the wings, and has a brick front with an embattled parapet, and a projecting- porch with a four-centred, arched doorway. Below the drawing-room windows, also facing S.E., is a stone dated 1611, which probably refers to alterations made for Prince Henry, but is not in situ. There are a number of small projections and gables on this front, which is entirely covered with modern cement. except the S.E. wall of the hall. The N. W. front is almost in its original state, and is faced with flint and Totternhoe stone in chequers 7 in. square. The two brick buttresses and two projecting octagonal brick chimneys were added in the 17th century. At each end is a plain gable, in which is a three-light window, with moulded stone mullions and transom, and a small stone pediment above it; all the other windows of this front have modern sashes, except one in the basement, which retains some original stonework. At the N.E. end of the house is a fine stone oriel window, now blocked and partly cut away to make room for a modern brick chimney. At the S.W. end are two modern bay windows. The interior has  been considerably altered. but retains a richly carved oak fireplace, and another with plaster  decoration, of late 17th-century date, some panelled ceiling-beams, and a plaster ceiling with moulded ribs, vine ornament, heads, etc. The principal staircase has square newels, turned balusters and moulded handrail, all of the 17th century. There are also circular wooden stairs reaching from the ground floor to the attics, the central newel being 9 inches in diameter.

Condition - Fairly good; some of the stonework of the original windows, etc., is decayed.

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Hertfordshire, 1911


The House was demolished in 1967

from Chauncy, Historical Antiquities of Hertfordshire

From Ordnance Survey 6" map, 1899

Berkhamsted House circa 1900 (early Hartmann postcard)

Berkhamsted Place, Hertfordshire - Valentine post card
Berkhamsted House - 1903 (Valentine card 39162)

Another version from the same negative (no publisher name or number)

Berkhamsted Place, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire   The Park, Berkhamsted Place, Hertfordshire
Berkhampstead Place - no publisher   The Park, Berkhamsted - no publisher

A more detailed history, up to the time the house was demolished in 1967 is given in Scott Hastie's Berkhamsted: An Illustrated History.

Page updated December 2008