(O.S. 6 in. (a)xxxvi. S.E. (b)xli. N.E. (c)xli. S.E.
Despite the old name of Cestrehunt, no trace
of permanent Roman occupation has been
b(1). Parish Church of St. Mary, stands
on the W. side of the town. The tower
is built of ashlar, and the E. wall of the
chancel is of flint rubble; the other walls, except
in the modern parts, are also probably of flint
rubble, but are coated with cement. The church
was entirely re-built between 1418 and 1448, by
Nicholas Dixon, Rector, as recorded on a brass
in the chancel, and no details of the earlier
building remain. The North Chapel (or Vestry)
has some re-used 17th-century brickwork, but
is practically modern, as are the South Chapel
and South Porch. Much restoration was carried
out between 1872 and 1892.
Architectural Description—The Chancel
(45 ft. by 21 ft.) has a large traceried E. window,
modern except the inner jambs; the side walls
and arcades are also of the 19th century; the
15th-century chancel arch has shafted jambs
with moulded bases and capitals. The Nave
(74 ft. by 22 ft.) has N. and S. arcades of five
bays with piers having engaged shafts of Purbeck marble; in the E. respond of the N. arcade
is a small low 15th-century archway, with open
tracery, which gave a view of the nave altar under
the rood-loft; in the opposite wall is a modern
copy of the archway, and above it an opening to
the former rood-loft. The clearstorey has two-light windows with some modern stonework.
The North Aisle (9½ ft. wide) has five 15th-century N. windows of three lights with tracery,
all repaired with cement; the W. window has
been blocked by an 18th-century monument.
The South Aisle (9½ ft. wide) has two 15th-century, and two modern S. windows resembling
those opposite. The West Tower (16 ft.
square) is of three stages with low buttresses,
and an octagonal turret at the S.E. angle rising
above the embattled parapet, and entered from
the nave: the lofty tower arch has central
engaged shafts with moulded capitals and
bases: the lowest stage has two side windows
of two lights, and a W. doorway with a square
head, over which is a three-light traceried
window; the stone vaulting is modern,
but springs from the original 15th-century
shafts; the second and third stages have windows
of two lights with square heads. The Roofs
are apparently all modern, but the corbels—
carved angels carrying shields—which support
the trusses, are original.
Fittings—Bells: five; two of 1636; a
third, 17th-century. Brasses: below the
communion table, to Nicholas Dixon, Rector,
died 1448, part of a canopy, two shields,
and a Latin inscription which records his rebuilding the church: in nave, at N.E., of
William Parke or Pyke, 1449 (head missing),
and Ellen, his wife: in nave, at S.E., to
Agnes Luthyngton, 1468, inscription only: at
E. end of N. aisle, in floor slabs, of Elizabeth
Garnett, wife of Edward Collen, 1609, kneeling
figure: of a woman, late 15th-century, with indents of man, inscription, and children: of
another woman, 15th-century, no inscription:
indent of a knight, and shields, late 15th-century: on the N. wall above these slabs, to Constance, wife of John Parre, 1502, inscription
possibly belonging to one of the brasses. Chest:
in the tower, iron bound, with three locks,
probably of late 16th-century date. Font:
late 12th-century bowl, with trefoiled panels,
apparently modern, cut in the sides; stem and
base modern. Glass: in the tracery of a
window in N. aisle, white and gold roses, 15th-century. Monuments: on N. side of chancel,
large tomb with recess to Robert Dacres,
erected 1543; altered and repaired by Sir
Thomas Dacres, 1641; other names on the tomb
are George Dacres, 1580, and Sir Thomas
Dacres, 1615: in E. wall of S. chapel, to Henry
Atkins, physician to James I. and Charles I.,
1638: on S. wall of S. aisle, to John Robinson,
1661: on W. wall, to William Robinson, 1686,
and his two wives, 1676 and 1694. Piscinae:
in the chancel, with part of the bowl cut away,
15th-century: in the S. aisle, of rougher workmanship, date uncertain. Plate: includes a
silver cup and flagon of 1638, and a paten of
1672. Sedilia: in first bay of S. arcade of
chancel, formerly in the wall, now detached;
with 15th-century arches under modern heads.
Miscellanea: in the churchyard, ancient stone
Condition—Good, except the windows of the
tower, which are all much decayed outside, and
the N.E. buttress of the chancel.
a(2). S. of Factory Farm.
b(3). In Hell Wood, with deep ditches and
high outer ramparts, enclosing two islands; the
stream has cut through the island on the N.
Condition—Good, except on the N.
b(4). E. of Goff's Oak.
b(5). At Cheshunt Manor House, with outer
platforms on three sides; on the W. the island
is revetted with a brick wall, and the abutments
of a bridge are traceable.
c(6.) S.W. of Theobalds Park Farm.
d(7). At Nunnery Farm, fragment.
d(8). ¼ mile S.S.E. of Cheshunt Station,
small dry moat.
b(9). Cheshunt Great House and Moat,
about ¼ mile N.W. of the church. The house is a
rectangular two-storeyed structure of red brick,
with a tiled roof. It is all that remains of a
large building of courtyard type and late 15th-century date, and originally formed part of the
E. wing. A stone mullioned window in the N.
gable, now blocked, indicates work of c. 1600,
but the house has been much altered in the 18th
century, and little can be made of its history.
The hall is especially interesting as it retains
a fine example of an open timber roof of late
The hall, occupying the S. half of the existing
building, is encased on the E. and W. with
18th-century walls to form additional rooms,
and the interior has been considerably altered
in the 19th century; the roof, ceiled with
plaster, is of collar-beam construction with
curved moulded angle-braces on the trusses,
and curved wind-bracing; the trusses are carried
down on to carved stone corbels. The N.
half of the house is divided into several rooms
in both storeys. Under the whole building is a
range of cellars, with an 18th-century addition
on the E.; the two rooms on the N. have large
fireplaces, and in the second room two circular
brick columns and a wooden post support the
oak beams of the floor above it. The third room
is covered by a flat, four-centred, barrel vault,
and in the E. wall a wide four-centred archwav,
partly blocked, leads into a passage. The
fourth room has a brick vault, divided into nine
compartments by moulded ribs, and supported
by octagonal columns, two of clunch, the others
of brick, with moulded capitals; on the E. two
brick mullioned windows, of three lights, with
four-centred main heads, now open into a
passage, part of the 18th-century additions; on
the S. is a partly built-up fireplace, and on the
W. a blocked window; the N.E. compartment
is partly occupied by a closet of irregular shape.
Only a fragment of the moat remains.
Condition—Hall roof, good; the rest of the
b(10). Waltham Cross, at the junction of
Eleanor Cross Road with the High Street, was
erected by Edward I., c. 1294, to the memory
of his first queen, Eleanor of Castile.
It is of great historic interest, being one of
the three remaining 'Eleanor' crosses, and is
a beautiful example of late 13th-century architecture, as, although the figures and the upper
part of the monument have been restored, much
of the original work remains.
The cross stands on modern basement steps,
and is built of stone, in three diminishing
stages; the first stage is original, the second and
third, with a pinnacle and cross at the top, were
re-built in 1833–4, and again in 1887–9. The first
stage is hexagonal, with traceried sides, small
buttresses at the angles, and a much-worn
sculptured cornice; the tracery on each side
consists of two trefoiled panels below a quatrefoil, and a crocketted triangular label with
foliated finial: in the head of each panel a
shield, suspended from a knot of foliage, bears
the arms of England, Ponthieu or Castile
quartering Leon. The second stage is elaborately decorated, and has canopies with
crocketted finials, under which are three statues
of the queen, said to be original, except the
head of the statue on the W., which has been
renewed. All the restorations have been copied
from the original work.
Condition—Good, much restored. In 1906
the custody of the cross was taken over by the
Hertfordshire County Council.
c(11). Theobalds Palace, remains of, on
the W. side of the road from London to Cheshunt. Theobalds was built by Lord Burghley
c. 1564, and was afterwards converted into a
royal palace by James I., who gave Hatfield
House in exchange for it in 1607. It was dismantled and most of it pulled down in 1651.
On the S. side of the gardener's cottage at Old
Palace House, one of the three houses erected
on the site, a fragment still remains; it is a
vertical strip about 15 ft. high and 2 ft. wide;
the lower half is of clunch with a moulded
plinth and, at the top, a moulded string course,
worn and broken; the upper half is of red brick
with clunch quoins, and has a moulded
entablature. From investigations carried out
by the present tenant of Old Palace House,
this fragment appears to have been the
extreme S.W. corner of the palace. Immediately N.E. of it, set in a wall of old brickwork,
is a wide window of three lights with a four-centred brick arch, and moulded stone jambs
and mullions; it is uncertain whether this is
in situ, or, as in the case of two moulded stonemullioned windows in Old Palace House, re-used material from the palace.
Considerable lengths of the original garden
walls, built of red brick, also remain. The
most perfect enclose the gardens of Old Palace
House and of Grove House on the N.; in the
dividing wall is a rectangular opening or peephole, 1 ft. 9 in. by 1 ft., with chamfered brick
jambs and head, and a rebate for a shutter:
in the W. wall of Old Palace House garden are
a number of small niches, and there is one
in the S. wall; they are about 2 ft. 6 in. above
the ground, 1 ft. 9 in. high, 1 ft. wide and 10 in.
deep, with triangular heads, and some of them
have small holes at the bottom; the mortar joints
over them appear to be smoke-blackened, which
may indicate that they were used for charcoal
fires. The W. wall is continued to the N. in
the garden of Grove House, and has remains of
circular angle-turrets at the N. and S. ends.
Other walls still stand S.E. of 'The Cedars,'
the third house on the site of the palace, with
returns for the central E. gateway; a length of
wall runs E. towards the London road and a
few other pieces also remain.
In front of 'The Cedars' two large cedar
trees are probably contemporary with the
palace; they may have been in line with the
original avenue on the S.
At Aldbury Farm, about ½ mile to the N., is
part of another original brick wall, which is said
to have enclosed the royal park, and to have
been 10 miles in circumference; a stone in it is
inscribed with a large 8 and the date 1621.
Condition—Good, where the walls are in use;
elsewhere they are falling into decay.
c(12). Old Temple Bar, now one of the gateways of Theobalds Park, was originally erected
in Fleet Street in 1672, from the design by Sir
Christopher Wren, and was removed from
London in 1878. It is built of stone with
rusticated joints: the large middle gateway,
flanked by smaller round-headed doorways, has
a three-centred arch with moulded imposts and
a carved projecting keystone; both inner and
outer sides are the same. Over it is an upper
storey with frieze and cornice, surmounted by
a round pediment, and divided on both faces
into three bays by shallow pilasters with Corinthian capitals; in the two end bays are round-headed niches which contain, on the side facing
the road, statues of Charles II. and Queen
Anne, and, on the inner side, of James I. and
Charles I.: in the middle bays and at each end
there are round-headed windows.
b(13). Dewhurst School, N.E. of the church,
is a two-storeyed house of brick; the roof is tiled.
It was built in 1640 as a charity school by
Robert Dewhurst, whose arms and initials, with
the date, are on the E. wall, which is buttressed,
and has three gables and original brickmullioned windows; on the upper floor the
windows have been restored. The interior has
been altered, and a large modern school has
been built on to the house on the N. side.
b(14). The Almshouses, on the W. side of
the road at Turner's Hill, a range of ten red
brick cottages, of one storey, were built in the
17th century; the roof is tiled. The original
doors and door-frames remain.
b(15). Water Lane Farm, College Road, is a
two-storeyed house of rough-cast, brick, and
timber, built about the middle of the 16th
century; the roof is tiled. The original
plan, consisting of a central block facing
N. and S., with a wing at each end, formed
a modified H; this form is now obscured
by a 19th-century addition on the N., and the
whole building has been much altered, the interior being entirely modern; the central part
appears to have contained the hall, which was
probably open to the roof. At each end of the
central block is a large brick chimney stack
with square shafts set diagonally.
Condition—Good, much altered.
b(16). House, on the E. side of Cheshunt
Street, built of red brick, is of two storeys and
an attic, with twin gables at one end; the roof
is tiled. Over the shop window in front is a
brick panel with a moulded architrave, which
bears the date 1689 and the initials G.H.K.
b(17). No. 4, Blind Man's Lane, a house and
shop, formerly a farmhouse, is a two-storeyed,
red brick building of c. 1675; the roof is tiled,
and at each end of the main front is a gable.
There are two chimney stacks at the back.
b(18). Cottages, a row at the E. end of
Church Lane, possibly of the 17th century, have
chimney stacks built of the thin bricks of that
b(19). House, about 100 yds. E. of the church,
built of brick in the second half of the 17th
century, forms three tenements; the roof is
tiled. The gables at the ends have plain
copings and small moulded brick kneelers.
The windows, with flat wooden frames and
transoms, have metal casements, which retain
their original furniture.
Condition—Fairly good; much altered.
b(20). Houses, several, on both sides of the
road, E. of the church, probably of the 17th
century, are timber-framed and plastered, and
have overhanging upper storeys.
b(21). The Green Dragon Inn, E. of the
church, probably built in the 17th century, is
timber-framed, but the outside is now encased
with brick; a few of the original beams are
visible inside the house.
b(22). The Plough Inn, at Flamstead
End, on the W. side of the road, built in the
17th century, is a long, timber-framed house,
plastered externally; it is of two storeys, the
upper projecting on the S. side; the roof is
tiled. The central chimney stack has four
square shafts in a line, set diagonally. The
interior has been altered, but retains some
original exposed ceiling beams.
c(23). The Four Swans Inn, near Waltham
Cross, built early in the 17th century, has been
much restored and altered; the only original
detail which remains is the entrance to the
courtyard, with a square-headed doorway of
original moulded beams, now much defaced.
c(24). Boundary Bank, known as 'Above
and Below Bank,' runs through Theobalds
Park, over Beaumont Green to Nine Acres
Wood, and is now hardly distinguishable from
the field banks.