Hunsdon House

Hunsdon House is a historic house in Hunsdon, Hertfordshire, England, northwest of Harlow.

It was originally constructed of brick in 1447 by Sir William Oldhall in the shape of a tower. Edward IV purchased it in 1471 and gave it to Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk, who then passed it on to his son.

Tudor era

After Henry VIII took possession in 1525, he set about expanding the house into a palatial estate in the Tudor style, complete with royal apartments and even a moat. Although he was a frequent visitor, the house was mainly used for his children, especially Mary, who in fact inherited the house after the death of her father. She kept the house until her death. Prince Edward notably spent much time at Hunsdon, most famously in 1546 when his portrait was painted with the house in the background. Elizabeth I made Henry Carey the first baron of Hunsdon, after first granting the house to him in 1559.

Recent centuries

Much of Henry VIII's expansions were torn down in the early 17th century, and the moat was filled some time in the 18th century. The house was rebuilt at the beginning of the 19th century, but 1860 renovations changed much of the architecture to a Victorian style. One last renovation in 1983 revealed some of the 15th century brickwork. The current house is less than a quarter of its size under Henry VIII.

Building Activity

  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings added a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com