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Rochford Hall and Ruins

A Grade I Listed Building in Rochford, Essex

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Latitude: 51.5808 / 51°34'51"N

Longitude: 0.6986 / 0°41'54"E

OS Eastings: 587068

OS Northings: 190336

OS Grid: TQ870903

Mapcode National: GBR QNX.X0C

Mapcode Global: VHKHF.2J4H

Plus Code: 9F32HMJX+8C

Entry Name: Rochford Hall and Ruins

Listing Date: 4 December 1951

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1112586

English Heritage Legacy ID: 123200

Location: Rochford, Essex, SS4

County: Essex

District: Rochford

Civil Parish: Rochford

Built-Up Area: Rochford

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: Rochford St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford

Tagged with: House

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TQ 86/8790
14/209 Rochford Hall and ruins
The remains of a very large house now a golf club house, said to have been built
circa 1540-50 of possibly C12/CL3 origin, with later alterations, additions and
demolitions. Red brick, ragstone and ragstone rubble, and mixed rubble, the
south east face is plastered, in places the external walls are 2 ft 6 ins thick.
Red plain tiled roofs. Once one of the largest houses in the County with at
least 3, possibly 4, courtyards, the whole of the south part has been destroyed.
The surviving buildings of the north western courtyard are reduced in height and
used as barns, the remaining 2 full height north eastern 2 storey and attic
ranges are L plan with the wings joined by an octagonal turret at the north east
corner. East face. 2 chimney stacks end left and right forward of ridge
between the 2 northern gables. Parapet verge to right. 4 gables with continuous
coping, each gable with a truncated finial and a small paned vertically sliding
sash window. 5 first floor small paned vertically sliding sash windows, 3 of
which are tripartite, similar range to ground floor. 6-panelled door, moulded
surround, semi-circular fanlight with ornate tracery to right of the first
window. To the left (south) is a parapeted 2 storey, 2 window range of
tripartite small paned vertically sliding sashes, 4 panel 2 light door to right.
The taller crenellated octagonal turret to right (north) of mainly red brick
with rubble and ragstone shows traces of former plaster. There is a moulded
plinth and a band below the crenellations. Ground and first floor original
window openings with moulded labels and a similar smaller window to second floor
to eastern faces, traces of similar blocked windows to western faces. The north
western face, mainly of red brick with rubble and ragstone shows traces of
plaster. There are 4 gables each with a single octagonal chimney shaft
supported below and rising from the apex. Coping to gables. There are traces of
attic windows to each side of each chimney stack. 6 blocked first floor windows
now with smaller 3-light casements. The ground floor has been much altered and
repaired but blocked openings are visible, now with 5 various windows and 2
doors. Almost central is an external red brick chimney stack to first floor
cill level. To the west of the return gable the remains are mainly of 2 storey
height with later roofs of red plain tiles or pantiles, hipped to north west
angle, gables to southern ranges. At the north western angle are the remains of
an octagonal turret similar to that at the north eastern angle also with blocked
doorways and windows. Part of the south western and off centre west ranges
remain with courtyards between. The western face has remains of 2 blocked
windows, one showing traces of 3 lights, there is another blocked window to the
eastern wall of this range and the remains of a stair turret in the north
western angle of the courtyard, this with an original doorway. A later gable
has been erected to the east of this stair turret to east of which is a doorway
with a 4 centred head. There are other windows and doorways to the west and
east faces of the central range and 2 to the south. Former central projection
now with only 2 walls has a moulded doorway to south wall and an opening to
north. The north eastern courtyard has a stair turret in the north eastern
angle. There are traces of 2 former projections, one with a blocked fireplace.
Several original windows, doorways and recesses remain. Other doorways and
windows are probably hidden by plaster and rubble infills. The building was
inspected October 1974 by Messrs. A.C. Edwards, C.A. Hewett, M.C. Wadhams and
Dr. D.J.E.L. Carrick, the comments made at the time noted "although apparently a
building of C16/C17 there is re-used older material and in the north west area a
building of great age. The West tower could possibly have been built C12/C13,
lowered later and then built up again using old material. The bricks are of
remarkable uniformity the great majority 9 1/4 x 2 1/2 x 4 inches, dark red and hard,
well moulded and with very straight edges. English bond. Dr. Carrick suggested
a date of 1590-1620 for the bricks, but, if earlier are presumably the result of
brickmakers imported from the Continent. Regarding the attics with chimneys and
roofs to match, a date of late C17 is suggested. The view of the group was that
there was a building of C12-C13, then ruined and restored early C16 using old
materials, then late C16/early C17 the present house was added and many parts of
the original stone building rebuilt in brick. Possibly the roof was raised
C17." A memo by C.A. Hewett states "The structural carpentry of this building
is confirmed as original to the building, the precedent for the techniques
employed survives in "The Queens House", Tower of London, and dated circa 1598,
no evidence has been seen that can indicate disturbance or renewal of this
timber work which comprises the first floor and roof of parts standing to full
height," and "The standard of accuracy and excellence of finish justifies a
Grade I listing and the technological innovation if proved earlier than St.
Pauls deanery (1666) is of national importance." Historically Thos. Butler
seventh Earl of Ormonde (d. 1515) once owned the Hall as did Sir Thos. Bullen
(d. 1538), father of Ann Boleyn and later Lord Rich (d. 1567) Chancellor of
England. During the period 1540-1550 the date given by RCHM for the building it
was assigned by Bullen's elder daughter, Mary, Lady Stafford and her son by her
first marriage, Lord Hunsdon. The Rochford Historian, Benton mentions 2 fires,
"one in the time of James Butler who was beheaded 1461 and the second 1760 when
the Hall remained for some time in a ruinous condition, when the windows were
modernised and the red brickwork was encased in plaster." RCHM 2. Norman Barne
and Leslie Newman Rochford Hall, Essex 1973. Dr. David Carrick Comments on
Rochford Hall 1974, unpublished. C.A. Hewett Memo. Rochford Hall, Essex 1974,
unpublished. Rev. Philip Benton A History of Rochford Hundred 1873.

Listing NGR: TQ8706890336

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