History in Structure

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

The Old Vicarage

A Grade II Listed Building in Westoning, Central Bedfordshire

More Photos »
Approximate Location Map
Large Map »


Latitude: 51.984 / 51°59'2"N

Longitude: -0.5034 / 0°30'12"W

OS Eastings: 502877

OS Northings: 232782

OS Grid: TL028327

Mapcode National: GBR G3V.KKJ

Mapcode Global: VHFR0.7D7F

Plus Code: 9C3XXFMW+HM

Entry Name: The Old Vicarage

Listing Date: 3 May 1985

Last Amended: 19 October 2012

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1113945

English Heritage Legacy ID: 38100

Location: Westoning, Central Bedfordshire, MK45

County: Central Bedfordshire

Civil Parish: Westoning

Built-Up Area: Westoning

Traditional County: Bedfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Bedfordshire

Church of England Parish: Westoning

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans

Tagged with: Clergy house

Find accommodation in


Former vicarage built in the late-C18 with extensive mid-C19 alterations and extensions.


MATERIALS: mottled gault brick with slate-clad roofs.

PLAN: irregular L-shape plan with a square element projecting from the corner of the two ranges. The main north-west range has cross gables at either end; a small, centrally placed rear projection under a catslide roof; and a rear parallel section at right angles to the south-west cross gable. Parallel to this is a south-east extension, added in 1847, under a separate pitched roof.

EXTERIOR: the two-storey house has low-pitched roofs with brick multiple ridge stacks, and deep eaves with paired timber brackets. It has a brick plinth and a brick band at first-floor level, except for on the south-east extension. The north-west entrance front, which faces the church, has a three-bay central section flanked by slightly projecting gabled bays. The six-over-six pane sash windows have slender glazing bars, gauged brick flat heads, and narrow timber sills. The front door occupies the third bay of the central section. It has a heavy classical doorcase with square attached columns, a plain frieze and projecting moulded cornice. The recessed, wide front door has four moulded panels and a two-light rectangular overlight. The left (north-east) return wall is blind and faces the road.

The south-west garden front has two bays lit by eight-over-eight pane sash windows, with the same lintels and sills as the front elevation. The second bay is gabled and has a ground-floor canted bay window with brick piers and a heavy cornice, painted white. The main, central window of the canted bay is an eight-over-twelve pane sash which extends almost to the ground, whilst the side windows are four-over-four pane sashes. The windows in the canted bay have shaped external blind boxes, as does the ground-floor window to the left. On the right is the gable end of the lower, two-storey 1847 extension, which is lit on the ground floor by a multi-pane sash window.

The front elevation of this south-east extension has three bays lit by ten-over-ten pane sash windows with wedge lintels, painted white, and narrow sills. The entrance door, set between the second and third bay, has the same wedge lintel. The right return wall is lit at ground-floor level by two small multi-pane, horizontal windows. The rear elevations are subsidiary.

INTERIOR: the front door opens into an entrance hall which leads through a wide, shallow arch to the staircase. On the right of the hall are two reception rooms facing the garden; and on the left are the former service rooms, now used as the dining room and kitchen. There are four bedrooms on the first floor as well as small attic rooms. A door to the left of the staircase gives access to the 1847 extension which has an open plan ground-floor and two bedrooms above. A high level of good quality joinery, mostly C19, survives throughout the house, including moulded doorframes, four-panelled doors, dado rails and cornices, some of which is dentilled in the ground-floor rooms. One of the attic doors has H-L hinges, indicating its C18 origins. The pale grey marble fireplaces in the two reception rooms were installed in the C20 but are late Georgian in date. The delicate fireplace in the room with the canted bay has shaped, angled jambs which terminate in scrolls. The fireplace in the other reception room is typically neo-Classical with fluted jambs and a mantelpiece carved with figurative roundels and triglyph motifs. There are two delicately carved, neo-Classical timber fireplaces, painted white, in the bedrooms above these reception rooms (both openings are blocked). One has jambs embellished with floral motifs and a mantelpiece with swags and vases; and the other has a moulded shouldered surround with a dentilled soffit. The elegant late-C18 or early C19 open well staircase has a closed string with shaped tread ends, two stick balusters per tread, slender newel posts, and a mahogany handrail. At the bottom of the stairs the scrolled rail is supported by a circular rod.

The large free-standing indoor swimming pool to the east side of the house, built in the 1980s, is not of special interest. Further to the south-west is a row of late-C19 timber-clad outbuildings with corrugated iron roofs, incorporating stables and storage which are not of special interest.


The 'Victoria County History' records that the vicarage of Westoning was granted to Thomas Hungate and Simon Aynesworth in 1550, but by a settlement made in 1562 half was assigned to Ralph Astrey and the other half to Richard Johnson. At the beginning of the C19 Francis Penyston was impropriator of the rectorial tithes which subsequently passed to his daughter, who held them in 1836. At the time of the publication of the 'Victoria County History' in 1912, they were vested in the Penyston trustees. The Old Vicarage continued to be inhabited by the vicars of the adjacent Church of St Mary Magdalene (Grade II*) until the 1970s.
The Old Vicarage, which dates to the late-C18, was considerably altered and extended in the mid-C19. Elements of the original Georgian building are found in the south-west part of house, and probably include the entrance hall, the two reception rooms on its south-west side, the two bedrooms above on the first-floor, and the staircase at the end of the hall which leads up to the attic where there is a door with C18 H-L hinges. The north-west range which forms the entrance front was altered in 1846: plans for the work describe the ‘rebuilding in part and repairing the parsonage house and offices’. The plan labels the room occupying the first bay in the south-west range as the scullery (now the kitchen), and the room occupying the second bay as the kitchen (now the dining room). There was a back staircase leading from the scullery to the servants’ bedrooms but this now only leads from the first floor to the attic. The storeroom to the rear of what is now the dining room also provided kitchen services, and the small room to the right of the dining was the pantry (now a lavatory). The dining room floor is laid in red tiles, confirming its former use as a kitchen, but it also has a dentilled dado rail and cornice. The hall and the reception room with the bay window also have a dentilled cornice, which could suggest that the kitchen was formerly a reception room that was later adapted for use as the kitchen.

In 1847 an extension was added along the south-east side of the house to provide a place for teaching and parish council meetings. The footprint of the building on the first edition Ordnance Survey (OS) map of 1882 shows an L-shape plan, consisting of the long north-west (front) range and shorter south-west (garden) range with a square element projecting from the corner of the two ranges. This element has been altered as it has a smaller footprint on the current OS map. In the 1980s a large free-standing building containing a swimming pool was built to the east side of the house.

Reasons for Listing

The Old Vicarage, a former vicarage built in the late-C18 and extensively altered and extended in the mid-C19, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: it has a late-C18 core and was extensively rebuilt in the mid-C19, resulting in a house of irregular but well-proportioned appearance with a handsome doorcase and canted bay window;
* Interior: this retains a high level of good quality joinery, mostly of C19 date; an elegant late-C18 staircase; and a number of delicately detailed late-C18/ early-C19 fireplaces;
* Historic interest: its historical importance in the village community is aptly illustrated by the extension built in 1847 to provide space for teaching and parish council meetings;
* Group value: it has strong group value with the adjacent Grade II* listed Church of St Mary Magdalene.

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

BritishListedBuildings.co.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact BritishListedBuildings.co.uk for any queries related to any individual listed building, planning permission related to listed buildings or the listing process itself.

British Listed Buildings is a Good Stuff website.