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Royal Mews and Great Barn

A Grade I Listed Building in Hampton, London

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Latitude: 51.4058 / 51°24'21"N

Longitude: -0.3434 / 0°20'36"W

OS Eastings: 515319

OS Northings: 168725

OS Grid: TQ153687

Mapcode National: GBR 6G.238

Mapcode Global: VHGR8.0X9N

Entry Name: Royal Mews and Great Barn

Listing Date: 2 September 1952

Last Amended: 11 January 2010

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1192945

English Heritage Legacy ID: 205360

Location: Richmond upon Thames, London, KT8

County: London

District: Richmond upon Thames

Electoral Ward/Division: Hampton

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Esher

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St Mary Hampton

Church of England Diocese: London

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Listing Text

Royal Mews and Great Barn

(Formerly listed as:

Former Royal Mews and Great Barn. Royal Mews 1537 for Henry VIII, Great Barn dated and inscribed 'Elizabethe Regina 1570'.

Royal Mews: substantially repaired 1661; stabling installed mid to later C19; converted to 12 flats (of which no. 8 occupies the former lodgings in the eastern end of the Great Barn) probably later C19 or early C20 during extensive restoration work (refurbishment of flats 1960s, ongoing to present).
Great Barn: possible early alterations to create lodgings at east end, which were refurbished late C19 to early C20. Probably C18 external stairs to upper floor. Early C19 installation of stabling with new entrances.

MATERIALS: Red brick mostly in English bond, some in English cross. Later C19 repairs also in red brick. Stone and red brick dressings, include a moulded stone arch brought from Hampton Court Palace in 1537. Plain tile roofs.

PLAN: A rectangular block set round an open courtyard. Two storey and attics ranges (with a third level of windows on the south and part of the east ranges) are set round a cobbled courtyard reached through an archway on the north side. In the south west corner of the mews is an arched passage leading to the rear of the building. Originally probably ground floor stabling with haylofts, tack rooms above and accommodation in the attics, now the north and east ranges are residential on all floors. Set back along the ground floor of the west range (now garages) is a Tuscan arcade, the remains of stabling which was probably built in 1661 and divided by later partitions. The ground floor of the south range is divided into former stable units between slender partitions. In the south east corner is a set of later C19 stables and a tack room, to the east of the passage a further later C19 tackroom. Projecting gabled blocks in the north west and south east angles of the courtyard contain vice stairs leading to the first floor. The building was heated by external stacks set along the exterior faces of the main elevations, a large internal stack to the west of the entrance arch and smaller stacks set into the south gable of the east range.

EXTERIOR: The northern elevation of the north range has a central moulded stone archway, the inner arch brought from Hampton Court Palace in 1537, flanked by large external stacks one with tiled offsets, and outer gabled bays. The eastern bays have C19 six-over-six and full height eight-over-twelve pane sash windows under cambered brick arches. The western bays have irregularly disposed rectangular two- and three-light moulded stone window openings with metal casements and fixed lights and ground floor French windows behind a splayed verandah on slender trellis supports. Upper floor windows are similar moulded stone window openings with casements or eight-over-eight pane sashes set high on the wall under cambered arches with scalloped heads. Half-hipped attic dormers have two-light timber or metal casements with square leaded panes. A gabled dormer over the entrance has a deep exposed timber box and replaced horned sashes. Gables have stone kneelers. The east range has replaced metal casements and sashes on the eastern elevation, set between the remnants of two large upper floor stacks. The south range has irregular fenestration, mainly casements, including two possibly early windows in the rear wall of a tackroom (G5), a diamond paned metal casement to the tackroom off the C19 stables, an external stack and small internal gable stacks. The south gable wall of the west range was largely rebuilt in the later C19 or early C20. The west elevation has repaired upper external stacks and irregular fenestration including late C19 or early C20 metal casements with rectangular leaded panes in plain brick openings. Throughout, external and ridge stacks have repaired and rebuilt single or multiple square shafts set diagonally on shouldered bases.
The Courtyard: the rear entrance four-centred arch is in chamfered brick. Many of the outer faces of stone door and window architraves were replaced or repaired in the later C19 but those to the south east vice stair, and the jambs of the north west vice stair have early four-centre arched openings. Windows on both floors are one or two-light casements with leaded glazing in rectangular moulded stone openings each light with a shallow four-centred head. Some are set at half-storey level. Doors are ledged and braced with vertical boards. Other openings are enlarged garage door openings and a circa 1900 door under a tall overlight under a cambered arch leading to upper floor flats in the west range. Dormers are flat-roofed with similar casements.

INTERIOR: Set back from the front wall of the west range is a Tuscan arcade of timber columns on brick or stone bases on stone pads and running the length of the range, but interrupted by the inserted stair to the upper floors. The southern bays (G6) retain the timber spandrels of the arcade, the remainder have replaced braces. A slight timber-framed partition, probably C18, with horizontal boarding, separates two units (G8 & 9) which are linked by a ledge and brace door with long strap iron hinges. The wall to the south (of G8) is a brick nogged timber framed partition. The units do not correspond with the bays of the arcade. Floors are buff Dutch brick or tile, some set on edge, in herringbone pattern at the front of the stables and rectangular pattern at the rear. Ceilings are replaced.
The south range retains two units (G3 & 4) divided by a chamfered timber shaft with a moulded cap set into a later slender scantling timber framed partition with brick nogging. The easternmost (G3) has chamfered ceiling beams, timber hay racks and troughs and herringbone and rectangular pattern brick or tile floors remain in situ. To the west (G5) the stables have been refurbished in the later C19 to provide a tack room with a plain stone fireplace with an unusual convex cast iron grate. Walls are lined in vertical tongue and groove boards. Window openings have deep chamfered reveals, iron casements retain latches. To the south east is a set of intact good later C19 stalls and a loose box, with boarded partitions and linings, with ramped rails on slender sticks. The loosebox door has inset door furniture. Floors are brick and tile. Troughs, hayracks, harness racks, meal bins and fixings survive. Leading off it is a tack room lined in tongue and groove boarding and with cupboards, saddle racks and other storage and preparation areas intact. The window opening is chamfered and has two four-centre arched lights and diamond pattern leaded glazing. Floors are herringbone brick, and rectangular pattern in the stalls.
The first floor of the west and north range have three stone four-centre-arched chimneypieces with chamfered jambs. The south east vice stair has a late C17 timber balustrade with square newels, hefty turned balusters and a moulded rail. At the base of the stair is a cupboard with a plain panelled door (north west stair not seen but said to be similar). Roofs, accessible in the north range and north of the east range, are of wind-braced butt-purlin construction with cranked collars, with considerable probably circa 1900 replacement timber. The roofs were substantially repaired in 1661.

ANCILLARY FEATURES: Attached to the external west elevation is a range of four red brick, tile roofed, later C19 single storey gabled outbuildings. The northernmost used as a smithy and with the range in situ has an arched gable opening with vents, the others have vertically boarded doors. Entrance doors in arched moulded brick openings are panelled, under overlights with vertical glazing bars. The window is a timber casement also under an overlight.

GREAT BARN including lodgings
MATERIALS: Red brick in English cross bond, with diaper work and banding in burnt headers on the southern elevation. Buff brick entrances in Flemish bond, red brick, stock brick and stone dressings, and plain tile roofs which are probably late C19.

PLAN: The barn is set slightly skew from the alignment of the Mews. It is approximately 47m (75 feet) in length in 14 bays. It was lit and ventilated by two ranges of narrow round-headed openings on the north, south and west elevations. A large central round-arched carriage entrance on north elevation is bricked up. Early C19 entrances to each side on both elevations lead to four sets of stabling each side of a central spine wall. Two sets of external stairs on the south elevation give access to the upper floor which is one space, subdivided with later C20 divisions, and open to the roof. The eastern two bays form a separate two storey house said to have been the lodgings of the Keeper of the King's Horse. The barn was heated by a large internal stack between the barn and lodgings, a rear external stack which has been curtailed, two stacks set each side of the west gable and an external stack to the rear of the lodgings.

EXTERIOR: The north elevation is roughly symmetrical either side of a large central round-headed moulded brick entrance under an arch of double courses of brick. The entrance has been bricked up. Above the entrance is a stone tablet inscribed 'Elizabethe Regina 1570'. Two ranges of 18 narrow, round-headed vents, at the upper western end arranged as a group of three, and now glazed particularly on the upper floor, are set in deep brick openings, some of which are repaired or replaced. At the western end arranged as a group of three. Four smaller entrances break forward slightly from the original fabric in rectangular panels in buff brick in Flemish bond and under stock brick arches, and with a shallow moulded cornice. These lead to four separate stables. The easternmost stable has a sandstone cill, the others have granite cills. Stables have pairs of doors each with three fielded panels, under overlights with fixed square-paned leaded margin lights and a central opening metal-framed casement, and predominately buff Dutch tile and brick flooring. A small half-hipped dormer probably circa 1900 is set into the western end of the roof (extant Law). The south elevation is similar and has an external stack which is removed above eaves height and part rebuilt. Two sets of external stairs in red brick with chunky red brick dressings, are probably C18 with later repairs and lead to upper floor entrances. These have rubbed brick round headed arches. Stepped buttresses have been added to the outer side of each entrance. The western gable wall has brick tumbling in at the gable and stone coping. Three vents are visible in the apex of the gable wall, blocked vents are visible at both levels from the interior of the attached coach house and garage. Small stacks each with a single rectangular shaft, set diagonally on a tall moulded base are set down from apex of the gable on the north and south slopes. The east gable (of no. 8), where visible, is rendered with a stone coping. A large internal stack with rebuilt grouped square stacks set diagonally divides the barn from no. 8. Rain water heads, some replaced, are dated 1570.
The north elevation of the lodgings (no 8) is refaced in buff brick in Flemish bond but adjacent to the break the wall continues briefly in red brick in English bond. The house has eight-over-eight pane unhorned sashes under flat red brick arches and with scalloped heads on the upper floor (Law, 1890s, shows these as casements). The door is panelled, with glazed upper lights. The later C19 half-hipped dormer corresponds with that at western end of the barn. The southern elevation continues in red brick with traces of diaper work. Although there is no evidence of a clear break, the wall has been repaired. A first floor external stack in early brick has rebuilt shafts. To the west of the stack, on both floors, there is a single vent, glazed with small rectangular leaded panes. To the east of the stack on the ground floor are a replaced window and door. On the first floor is a six-over-six pane sash in an exposed box and probably of C18 origin, but repaired. These openings obscure any traces of vents continuing eastwards. A half-hipped dormer has two-light casements with rectangular leaded glazing. A small projecting C20 bathroom addition fills the angle between barn and mews.

INTERIOR: There are four sets of stables with timber partitions and linings each side of a horizontally boarded brick and timber spinal wall. Each unit has stalls with timber hayracks either side of a central entrance. On the north elevation the easternmost stable has the most complete early Dutch tile and brick flooring. Some later brick flooring survives in the western stable the remainder is mostly C19 sets. On the south side each stable retains some of the tile and brick flooring, including some narrow early tiles in the western pair, the remainder being sets. Blocked openings are visible in the gable wall of the westernmost stables. The barn roof is of king post construction with two tiers of collars with supplementary struts and two tiers of butt purlins. The eastern wall of the upper hall, against the internal stack, is painted and partly obscured by cupboards but does not appear to have narrow openings. There are none in the stable below. Window reveals are deep, unmoulded and lined in brick laid horizontally. The eastern end of the barn forms the two storey lodgings defined on the north elevation by a clear vertical break in the brickwork. The lodgings has a later C19 staircase with square newels with broad moulded caps, chamfered stick balusters and a moulded rail. Doors are of four panels, the north facing windows have panelled shutters and linings. On the upper floor the tie beam has been cut through. Plain square cut panelling lines the space between the front of the stack and the cross wall creating a deep cupboard large enough to house a bed. The roof is of similar construction to the main barn roof. The internal stack in the roof space of two builds. The eastern gable wall is rendered and painted or insulated.

ANCILLARY FEATURES: To the south (rear of lodgings) and attached to the mews is a former kitchen, scullery and larder complete with slate slabs, with wide near-flush panelled doors, a mix of timber and metal-framed windows. Although largely C19 it is possible that it is on the site of an earlier kitchen. There is said to be a well in the vicinity. To the west of these is a small range of single storey outbuildings, one used as a stabling, and with mixed panelled doors and timber and metal framed windows generally of late C19 date.

HISTORY: In 1537 Henry VIII commissioned the Royal Mews on Hampton Court Green to house the King's Horse and courtiers who were entitled to stabling. It cost £130 and was and built by Christopher Dickinson. It is probably on the site of stables built for Cardinal Wolsey. Above the stables were haylofts, and tack rooms, and in the attics lodgings for the officers of the stable. Substantial repairs, including reroofing, were made in 1661. The Tuscan arcade in the north-west range probably dates from this period.

During the 1550s the coach, a new form of passenger road transport, and favoured by aristocrats and diplomats, arrived in England from Germany and the Low Countries. In 1564 Queen Elizabeth I acquired the first royal coach and Dutchman William Boonen was appointed as Queen's Coachman. In 1568 a new coach house was built at the Royal Mews at Charing Cross and alterations were made at Greenwich, and in 1570 the Great Barn was built at Hampton Court Green. This was the beginning of a revolution in royal transport which resonated through the south east of England. Hitherto the royal household had travelled up the Thames by barge or moved on horseback, thus restricting the distances it could cover and where royal houses were located.

The Royal Mews are depicted in the background of a view of Hampton Court by Leonard Knyff of about 1702. The stables are also shown on John Rocque's map of Middlesex of 1754. They are not clearly depicted until the OS Map of 1863 where they appear with the existing C19 attachments and other small detached buildings to the south west and south east of the great barn. These had gone by the 1897 OS survey.

SOURCES: Hampton Court Mews NA PRO: E36 Exchequer records: Treasury of the Receipt
History of the King's Works, IV, p142
E Law, Parliamentary Survey of Hampton Court (1653), 1890, pp 85, 314-5; & 1898 pp 265-6
Museum of London Archaeological Service (MOLAS), The Royal Mews Hampton Court Road (1998)
S Thurley, Hampton Court (2003) p 85
RCHM Middlesex, (1937), pp 48-9

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The Royal Mews and Great Barn at Hampton Court Green are designated for the following principal reasons:
* These outstanding buildings are rare surviving examples of opulent C16 and C17 stabling;
* The Great Barn is an early example of the response by the Royal Household to the new mode of travel by coach.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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