History in Structure

Goldings Including Retaining Walls and Steps to Forecourt and Terrace

A Grade II* Listed Building in Hertford, Hertfordshire

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Latitude: 51.8113 / 51°48'40"N

Longitude: -0.1012 / 0°6'4"W

OS Eastings: 530996

OS Northings: 214223

OS Grid: TL309142

Mapcode National: GBR KBH.K6M

Mapcode Global: VHGPG.6QCT

Plus Code: 9C3XRV6X+GG

Entry Name: Goldings Including Retaining Walls and Steps to Forecourt and Terrace

Listing Date: 8 April 1968

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1268815

English Heritage Legacy ID: 461404

ID on this website: 101268815

Location: Broadoak End, East Hertfordshire, SG14

County: Hertfordshire

District: East Hertfordshire

Civil Parish: Hertford

Traditional County: Hertfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hertfordshire

Church of England Parish: Waterford St Michael and All Angels

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans

Tagged with: Country house

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TL3114SW NORTH ROAD, Goldings
817-1/5/306 (West side)
08/04/68 Goldings including retaining walls
and steps to forecourt and terrace


Large country house, subsequently orphanage, now County
Council offices. 1871-77, architect George Devey, with C20
alterations and extensions.
MATERIALS: red brick, English bond, with diaper patterns in
blue headers, above a coursed rubble stone base, and with
ashlar dressings and stone mullioned windows; Welsh slated
roofs with multiple stone-coped parapeted gables, numerous
multiple shafted moulded brick chimneystacks with moulded
bands and oversailing caps.
STYLE: Free Elizabethan.
PLAN: irregular plan, informally divided into projecting and
receding bays, with central entrance hall on north-west side,
and principal reception rooms opening off and inner hall, the
Saloon, and facing the gardens on the south-west and
south-east fronts; forecourt approached through archway,
raised terraces on garden fronts. Long, irregular service wing
runs northwards at an angle to the main house.
EXTERIOR: 3 and 4 storeys with attics. Entrance front of 6
irregular bays, each marked by a gable on the roofline, with
varied widths and profiles, Dutch gables in bays 1 and 4 from
left, numerous stone mullioned windows with dripmoulds above,
and iron casement sub frames. Large projecting stone mullion
and transom bay window, with coursed rubble base, at
ground-floor level to billiard room, to right, spread across
bays 2 and 3, large flush-set mullion and transom window to
former Dining Room. In bay 5 to right of entrance, the first
floor has a storey height mullion and transom window, with a
narrow semicircular bay window at right, lighting the main
staircase and landing. Bay 6 at right has a broad entrance
chimneybreast to the Library, rising with offsets on left to a
3 flue chimney to-floor level. Brickwork enriched with diaper
patterns across whole elevation. Entrance in bay 4 has a
4-light window on second floor, above a canted 3-light mullion
and transom bay, with an elaborate carved stone strapwork
balustrade above, and a carved stone panel in spandrel below.
Porch on ground floor has twin leaf hardwood panelled doors
with moulded stiles and muntins and ogee traceried heads. This
is set within a stone Tudor arch surround with moulded jambs
and intrados, projecting keyblock and carved spandrels with

shields and fern leaves; outer surround with attached Ionic
columns raised on tall plinths with entablature and pulvinated
frieze. Panel above door records that the William Baker
Technical School (run by Dr Barnado's Homes) was opened on 15
November 1922 by HRH Prince of Wales.
South-east principal garden front has 5 bays, projecting wings
at left and right with Dutch gables framing 3 recessed bays
with plain gables. 3- and 4-light attics windows, projecting
bay windows with multi-light mullion and transom windows, 2
storeys, rectangular left-hand bay 1, canted in bays 3 and 4,
semicircular in Bay 5 at right. Garden entrance in Bay 2, a
recessed glazed hardwood traceried screen with twin leaf
half-glazed doors, with a broad stone Tudor arch with moulded
jambs and intrados, with carved spandrels below a projecting
dripmould. Above is a pierced strapwork carved stone balcony
with a moulded cap, with a moulded and traceried oak arcade
with a low copper roof above.
South-west elevation has large multi-light mullion and transom
windows across most of the ground floor in projecting
polygonal and rectangular bays, with, at left, a link to the
single storey conservatory which has continuous stone
mullioned windows, a brick parapet and Welsh slated roof, with
the gable end facing the entrance forecourt having an open
semicircular pediment with curved swept links to flanking
pinnacles, and a large mullion and transom window.
The service wing runs northwards from the right-hand end of
the south-east garden front, and is treated as a part of the
overall composition. It is linked with a 3-storey polygonal
bay window and a tall octagonal stair turret. Central
projecting 3-storey semicircular bay, with attic gable above
and 3 flue chimney to right. A second gable further right, and
a projecting 5-storey tower with a coursed rubble base and
brick walls with full height diaper patterns. 3-storey canted
bay window with brick diaper-patterned spandrels 1 and 2
3-light mullioned windows above in centre of east face - the
servants' hall was on the ground floor; moulded stone band and
castellated parapet concealing lead flat roof.
Octagonal stair turret on north face. Parapeted wall beyond to
north concealed former kitchen yard, roofed over and converted
to workshops in 1940s with metal casement windows in outer
INTERIOR: an elaborately designed and fitted country house.
Main hall (Saloon) panelled to dado height, panelled doors
with moulded architraves, broken pediments above pulvinated
friezes. Fireplace with bolection surround, panelled outer
surround with Jacobean pilasters with strapwork and carved
shelf, panelled overmantel. Stair set in arcaded screen with
Ionic columns on tall plinths with rusticated blocks. Close

string with long bobbin balusters, moulded handrails and
newels with square urn finials with ogee caps, ceiling with
ribs and circular panels with sunflowers and poppy heads in
urns with initials 'S' (Smith).
Drawing Room with bolection moulded panelling, Ionic
pilasters, modillion cornice, fireplace in recess with Ionic
columns on plinths in antis, marble bolection surround. Carved
wood outer surround, geometrical ribbed plaster ceiling.
Morning Room has half octagonal bay, panelling with moulded
stiles and muntins, modillion cornice, elaborate fitted
Jacobean style sideboard, fireplace with white marble
bolection surround with wooden Tuscan fluted pilasters,
moulded shelf and panelled overmantel.
Dining Room faces forecourt; Jacobean style oak panelling with
triglyph frieze, oak outer surround with coupled Tuscan
attached columns, strapwork frieze, and shelf carved with
stylised oak leaves, overmantel with coupled Ionic and central
single Ionic pilasters. Ceiling with ribbed square and star
patterns and Tudor rose motifs.
Billiard Room has softwood panelling, fireplace with green
marble bolection surround, squat Tuscan columns on overmantel,
ceiling with strapwork pattern. Principal bedrooms have white
marble fireplaces some with de Morgan tiles, low dados with
moulded rails, moulded ribbed ceilings. Newel stair to
second-floor schoolroom suite, closed string with heavy
mouldings, panelled newels with ball on pedestal finials,
pulvinated column balusters and heavy moulded handrail. Many
rooms on second floor subdivided.
Service wing has stone flagged lower corridor, high kitchen,
servants' hall in base of tower, closed string and newel back
stairs. On ground floor to south is attached linked
orangery/conservatory with a cast-iron trussed roof.
HISTORICAL NOTE: Robert Smith inherited the Goldings estate in
1861, and was Sheriff of Hertfordshire in 1869. The old
Goldings Hall of 1650-60 was demolished c1875, by which time
the new Goldings commissioned from George Devey was nearing
completion. The buildings were adapted and extended, and a
chapel was built in 1923. A new wing was added north of the
arched entry to the forecourt in 1960. In 1967 the school
closed, and Goldings was purchased by Hertfordshire County
Council, whose County Surveyor's Department has occupied it
ever since.
George Devey (1820-86) was one of the major Victorian country
house architects, designing in a picturesque style, with
Elizabethan and Jacobean details, which merged with the
evolution of the Arts and Crafts Movement in the late C19. A
skilled water colourist, Devey's picturesque massing was based
on pictorial composition, but his plans were often rambling

and haphazard as at Goldings.
(The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: Hertfordshire:
Harmondsworth: 1977-: 147; Smith JT: Hertfordshire Houses:
Selective Inventory: London: 1993-: 82; Green L: Hertford's
Past in Pictures: Ware: 1993-: 69; Hertfordshire Countryside:
Campbell D: Goldings: a curious Hertfordshire Mansion:
Letchworth: 1946-1973: 34-5, 38; Dixon R: Victorian
Architecture: London: 1978-: 50-2, 257; Girouard M: The
Victorian Country House: New Haven and London: 1979-: 84-5,
438; Allibone J: George Devey Architect 1820-1886: Cambridge:
1991-: 91-5, 164).

Listing NGR: TL3099614223

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