History in Structure

Bedford House Stables

A Grade II Listed Building in Newmarket, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.2497 / 52°14'59"N

Longitude: 0.4144 / 0°24'51"E

OS Eastings: 564914

OS Northings: 264030

OS Grid: TL649640

Mapcode National: GBR N9R.X60

Mapcode Global: VHJGJ.4QF6

Plus Code: 9F426CX7+VQ

Entry Name: Bedford House Stables

Listing Date: 30 October 2006

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1392768

English Heritage Legacy ID: 505812

ID on this website: 101392768

Location: Newmarket, West Suffolk, CB8

County: Suffolk

District: West Suffolk

Civil Parish: Newmarket

Built-Up Area: Newmarket

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Newmarket St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich

Tagged with: Stable

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177-1/0/3 (Northwest side)
30-OCT-06 Bedford House Stables

Racehorse training stables and ancillery buildings, including water tower. Stable ranges facing into the main stble yard circa 1850 for the seventh Duke of Bedford and later C19 stable ranges for Captain J.O.Machell, racehorse manager. Ranges to main yard of flint cobbles with red brick dressings; other ranges of flint and red brick with gault or red brick dressings, all with low-pitched hipped slate roofs. The water tower of red brick with gault brick and stone dressings and flat roof.
PLAN: the main rectangular yard enclosed on three sides by stable ranges, and the trainer's house, Bedford House, (q.v.) on fourth side. At rear of the north west range to the main yard an outshut with loose boxes flanked by an adjoining range of loose boxes facing north east which extends to a range of loose boxes facing south east. On the outer north eastern side of main yard the driveway from the Bury Road leads to the square water tower at the of the outer north east range. On the north eastern side of the driveway a range of loose boxes facing north west, and further to the north east another range of loose boxes facing south west.
EXTERIOR OF RANGES ENCLOSING MAIN YARD: the north west and north east ranges of two storeys with lofts in the upper storey, the south east range single storey. The front of the north west range has stable doors with over-lights and a 6/6 sash either side each. Various loft doors over. The north east range is similar and the south east range is single-storey.
INTERIOR: whilst the original stalls were converted to caged boxes later in the C19, some original caged loose boxes as described by Knightley survive. All have iron strapping, iron grilles to doors and partitions and corner mangers. Doorways link the various sets of stables.
HISTORY: Bedford House and Stables (formerly also including Bedford Cottage, now Rockfield House) were originally within the same small estate as Bedford Lodge (now Bedford Lodge Hotel, q.v.) which itself was built circa 1820 for the sixth Duke of Bedford as his Newmarket residence. It appears that the seventh Duke built Bedford House and Stables, for the stables are considered noteworthy and described in Thomas Knightley's Stable Architecture, published in 1862. After the Duke's death in 1861 the whole estate was purchased by Sir Joseph Hawley, who sold it on to the Duke's former trainer, William Butler. Butler demolished Bedford Lodge's original stabling and sold the Lodge to Joe Dawson who built the main range of stables adjoining it (now Highfield Stables, q.v.) in 1864. At about the same time Butler appears to have sold Bedford House and Stables to Captain J.O. Machell (1837-1902), who developed the stables from then on. Machell was originally an impecunious army officer and sportsman who settled in Newmarket, developed his interest in horse racing, and thereafter greatly improved his fortune by successful betting. He became a figure of considerable importance in the development of horseracing in the second half of the C19 and was racing manager to many of the principal racehorse owners of the period. His own horses won the Grand National three times. He employed excellent trainers in the yard, most notably Joseph Cannon and J.Jewitt, who sucessively occupied the enlarged Bedford Cottage. Machell (having also bought Bedford Lodge and Stables in 1880!) retired in 1892, and Bedford House, Bedford Stables, and Bedford Cottage, were sold to the racehorse owner and breeder, Colonel Henry McCalmont.
REFERENCES: Knightley, T: Stable Architecture: 1862; Onslow, R: Headquarters, a History of Newmarket and its Racing: Cambridge: 1983: 99-111; Brown C, Birkin H, Kindred R: Dictionary of Architects of Suffolk Buildings: Ipswich: 1991-: 115, 142).

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