DiCamillo Companion

New Hall (Palace of Beaulieu)

  • House & Family History: By the 13th century New Hall was the principal manor of Boreham. In the 15th century Henry VII granted the Manor to the 7th Earl of Ormond (the cellars and an arch in the East Court remain from Ormond's house). In 1516 Henry VIII purchased New Hall from Sir Thomas Boleyne, renamed it Beaulieu, and rebuilt the House on a lavish scale, including a new main court that included the Chapel and the Hall in the East Range. The North Range was rebuilt for Thomas Ratcliffe, 3rd Earl of Sussex, who was granted the House in 1573. This range, with its unique row of seven large bay windows, is the most notable surviving part of the House today. Over the central door of the North Range are the royal arms and a quote from Dante that honors the Virgin Mary. In 1622 George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, purchased New Hall and altered the House, including, most notably, the addition of the Northeast Staircase to the designs of Inigo Jones. Oliver Cromwell made the House one of his seats, confiscating the Estate for the amazingly small sum of five shillings. In 1660 New Hall was given to George Monk, 1st Duke of Albermarle, who entertained Cosimo III de Medici here in 1669. In 1691 the 1st Duke of Montagu acquired the House by marriage. In 1713 New Hall was purchased by the famous banker Sir Richard Hoare II, who presented the Estate to his son, Benjamin. In 1737 Benjamin Hoare sold the House, together with a smaller estate than was given to him by his father, to John Olmius, later 1st Lord Waltham. Olmius demolished most of the House, including the remaining parts of Henry VIII's court, and enlarged the Elizabethan North Range into a large Hall. In the 18th century the House was altered and redecorated, one of the most notable survivals being a number of fine Georgian Gothic style fireplaces. The Canonesses of the Holy Sepulchre, a Catholic English teaching order forced to leave Liege in the aftermath of the French Revolution, purchased New Hall and 120 acres in 1798. The west end of the House was destroyed by a flying bomb in 1943 and rebuilt. New Hall is today occupied by New Hall School.

    Comments: John Evelyn, writing in 1656 during the ownership of the duke of Buckingham, described New Hall's interiors: "the staircase of extraordinary wideness…the galleries are trifling; the hall is noble."

  • Chapel & Church: A large stained glass window of circa 1515-27 commemorating the marriage of Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon (it features figures of Henry and Catherine kneeling at the bottom of the two side panels) was installed in the Chapel. It's possible the window may have been moved from Waltham Abbey to New Hall when the House was occupied by Henry and Catherine's daughter, Princess Mary (later Queen Mary I). In 1758 the window was purchased for St. Margaret's Westminster and installed in the rebuilt east wall of the church, where it remains today as one of the finest pre-Reformation Flemish stained glass windows in London. The royal arms of Henry VIII from the Gatehouse are today in the Chapel.

  • Architect: Inigo Jones

    Date: Circa 1622
    Designed: Alterations to House, including Northeast Stair for George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham.

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  • Title: Making History: Antiquaries in Britain, 1707-2007
    Author: Gaimster, David; McCarthy, Sarah; Nurse, Bernard (Editors)
    Year Published: 2007
    Reference: pg. 140
    Publisher: London: Royal Academy of Arts
    ISBN: 9781905711031
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Burke's and Savills Guide to Country Houses, Volume III: East Anglia
    Author: Kenworthy-Browne, John; Reid, Peter; Sayer, Michael; Watkin, David
    Year Published: 1981
    Reference: pgs. 65-66
    Publisher: London: Burke's Peerage
    ISBN: 0850110351
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Grade I

    Park Listed: Grade II

  • Past Seat / Home of: Thomas Butler, 7th Earl of Ormond, 15th century. Sir Thomas Boleyne, 16th century. King Henry VIII, 16th century. Queen Mary I, 1532-33. Thomas Ratcliffe, 3rd Earl of Sussex, 16th century. George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, 17th century. Oliver Cromwell, 17th century. George Monk, 1st Duke of Albermarle, 17th century. Ralph Montagu, 1st Duke of Montagu, late 17th century. Benjamin Hoare, 18th century. John Olmius, 1st Lord Waltham, 18th century.

    Current Ownership Type: School

    Primary Current Ownership Use: School

    Ownership Details: Today New Hall School; owned by the Catholic Church since 1798.

  • House Open to Public: No

    Phone: 01245-467-588

    Fax: 01245-464-348

    Email: admin@newhallschool.co.uk

    Website: http://www.newhallschool.co.uk

    Historic Houses Member: No