Now a country club and golf course off White Stubbs Lane in west Broxbourne, Broxbournebury Manor has a long history going back to mediaeval times. The present house was built in the 16th century and altered in the 18th and 19th, while during the 20th century the mansion and its associated buildings were used as a private residential school.
The History of Broxbournebury
Broxbournebury originated as a mediaeval manor and was owned by the Knights Hospitaller of the Order of St John. After the dissolution of the monasteries, Henry VIII granted the estate to John Cock, and it subsequently passed in 1557 to his son, Sir Henry Cock. It was at about this time that the house was built, although records aren’t clear whether the father or son was responsible.
Henry served as High Sheriff and Deputy Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, and he also held an important role in Queen Elizabeth’s Royal Household, continuing into the reign of James I. This was probably aided by the fact that he entertained James at Broxbournebury as the King made his way from Scotland to London.
The estate and house passed by marriage to the Monson family, and it was eventually bought, in 1789, by Jacob Bosanquet, and after his death it passed to his son George. George’s wife, Cecelia, created a rose garden which became celebrated — a book of 1871 described Broxbournebury as a “celebrated mansion and famous for a unique rose garden.” A rose, still existing today, was named “Mrs Bosanquet” in her honour.
In 1878, the couple’s son-in-law Horace Smith-Bosanquet (who’d added his wife’s name to his own) commissioned the architect Sir Ernest George to make substantial alterations to the house, although maintaining the Elizabethan style of the original.
During the 20th century, the estate functioned as a private school. It was later sold to become the Hertfordshire Golf and Country Club, which remains its function today. The brochure for the sale described it as “a fine, solidly built country house of great interest and charm, located in a pretty and accessible part of the county of Hertfordshire.”
Broxbournebury Mansion House
The Mansion House itself has a substantial description in its listing. After a brief summary of the building’s history, it’s described as:
Red brick, stone dressings, mainly modern red tile roofs. Elizabethan style. two storeys and attics, cellar on west, east and south elevations entirely Victorian; the east side is seven windows, square parapeted porch with octagonal turrets and ribbed vault, slightly projecting, crow-stepped gable ends, crenellated parapet; the south elevation is longer with five windows: four storey square tower on west corner, three crow-stepped gables, the end ones over two-storey canted window bays, larger ground floor central bay, all window bays with pierced stone parapets. Mullioned and transomed casements. Tall mullioned chimney stacks. West elevation mostly C16. Three crow-stepped gables on south. Square hipped-roof bay on north centre, a C17/18 addition with modillion cornice. North elevation has C16 stair turret and partly C16 external chimney stack. C18 converted stable of three arched bays attached on west.
Internal courtyard walls with C16 brickwork on all sides. Good Elizabethan style interiors on south ground floor, including hall with lozenge-panelled ceiling and deep plaster frieze. First floor with some late C18 doorcases and details. West first floor centre room has C16 four-centre arch fireplace; C17 safe door in nearby north corridor. Substantial C16/17 cellar. East entrance courtyard has pierced, cemented brick wall and wrought iron gates.
The brochure for the sale gives a more intimate description of the house’s layout before conversion into its present use as a golf and country club. Rooms listed included six reception rooms on the ground floor, eighteen bedrooms on the first floor and six on the second.
Several other structures on the site have separate listings from the main building. These range from the late 19th Gardners Cottage and the former stable block, described as 18th century with 19th century alterations, to a stretch of garden wall from the 18th century. A late 19th century garden pavilion is described as “included for group value”.
The site also includes three buildings described in their listing as “Old School Hall (North)”, “Old School Cottage (South)” and “Old School House (West)”. These are described as mid-to-late 19th century, built in the Early Gothic style.
An Ongoing History
Broxbournebury Mansion is steeped in history, going back to the mediaeval period, and the Hertfordshire Golf and Country Club is continuing that. Members and visitors can enjoy the splendour of past times while enjoying their leisure activities.
Broxbournebury Mansion Land Sale, no date (after 1973), Hertfordshire County Council