Beaumont Manor and the White House, Beaumont Road
In the extreme north-west of Cheshunt lies the hamlet of Beaumont, at the western end of the small country lane Beaumont Road. This was described in the 1920s by Percy Charles Archer as a “picturesque hamlet of a dozen houses with a present population (including the Manor-house) of only forty.”
Beaumont’s history goes back to the mediaeval manor of Beaumont, but its two listed buildings, the present manor house and the White House, both date to the early 19th century.
Beaumont in the Middle Ages
Beaumont Manor isn’t mentioned in the Domesday Book, and its name is most often said to be derived from Robert Beaumont, third Earl of Leicester at the time of Richard I. However, Archer has pointed out that:
in Tregelles’s “History of Hoddesdon” it is stated that “In 1086 in Domesday, Adeliza, wife of Hugh de Grentemaisnil held Broxbourne Manor. She was the daughter of Ivo De Beaumont who owned large estates adjoining.” From the close proximity of Beaumont to Broxbourne, it is reasonable to assume that the former took its name from Ivo De Beaumont at or prior to the Norman Conquest.
A few mentions are made of Beaumont manor in surviving documents. It came into the possession of the Abbot and Monks of Waltham Holy Cross (i.e. Waltham Abbey), and was then granted in 1543 to John Cock of Tewin. By 1600, it was part of the Theobalds Estate of Sir Robert Cecil, and was subsequently transferred by him to King James I along with the rest of the estate.
In 1650, Parliament ordered a complete survey of lands held personally by Charles I, who had been executed the previous year, and this included a detailed description of Beaumont Manor. Described as extending to 87 acres, it was found that Charles had leased the manor to a man called Richard Barnett or Barnard (both versions are given in the same paragraph of the document), a yeoman of Cheshunt.
This survey also notes that the manor is “intermixed with the lands of Sr Richard Lucies and the Manor of Perriers.” Perriers or Perriors, lying south-east of Beaumont and centred around a now-demolished moated manor house in the north of Cheshunt Park, is generally combined with Beaumont Manor subsequently, and from at least 1690, the manor was described as “Beaumont and Perriers”.
The Later History of Beaumont
In the 150 years following the parliamentary survey, the history of Beaumont is fairly obscure, but from the end of the 18th century, a list of owners is known. These include families called Sax and Griffenhoofe, before it was sold in 1842 to Matthew Munt.
Subsequent sales through the 19th century were to James Fort (1851), J. Fisher (1877) and Major G.F. Grant (1899), who was still owner of Lord of the Manor when Archer was writing in the 1920s. The Grants continued to own the manor at least up to the 1970s.
The hamlet has been extended a little during the 20th century, additions including Beaumont Villas and a few more modern houses. In the early 20th century, a corrugated iron church was built, but this has since been demolished.
Standing a little back from the south side of Beaumont Road, just to the west of its junction with Bread and Cheese Lane*, is the current Beaumont Manor. This replaced the old manor house, dating back to mediaeval times, which stood north of the road. The nucleus of the current house was built in 1806, but it was considerably extended and altered, and the listing dates it to about 1840:
Circa 1840, Tudor style stuccoed mansion, now three dwellings. 2 storeys, cellar in centre. Slate roof behind parapet. 9-window N elevation has central 2-storey porch with 4-centre arch door surround and 4-light oriel window. 2 and 3-light mullioned casements with hood moulds. R.H. Garden elevation with central 3- bay cloister/conservatory and 3 storey crenellated octagonal tower on W.
The house appears now to be divided into three separate dwellings.
The White House
Further east and also on the south side of Beaumont Road, The White House is described in its listing as “Early mid C19”, although Jack Edwards describes it as dating “at least from the eighteenth century and was formerly a farmhouse.” The listing says that it’s
Early mid C19. Painted brick and channelled stucco double slate roof. 2 storeys. Symmetrical front. 3 recessed, 8/8 pane sash 3 recessed, 8/8 pane sash windows. Half-glazed door in C20 classical porch.
* The “bread and cheese” in the name of this lovely country lane is said to have been a local term for hawthorn.
Edwards, Jack, Cheshunt in Hertfordshire, 1974, Cheshunt Urban District Council, pp 90-91
Archer, Percy Charles, Historic Cheshunt, no date (poss. 1924), The Cheshunt Press, pp 153-159