Cheshunt. Theobalds

Colin Wilson

A few remains of Theobalds House (later Palace) can still be seen in Cedars Park, Cheshunt. William Cecil Lord Burghley, Queen Elizabeth I’s chief adviser, obtained the estate and built a house fit to entertain a queen, starting in about 1564.

James I later obtained and enlarged the estate, which led to the building of the Turners Hill (King James Compensation) almshouses.

One building on the estate, next to the stables, was a large building called the Alms-house, built, probably, by Lord Burleigh, and appropriated as a residence for some of his pensioners. It had a hall and chapel. The arms of Cecil were on the front. It was divided into tenements for poor people.

This building was still standing in 1796, when ‘The Environs of London’ was published (the only reference I’ve found so far to these almshouses). This was despite the fact that the rest of the palace was demolished soon after 1650.

Its exact location is unknown.


Daniel Lysons, ‘Theobalds’, in The Environs of London: Volume 4, Counties of Herts, Essex and Kent (pub T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1796), pp. 29-39.
British History Online [accessed 26 July 2018].

An article by Nicholas Blatchley about Theobalds Palace can be found at is a recreation of the palace in 1607, but does not show the outbuildings.


This page was added on 26/07/2018.

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