Hogges Hall, Hoddesdon
The shops on the east side of Hoddesdon’s High Street include a range, numbered 64, occupying a large old house called Hogges Hall. Although its listing describes it as 19th century, the history of Hogges Hall goes back a good deal further.
The Ancient Manor House
The site now occupied by Hogges Hall is first recorded as being inhabited in the Domesday Book, in 1086, where the manor house of Mandeville stood there. In the earlier mediaeval period, what’s now Hoddesdon was divided into a number of small manors, of which Mandeville was one. It was only later that prosperous landowners began acquiring multiple manors to form larger estates.
The manor had been awarded by William the Conqueror to Geoffrey de Mandeville and remained in the family till the late 12th century, after which it was held by the de Bohun family, eventually reverting to the Crown, with the Bassingbourne family as tenants.
The manor house was later referred to as Haukes Vill, presumably an early form of the present name. According to the early 20th century Hoddesdon historian J.A. Tregelles (cited by Jeffrey-Poulter), “Hogges Hall…has much heavy oak timbering of a fine character, and is probably fourteenth century work, possibly the oldest house in town.”
The 19th Century House
Few records survive of Hogges Hall or its ancestors before the 19th century, when it was rebuilt. It appears, though, that there was a substantial house on the site from at least the later mediaeval period, although the listing describes it as 15th century, rather than Tregelles’s 14th. The listing in full describes Hogges Hall as:
Mid C19, plastered, 5-window range with slate roof, to 3-bay, timber frame house, N 2 bays C15. 2 storeys. Sash windows with architrave surrounds and moulded cornices. Modern ground floor shops. Rear centre of range has late C19, canted, staircase oriel with leaded lights. Interior on N (Abbey National) has heavy floor beam carried on figured wooden brackets of jesters, S one a restoration. Ogee-headed door with 5 cusps on N wall of middle bay.
By 1869 at the latest, it was occupied by the Hunt family, who owned a construction firm. John Alfred Hunt took over the business in 1869 and ran it from Hogges Hall, with workshops at the back. The company was a prominent local builder — major projects in Hoddesdon included the St Catherine’s estate and St Cuthbert’s Church in Rye Park.
Hogges Hall in the 20th Century and Beyond
From the 1930s, the ground floor of Hogges Hall has consisted of two shops, one on either side of the main door. The businesses using the premises have been varied, ranging from a radio, electrical and music shop to shoe shops, ladies’ outfitters and a hair salon.
At present, in 2023, the two units are occupied by Kirby Colletti Estate Agents and Pepper & Phillips Funeral Directors. As in most high streets, this seems to reflect the move from retail to services.
If you walk along Hoddesdon High Street today, you may only notice modern shop-fronts at number 64. However, if you look up you can still see the attractive 19th century building and even traces of the mediaeval manor house, forming a link right back to the Domesday Book.
Garside, Sue, Hoddesdon: A History, Phillimore & Co Ltd, 2002
Jeffery-Poulter, Stephen, Hoddesdon High Street: A Nostalgia Trip, Berforts Information Press, 2014
Dent, David, Hoddesdon’s Past in Pictures, The Rockingham Press, 1992