Wormleybury

A historical house in Wormley

By Nicholas Blatchley

Wormleybury 1981
Hertfordshire Archives & Local Studies

Wormleybury, the only grade I listed building in the Borough of Broxbourne built as a private house, stands west of the A10, just off Church Lane and close to St Laurence’s Church.

The manor of Wormley Bury was one of the seventeen manors with which King Harold endowed Waltham Abbey, and it remained in the Abbey’s possession until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 1530s, when it came into the possession of Edward North, one of several men who did very well out of the distribution of monastic lands nationwide.

A house had been built in 1525, bearing the name Wormley Bury, which stood just to the north of the present building, and was occupied first by Edward Sharnebrook, and subsequently by the family of William Woodlief. It passed through many hands in the two centuries that followed, and was replaced by a new house in 1734, built by John Deane.

In 1767, Abraham Hume, whose father had enclosed seven acres of land to form a park around the property, commissioned Robert Mylne of Great Amwell to built a new house on the site, although some of Deane’s house was used for building materials, including the lead rainwater heads.

Mylne’s house is a neo-classical brick building with a stone portico on the north front, supported by six columns. However, Hume’s son, also Abraham, commissioned Robert Adam in the 1770s to improve the interior, including fine mantlepieces and panels bearing painting of landscapes and classical subjects.

The Humes mingled with high society, and the paintings hung at Wormleybury included portraits by Reynolds. They also cultivated many rare plants in the gardens. When the line died out, the house passed through various hands, and is now divided into flats.  

This page was added on 11/01/2012.

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