NK Manor – May 2012

Author Nelly - Last updated: 26.09.2012
Danbury Palace

Splored with Skeleton Key and Bobo, and special thanks to Trog

:)

The History

The Original Danbury Place was built between 1560 and 1589. And was documented during the English Civil War as being owned by the Mildmays but in 1750 Thomas Ffytch, Grandson of Mrs John Mildmay took it over. A map of 1777 of Essex shows Danbury Place well marked and on the outskirts of Danbury itself.

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In 1801, Mr Disney Ffytch's sold his life interest in Danbury Place to Sir William Hilary. After his first Wife's death, the house began to fall into decay & was bought in 1826 by Mr John Round who commissioned the Architect Thomas Hopper to built the new Danbury Place a couple of hundred feet from the old building, the foundations can just be seen in the grass.

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His Wife had a fear of dying in a fire so a stone staircase was built into the centre of the house. She did die in a fire while retrieving a valuable bracelet from the Raggetts Hotel, Dover Street, London.

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Her grave stone in Danbury Churchyards reads:-
"Sacred to the Memory of Susan Constantin Round, beloved wife of John Round Esq., of Danbury Park who perished in the awful conflagration at Raggetts Hotel, Dover Street, London on the morning of 27th May, 1843(?) in the 36th year of her age. Sincerely and affectionately regretted".

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Soon after, in 1845 John Round sold the house to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners as a home for Dr Murray, the Bishop of Rochester when it then became known as Danbury Palace. In 1860 Dr Murray built the Chapel at the rear of the Palace. It was occupied in 1867 by Dr Thomas Legh Claughton (1808-1892) who was then the Bishop of Rochester until 26th April 1877 when St Albans Church became a Cathedral and the Bishop transfered to be the First Bishop of St Albans until he resigned in 1890.

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On the death of Bishop Claughton in 1892 the Palace was sold to Seth Taylor of Putney when it was described in a sales catalogue as "charming and picture with 3 separate staircases, 26 bedrooms and central heating!" Seth sold it on in 1899 to Hugh Hoare who cut down 492 Oak Trees and sold it then to Lieutenant Colonel, the Honourable Alwynne Greville in 1903.

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In 1919 it was bought by General & Mrs Wigan when it was also called Danbury Park as it contained what is now referred to as "The Lakes". In 1922 the Chapel was in a poor state and to enable the restoration work to be undertaken it was partially stripped of its fittings & furniture. A number of items were given to Danbury Church including the second of two 17th Century Flemish Oak chairs (the first being presented by Mrs Claughton in 1892), which are now in the Chancellery.

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A house was built in 1939 on the corner of land, Well Lane/Woodhill Road, for his Gamekeeper and was called Nightingale Cottage. The house has just been replaced and sold for over 1 million pounds.

During the Second World War it was used as a Maternity Hospital and in 1945 the Late Queen Mother visited it to present a layette to the 2,000th baby to be born there

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The Wigans left in 1946 and Essex County Council took over and it was used as a Civil Defence Training Centre.

In 1969 Mid Essex Technical College took over.

In 1989 Danbury Park Conference Centre was formed and it was opened for Weddings Receptions etc. Many Danbury functions were held there – the standard was high.

More recently it was renamed and run by Anglian University but they now have their purpose built accomodation in the centre of Chelmsford – making The Palace redundant.

1 comment

#1medicSeptember 29, 2012, 5:32 pm

Know the Danbury area well as it’s only 10 miles or so away – always thought the conference centre was still operational so never gave the old place a second look; guess that may change soon.

Great report and images :)

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