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Palace of Beaulieu: Wikis


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Beaulieu Palace circa 1580

The Palace of Beaulieu also known as New Hall was located in Essex, England, north of Chelmsford.

The estate on which it was built - the manor of Walhfare in Boreham - was granted to the Canons of Waltham Abbey in 1062.Charter S 1036 After various changes of possession it was granted by the Crown to the Earl of Ormond in 1491. By this time it had a house called New Hall.

In 1516 New Hall was sold by Thomas Boleyn to Henry VIII of England for £1,000 (£42,000 in today's money). The king rebuilt the house in brick at a cost of £17,000, a considerable sum at the time.[1] He gave his new palace the name Beaulieu,meaning beautiful place, the name expressed Henry's desire for fine things, though the name change did not outlast the century.

On July 23, 1527 Henry's court arrived at Beaulieu on his summer progress, staying, unusually, for over a month. In the company of the a large number of nobles and their wives, including Anne Boleyn's father Viscount Rochford, Viscount Fitzwalter, the earls of Oxford, Essex and Rutland, the marquess of Exeter and the dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, it was here that Henry devised a scheme to allow him to cohabit with the intended successor of Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, by obtaining a Papal bull to allow him to commit bigamy. This plan was dropped when Cardinal Wolsey discovered the plan, though the pope did, in fact, issue a bill to the same effect that December.[2]

In October 1533 the daughter of Queen Katherine of Aragon, Mary, who had been staying at Beaulieu for some time, was evicted as the palace had recently been granted to George Boleyn (Anne Boleyn's brother) George had been a former keeper at Beaulieu when the palace was in the hands of the king.

Queen Elizabeth I of England granted the estate in 1573 to Thomas Radcliffe, 3rd Earl of Sussex, who seems to have largely rebuilt the north wing. It is not known though whether he rebuilt other parts of the palace, a fire occurred in Henry VIIIs time and the palace itself could mostly have been rebuilt. Soon after the north range was completed, Thomas installed Elizabeth's coat of arms above the main entrance which is still visible today. In 1622 it was sold to George Villiers 1st Duke of Buckingham for £30,000.

During the English Civil War, Oliver Cromwell took possession of the estate for the sum of five shillings in 1640. After reverting to the 2nd Duke of Buckingham at the Restoration, it was sold to George Monck, 1st Duke of Albermarle, and the court of Charles II of England was frequently entertained there. Cosimo III, Grand Duke of Tuscany, visited in 1669 and a member of his retinue produced a view of the house. A copy of this view was published in 1821.New Hall in 1669

Benjamin Hoare acquired the property in 1713, but it was in a poor state when purchased in 1737 by John Olmius, later 1st Lord Waltham, who demolished and rebuilt much of the former palace. The north wing was left largely untouched and forms the present house.

The estate was acquired in 1798 by the English nuns of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, who opened a Catholic school there the following year. New Hall School remains a school to this day. The Royal Arms of Henry VIII are in the school chapel.In 2006 (New Hall and its school) was published by Tony Tuckwell, it can be purchased through the school.

The Beaulieu name is now remembered in the name of the nearby housing estate, Beaulieu Park.

In February 2009, Channel 4's Time Team visited and excavated the grounds of the former palace. The programme was broadcast on Easter Monday, in the excavations, the time team uncovered the chapel, west wing and the gatehouse. 2009.[3]


  1. ^ Maurice Howard, The Early Tudor Country House: Architecture and politics 1490-1550 (George Philip 1987), p.205.
  2. ^ Retha M. Warnicke, The Rise And Fall of Anne Boleyn: Family Politics at the Court of Henry VIII (Cambridge University Press 1989).
  3. ^

External links

Coordinates: 51°45′52″N 0°30′43″E / 51.7644°N 0.5119°E / 51.7644; 0.5119



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