The Halseys moved to Great Gaddesden in 1458 and later became lessees of the Rectory of Gaddesden until March 12, 1545. When Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries during the Reformation, he granted the estate to William Halsey. Thomas Halsey MP (1731–1788) erected Gaddesden Place, to Wyatt's design.
Gaddesden Place is said to be Wyatt's first country work and represents his conformity at the start of his active career to the English Palladian tradition. The house is set in an elevated position overlooking the Gade Valley and is said to enjoy one of the finest views in the Home Counties.
The conservatory was added in 1891 and has recently been extensively restored. Gaddesden Place was gutted by fire, on the 1 February 1905, and was subsequently rebuilt. The quadrant links and north and south pavilions were demolished in 1955 and 1963 because of dry rot.
The building, which is listed as Grade II, was purchased in 1984 by Charles Moir, founder of Computer Concepts (later Xara from 1995), a software company, and has been the headquarters of Xara Group Ltd, latterly acquired by MAGIX, since that time.
In popular culture
The house and its grounds have been frequently used as film locations, including a recent appearance in Lewis as well as being Lord Worplesdon's New York residence in ("The Once and Future Ex") in the Jeeves and Wooster series.
- Gaddesden Place home page
- The Gaddesden Place fire of 1905 Great Gaddesden (A Guide to Old Hertfordshire)
- Gaddesden Place and Xara Online
- The Halseys and Gaddesden Place
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