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Madingley Hall

Madingley Hall

History of Madingley Hall

The Gate, Madingley Hall

Madingley Hall gates, 1930 (MoC246/54)

The website of Madingley Hall can be found here:

Madingley Hall

Listed building:

Mansion House. Mainly mid and late C16, but with alterations and additions of C17, C18, C19 and early C20. Red brick with burnt brick diaper work, and limestone dressings of reused, coursed stone probably from Anglesey Abbey.

Icehouse. C18-C19. Brick. Round in plan.

Sham Bridge. Mid C18. Red brick with parapet partly repaired, and three round headed arches with keyblocks on the north side, the central arch being larger. Capability Brown redesigned the gardens at Madingley for Sir John Hynde Cotton, the fourth baronet, in 1756. This sham bridge is associated with these works.

Lodge. 1908-9. Brick, painted and applied timber-framing with half-hipped thatched roof and tall red brick stacks with projecting capping.

Kitchen garden wall. Mid-C18 and C20 repairs. Red brick, with some random burnt brick, and original moulded brick coping remaining in centre of east wall. Garden divided into two by cross wall, also mid C18

Gateway formerly at Old Schools, Cambridge (demolished 1754) and brought here by Sir John Hynde Cotton in 1758. Red brick and limestone ashlar. Large ogee archway of three orders and panelled mouldings flanked by niches in two tiers.

Gates and gatepiers. Probably c.1908. Rusticated red brick piers surmounted by reproduction stone urns similar to those from Histon Manor and now adorning the c.1908 brick piers in the north wall of the kitchen garden. Elaborate wrought-iron gates with C and S scrolls flanking full achievement of Harding Coat-of-Arms and initials W.H.

Statue representing Albert, Prince Consort. 1866. Signed J.H. Foley, R.A. Sc. White marble on grey marble plinth. Over life-size figure in robes as Chancellor’of Cambridge University.

Terrace retaining wall and balustrade. 1913-14. Brick and limestone. Arcaded balustrade with square piers enriched with jewelled panels surmounted by ball finials with obelisks at the corners.

There is a ghost story associated with the house. It is supposed to be that of Lady Ursula Hynde. She was the mother of Sir Francis Hynde of Madingley (1532 – 1596). Francis continued the construction of Madingley Hall in c.1588 – 1591 and probably made use of building materials from the church of St Etheldreda at Histon which was demolished about this time. It was distress over this event that is supposed to have distressed Lady Ursula, even though she died in 1555.

Madingley Hall (MoC)

1657 Madingley Hall features in the witchcraft allegations involving Mrs Morlin of Longstanton:

Witchcraft & Longstanton


Philadelphia Cotton, 88, landed proprietor, b England

Philadelphia Letitia, 62, b London

Susannah Gibbons, visitor, 40, landed proprietor,  b Girton

Marra Susannah Gibbons, visitor, 9, b London

Charlotte Gibbons, 17, b Girton

Jane Mylon, 51, housekeeper, b London

Sarah Lavy, 39, ladies maid, b Berks

Elizabeth Bromwich, 49, ladies maid, b Warwick

Ann Ward, 22, housemaid, b Norwich

Elizabeth Elbridge, 26, kitchen maid, b London

Charlotte Mathews, 19, young ladies maid, b Cambridge

Thomas Irving, 46, butler, b Leics

Frederick Ambrose, 26, footman, b Suffolk

Charles Elbourne, 23, groom, b Cambridge

Jonah Friend, 26, valet, b London

George Gilby, 15, errand boy, b West Wratting

Joseph Gibiston, 32, gardener, b Essex

Lacchens Frisby, servant of visitor, 26, b Cambridge

Colonel Thomas Walter Harding was High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire in 1904. He was appointed High Steward in 1907.

Colonel Thomas Walter Harding


Thomas Walter Harding, 68, engineer, b Yorks

Annie Haycock Harding, 64, b Yorks

Fanny Buller, wife’s sister, 61, private means, b Yorks

Margaret Anderson Eaden, 70, servant, b Scotland

Eliza Augusta Emery, 48, servant, b Hants

Ellen Johnson, 59, servant, b Madingley

Ruby Johnson, 24, servant, b Madingley

Rhoda Agnes Draffie, 23, servant, b Cambs


Thomas Walter Harding, 78, engineer, b France

Annie Haycock Harding,76, b Yorks

Fanny Buller, wife’s sister, 71,  , b Yorks

Catherine  Livingstone Smith, servant,17 , b Manchester

Louisa Ann Jackson, servant, 37, b Ely

Florence Alice Allen, servant, 15, b London

Eliza Augusta Emery, 57, Ladies maid, b Hants

Rosamond Harding‘s father inherited the Hall in 1927:

1927 On the death of Col. Harding, Rosamond’s father inherited Madingley Hall, a magnificent mansion built c.1543, which then became their family home. Here she was in her element, enchanted with the Elizabethan surroundings, lovingly restored by her grandfather. She had previously visited many times. When Col. Harding held a Elizabethen Ball some years before, Rosamond came in the character of a page to her mother Adela, who acted the part of Queen Elizabeth – recreating the atmosphere of Tudor England. Madingley was now Rosamond’s home, and living there had a profound effect on her outlook. At this time, though she had no qualifications of any kind, she began research for her Ph.D., financed by her father, and tutored by Prof. Edward Dent.

Madingley Hall (MoC)

Madingley Hall, 1930 (MoC247/54)


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