Wheathampstead Heritage: Virtual Museum Exhibit
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The earliest documented reference to the Bride Hall estate is dated 1150 when Thurfleda gifted it to the Abbey of St Albans. At the dissolution of the monasteries in 1541, the estate was bought by Ralph Rowlatt, one of whose descendants was Diana, Princess of Wales.
The Garrard family, who also owned the Lamer estate, bought the Bride Hall estate in 1606. The Hall was substantially rebuilt in 1617 and much of the existing building dates from that time. It was owned by the Garrard family until 1928.
During the Second World War, the Special Operations Executive (SOE) commandeered the Hall as a secret centre, Station VI, for testing weapons for use by the French Resistance, such as the Welgun , the Welrod, and the Welbike, a collapsible motor-cycle.
In 1978, the Hall and remaining estate was bought by Daniel Desmond (only the third resident owner of the Hall in 850 years), who has undertaken a massive restoration programme of the Hall and gardens.
For more information about Bride Hall, follow this link to the English Heritage website:
See also The Story of Bride Hall by Marion Hill (Phillimore 2006).
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Date Created: 09/03/2013 11:20:26, by: Patrick Date last edited: 25/02/2014 16:48:29, by: patrick