St. Peter-ad-Vincula, Roydon

  • St Peter's Church,
  • High Street,
  • Roydon, Harlow
  • Essex
  • CM19 5LW

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Nether Hall

On Sir John Colte's death in 1521, Nether Hall passed to his son George Colte, who had been admitted to Lincoln's Inn in 1509 at the instance of Thomas More. In turn, Nether Hall went to George's son, also George, in 1579, then to Sir Henry Colte in 1615, and finally in 1635 to another George.      

This last George fought for King Charles at Worcester, maintaining the Colte family's loyalty to the Crown, but he was wounded, fled to France, and was drowned in Flanders in 1658 when Nether Hall ceased to belong to the Colte family.

Sir John Colte's profligacy at Henry VIII's court had impoverished the family fortunes to such an 1extent that, in Elizabeth's reign, Nether Hall was let to Sir Edward Baesh, Surveyor of Her Majesty's Victuals for the Seas, a very remunerative post. In 1760 it was purchased by a Mr. Archer of Coopersale, but the Hall had deteriorated slowly, and it was taken down in 1773 for the value of its materials. The Gate House was in a far better state of preservation and was left for the simple reason that it would have cost more to pull it down than would have been obtained for the materials.

Victorian antiquaries were very interested in Nether Hall and in the 1870's did much work to preserve the gateway, but by the time of an article in The Essex Archaeological Journal in 1899, more work was needed. Recently, English Heritage has done a lot to ensure that it will remain as visible evidence of the great past of Nether Hall.