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Kings Langley Hunting Lodge

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Little London

In the civil parish of Kings Langley.
In the historic county of Hertfordshire.
Modern Authority of Hertfordshire.
1974 county of Hertfordshire.
Medieval County of Hertfordshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: TL07670175
Latitude 51.70416° Longitude -0.44362°

Kings Langley Hunting Lodge has been described as a probable Palace.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Possibly the remains of a moated site referred to in 1308 as a lodge in the Royal Park of King's Langley. There is a large depression on the moat platform, possibly the result of clay digging. Slight traces of ridge and furrow are also visible in the field. Enclosures visible to the north of the moat as low earthworks. The site shows very clearly on the 1947 AP as a rectangular island of approximately 5000 sq. m. To the eastern end of the island is a square feature of approximately 1000 sq. m with a circular feature of around 20m in diameter at its centre. (Herts HER)

The monument includes a sub-rectangular moated site and a series of outer enclosures. The moat is aligned east-west and has maximum external dimensions of 120m. east-west and 60m. north-south. The moat island contains a slight mound and hollow on the western side and there is a causeway on the same side. The moat is approximately 12m. wide and 1.5m deep and is dry except for the southern arm which is slightly marshy. The eastern arm of the moat has been filled in. The internal mound and hollow appear to mark the position of an earlier lodge belonging to the Royal Park of the King's Langley Estate and dating to the 14th century. There are no other standing structures in the moat today. The outer enclosures appear as low earthworks mainly to the north of the moat, and may be the remains of ancillary buildings or horticultural earthworks contemporary with the moat. (Scheduling Report)

Henry III (1216-72) built a hunting-lodge 'Little London', with a moat around it, between the R. Gade and the highway. {A further reference occurs under the date 1312}. "Edward II in fulfillment of a vow built a house for the Friars in his park of Langley and granted that they might until it was completed, dwell in Little London a lodge in the Royal Park. The site of this with mound and moat is between the canal and the Watford Road." (Liddle)
The King's Langley Tithe Map (1835) shows the N, S & W sides of this moat only. It is shown wet and has an entrance to the part wooded island over the northern end of the W. arm. It lies in a field called 'London Field'.
This homestead moat, set into the slope at the foot of the W. bank of the River Gade, has been much reduced by cultivation. Formerly oblong on plan (see O.S.25") it measured appx. 80.0m N-S by 100.0m E-W. The W, and fragments of the N and S arms only remain with further
mutilation of the SW corner by drainage operations. Within the enclosed area is a depression together with a heavy scatter of flint and roofing tile. The entrance-causeway shown on the 1835 Tithe Map no longer exists (F1 CFW 04-DEC-59). (PastScape)

What is the evidence that Henry III built this lodge? Certainly seems to have been in existence by 1312, when the use of it was granted to Friars Preachers. Does this suggest this was not a royal residential lodge but the office and residence of a royal bailiff or park keeper? The nearby Royal Palace was extant 1299-1469.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:01

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