|Harpsfield Hall, Hatfield|
- While the name Harpsfield goes back to the 13th century it was not a manor, and hence has been ignored by the main published County Histories.
- The Harpsfield estate was owned by the Gape family, of St Michael's Manor, St Albans, and let, in whole or in parts during the whole of the 19th century.
- Harpsfield Hall was sometimes called Hatfield Hall, at least at the beginning of the period studied.
- William Pittman was a tenant at the beginning of the 19th century, occupying Hatfield Hall and 300 acres. Clearly Harpsfield Hall was a major establishment as when William died the sale of furniture, paintings, china, wines, and the farms live and dead stock took six days.
- In the 1830s and early 40s it is clear that the Hall, and a much enlarged farm, were let to separate tenants.
- From about 1850 onwards Harpsfield Hall appears to have been the name of the hamlet, the word being used to describe several agricultural labourers cottages
- The 1925 picture shows a house which must be considerably smaller that the one where the auction was held in 1813.
- The design of the house suggests it could have been a new build in the mid 19th century.
My suggestion is that that by 1840 the original Harpsfield Hall was passed its "sell by" date, and there were difficulties in letting the house and farm together. The farm was merges with a neighbouring farm and a new farm house (the one in the picture) was erected. Shortly afterwards the old hall was demolished - perhaps with parts being kept as farm cottages.
I would like to confirm this and if you are aware of any pre-1850 references to the Hall (and ideally a picture) I would be very grateful.for details.