News and Information About One of the Oldest Buildings in the Village 
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A Brief History
of Priest House

In 1887 when the church was in the Diocese of St Albans, Priest House was described in the records as a lately restored and improved cottage. In 1944 it was left by Marianne Adams, widow and patron of All Saints Church, to the Diocese of Chelmsford. The church now leases it from the Diocese on a full repairing lease. In recent years it received Grade 2 listing status.

The main room, with a kitchen at the rear, was built before 1560 probably 1500 the experts have decided. It was built by placing substantial oak timbers on firm ground and using these as the foundation of the house. These rotted away over many years which necessitated the much needed restoration work that has been recently completed..

Lily Mary Shipton. 1902-1989
The last occupant of Priest House

Photo by Edward Clack

Originally a one and a half storey building access to the roof space is now through a trapdoor in the kitchen. Substantial changes were made and another room added in the 19h century. Further changes to windows and walls were made in the 19th and 20th centuries. Many of the changes in the light of modern knowledge were ill advised.

Experts who have studied the building estimate that the floor of the main room is now half a metre higher than when the house was first built.

Between 2008 and 2010 restoration and renovation work was carried out to the basic structure of the building, the internal facilities and both interior and exterior decor. This work has left the village with a building for use by local societies and groups for many more years to come.

George Brignull


English Heritage record images of the country's listed buildings together with architectural details when known. Click here for the Priest House entry.



Priest House, Doddinghurst
2010 - All Saints' Church, Doddinghurst