Beddington Place

Has been described as a Possible Palace (Royal), and also as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameBeddington Place
Alternative NamesCarew Manor
Historic CountrySurrey
Modern AuthorityLondon Borough of Sutton
1974 AuthorityGreater London
Civil ParishSutton And Cheam

An excavation was carried out in 2007 by John Phillips on part of a parch mark seen on the lawn in front of the house. A structure identified as the abutment for the bridge crossing the moat was identified. It had a roughly built west end and an ashlar faced eastern end, which was later. The main abutment was built with a flint and mortar core faced with roughly squared Reigate stone blocks. It appears that the abutment tapered towards the bridge. It is thought that it would have carried a stone or brick arch bridge which might have been more impressive than defensive. There was a line of chalk rubble along the top of the western wall which may have been a foundation. The moat island is currently thought to be the work of the first Nicholas Carew of Beddington who died in 1390. Stylistically, the abutment appears to match the original wall of the island, so probably has the same date. Although the abutment now is offset compare to the house, we do not know the axis or shape of the 14th century house, so no conclusions were drawn from the position of the bridge. A wall ran south from the abutment, and was of comparable date with the stone faced, later, section of the abutment. It is thought that this represents the outer wall of the moat, though it might also represent the foundation of a tower or barbican. In this case the predominance of chalk suggests the structure was for show and not for true military use. Alternatively the wall could also represent a curtain wall, or an impressive gatehouse, or perhaps the remains of an outer court such as was fashionable in the Tudor period, when the Carew family were successful. However it is possible that the rough section of the abutment could represent the foundation of a cellar on the outer side of the moat. The excavator thought that ultimately this could not be resolved without further work. The moat was filled by successive layers of dumping later than the early 18th century, and finished with a layer of soil

A cobbled surface was added, with knapped cobbles as the main hard standing and subsidiary unknapped cobbles filling the edges. This surface was covered over, probably when the park was brought up to front the house before 1792. Mason's waste consisting of sawn off cuts of coarse white limestone was also found, probably relating to the remodelling of the house as an Orphanage in the 1860s. (Greater London HER)

The Great Hall is usually ascribed by authorities (on the basis of a statement by Aubrey) to the reign of Elizabeth, but from its style and a statement by Fuller that it was rebuilt by Sir Nicholas Carew who died in 1559, it belongs to the period circa 1550. It is a remarkably fine apartment and resembles in a lesser vein and on a smaller scale, the Great Hall at Hampton Court which was built in 1530-35. Sir Francis Carew entertained Queen Elizabeth here for 3 days in 1599. The interior of the Great Hall (60 ft 8 ins x 52 ft 4 ins) is covered by an early C16 arch braced hammer-beam roof of 4 bays with similar trusses in the end walls. On the walls are (1) a trophy of Elizabethan arms and military engines in stone or plaster painted to look like bronze, and (2) at the opposite end a coloured achievement of arms in similar relief of Sir Nicholas Carew (d 1727) with the arms of his wife Elizabeth Hackett in pretence. The walls are lined with stained C19 panelling with crenellated top rails, which according to the Victoria County History covers an old fireplace. The floor is of white stone paving with black marble squares placed diagonally at the corners; probably circa 1709-10 when the alterations were made to the house; this has now been covered by modern parquet floors. The room to the South on each floor is constructed within the walls of the Tudor house and half a one-light stone window surround and its adjacent walling is said to be visible on opening a cupboard on the 1st floor. Some of the roofing over this is also old, but it is not of any real interest. The only other feature of interest is an early C18 bolection moulded marble fireplace surround in the South-West ground floor room, Formerly a wall tablet by H Weekes, ARA, to the Duke of Cambridge commissioned in 1850 by the Orphanage in his memory and brought from their earlier premises. It bears a profile bust portrait of the Duke and 2 profile full length portraits of girl orphans in uniform. C19 casing to Great Hall in a Gothic style in red brick with stone dressings and tile roofs. Main part of east elevation of 2 storeys, 6 bays, each bay separated by a buttress. Crenellated parapet. Tall 2-light Gothic windows above; below 2-light windows in rectangular frames. At either end a gabled projection of 2 storeys, 2 window bays. Casing to west front of Great Hall in similar style but with lean-to loggia against ground floor of hall; 2-light square headed glazed openings. 5 window bays with tall brick tower to centre bay; 2 tall windows above 1st floor of tower; moulded band with gargoyles; gables over each face; clock in west face; bell-cote. (Listed Building Report)

Gatehouse Comments

Manor house forfeited by Nicholas Carew to Henry VIII. Henry stayed here several times before the fall of Carew and afterwards. There was a standing wardrobe (storage repository) here recorded in the inventory taken at the time of the kings death. The building seems to have returned to Carew family ownership. The house now consists of a centre occupied by the Great Hall with 2 C19 long end wings which together with the present casing to the Great Hall were erected after a fire of May 1865 which destroyed the North wing and other parts of the building. Before this, the house had been practically rebuilt about the years 1709-10 on the old C16 plan.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTQ296653
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Copyright Tony All Rights Reserved
Copyright Tony All Rights Reserved

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  • Thurley, Simon, 1993, The Royal Palaces of Tudor England (Yale University Press) p. 49, 74
  • Malden, H.E. (ed), 1912, VCH Surrey Vol. 4 p. 168-78 online transcription



  • Phillips, John, 2007, Carew Manor, Beddington: Excavation on the Site of the Drawbridge Abutment, West Lawn