The story of Henry VIII’s forgotten palace in Chelmsford

PUBLISHED: 08:53 03 March 2017 | UPDATED: 09:11 03 March 2017

Historian Tony Tuckwell

Historian Tony Tuckwell


The story of New Hall, Henry VIII’s forgotten royal palace in Chelmsford, now the home of a school, will be told at the annual museum lecture at Chelmsford Civic Theatre on March 10.

Henry bought the estate in 1516, rebuilt it in brick and renamed it Beaulieu, French for a beautiful place. Henry lived there with Anne Boyleyn.

The estate once belonged to Canons of Waltham Abbey, granted to them in 1062.It became the property of noble lords and In 1516, New Hall was sold by Thomas Boleyn, Anne Boleyn’s father, to King Henry VIII for £1,000.

On July 23, 1527, Henry’s court arrived at Beaulieu on his summer progress, staying, unusually, for over a month in the company of a large number of nobles and their wives, including Anne Boleyn’s father who had by then been given the titles Viscount Rochford, the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, the Marquess of Exeter, the Earls of Oxford, Essex, and Rutland, and Viscount Fitzwalter.

It was here that Henry devised a scheme to allow him to live with Anne, by obtaining a Papal bull to allow him to commit bigamy, he having been married to Catherine of Aragon for some 20 years. This plan was dropped when Cardinal Wolsey discovered the ruse, though Pope Clement VII did, in fact, issue a bull to the same effect that December. The lecture is being given by historian Tony Tuckwell.

Cramphorn Studio, 8pm. Tickets, £6 01245 606505 or


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