Why did Edward Penn build only half a house?
BY PETER MARSDEN – Published in Records of Buckinghamshire volume 53 in 2013
SELECTED BY JULIAN HUNT, who writes:
Shell House is a strangely asymmetrical house built in the late 17th century when symmetry was king. Behind its construction is an equally curious history.
This was one of the houses which we passed in my virtual tour of the south Buckinghamshire village of Hedgerley when I gave the society’s first-ever on-line lecture over the internet in April 2020. My task was to guide more than 60 who had logged on to Zoom, the on-line meeting application, around the ‘historic’ village, from the site of the recently demolished One Pin public house to that of Hedgerley Park, a lost country house.
On the way we passed the elegant but architecturally odd Shell House. Prompted by a question from our audience, Peter Marsden briefly explained how Edward Penn, its builder, had found himself on the wrong side of not only the notorious Judge Jefferys, but also King James II.
Peter’s article, published in Records of Buckinghamshire in 2013, tells the whole story – and is therefore my nomination for our first ‘Records Article of the Month’.