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The More

The More (also known as the Manor of the More) was a sixteenth-century palace near Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, where Catherine of Aragon lived after the annulment of her marriage to Henry VIII of England. It was previously owned by Cardinal Wolsey, and was at More Park.[1] The Treaty of the More was celebrated here by Henry VIII and the French ambassadors.[2] In 1527, the French ambassador, Jean du Bellay thought the house more splendid than Hampton Court.[3] Nothing now remains above ground. The site is a scheduled ancient monument.[4]

The site was inhabited in the 12th century, or earlier. The house came to Wolsey as a possession of the Abbey of St Albans in 1515, and passed to Henry VIII in 1531. By the mid-16th century, there was a timber-framed long gallery 15 feet broad and 253 feet in length. Most of the house was made of brick. Catherine of Aragon came to live at The More in the winter of 1531/32. The house was redecorated by the painter John Hethe with the Queen's badges (the ciphers of Anne Boleyn) in 1534, and in 1541 Hethe painted the king's bedchamber with blue bice and fine colours. Stained glass was installed by Galyon Hone. Provision was made in 1542 for the king's archery, and two deer-barns were built. There were even two grandstands to watch the hunting. It seems that the building was abandoned after 1556 and may have had inadequate foundations.[5] It was demolished in 1661.

The royal inventory of 1547 listed 157 items at The More in the care of Richard Hobbes. Ten of the suites of tapestry had borders with Wolsey's coat-of-arms. Two crimson velvet chairs were embroidered and carved with Anne Boleyn's initials.[6]

The site was excavated during an episode of the popular British archaeology programme, Time Team.


  1. ^ p.77, Robert Hutchinson, The Last Days of Henry VIII
  2. ^
  3. ^ Pollard, A. F., Wolsey, (1929), 325; or Guillaume du Bellay
  4. ^  
  5. ^ Colvin, Howard, ed., The History of the King's Works, vol. 4 part 2, HMSO, (1982), 164-169, with conjectural plan.
  6. ^ Starkey, David, ed., The Inventory of Henry VIII, vol. 1, Society of Antiquaries, (1998), nos. 13334-13491; chairs no. 13423
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