Place House-Bluecoat Yard
Place House in Bluecoat Yard (off East Street) was originally one of Ware's two medieval Manor Houses. The importance of Place House is emphasised by the hall having aisles like a church or a barn to increase the width and carry the weight of the extended roof.
In 1674 Place House was acquired by Christ's Hospital Foundation as a property to send younger children to live out of London in healthy country air. The buildings were said to be ruinous at that time and adapted and altered to serve their needs. A floor was inserted and the whole building encased in brick and the walls raised in gables over windows to give light to the upper floor. The "hall" part was used as the school rooms and the former service wing converted or rebuilt to serve as a. Schoolmaster's residence.
Housing for about 150 boys was provided by a range of cottages (or wards) erected on the West side of Bluecoat Yard, each ward being in the charge of a nurse.
In 1761 The Christ Hospital School at Ware was closed and the boys transferred to Hertford but the buildings were retained until 1894 and let. In the 1850s Place House was again being used as a School for instruction of Young Ladies by the Misses Medcalf. The cottages (or wards) remain today as private dwelling houses and in more recent years Place House itself has been used for residential purposes.
In the 1970s however Place House was acquired by the Hertfordshire Building Preservation Trust and after extensive renovations and alterations including removal of floors the original 'Hall' concept was restored. The property was "reopened" in 1978 by HM The Queen Mother.
In 1987 the Bluecoat Boy statue was returned to Ware from Hertford after redevelopment of Christ's Hospital School site and is now installed in Place House. At that time the Ware Society commissioned another statue from local sculptor Angela Godfrey and this stands in the niche over the entrance to Bluecoat Yard in East Street.