Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Dacorum (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TL 01350 00795


FLAUNDEN FLAUNDEN TL 0100 (North side) 11/105 Church of St. Mary - Magdalene (C of E)


Parish church. 1838 incorporating bell, font and tiles from Old Parish Church at Chenies Bottom, q.v., ceiling inserted c.1950. Sir George Gilbert Scott's first church, described by him in his memoirs as 'the poor barn designed for my uncle King' (Pevsner). A notice on the S wall of the nave 'This Church was erected AD 1838 in place of the former Church by private subscription aided by a grant from the Incorporated Society for the enlargement, building and repairing Churches and Chapels ...Revd Samuel King, Minister ...' (also Rector of Latimer). The records of the Church Building Society show that in March 1837 it made its grant for 'enlarging, by rebuilding, the church at Flaunden' (BFL Clarke Church Builders of the Nineteenth Century London (1938)23). The foundation stone was laid 12 August 1837. Coursed flints with fine jointed red brick dressings. Limestone offsets to buttresses, sills, and corbels to gable kneelers. Sandstone gable copings to church, porch and vestry. Steep blue slate roofs. A single-volume large, gabled lancet style building, conventionally orientated, of 5 panelled bays with small gabled S porch in 1st bay from W, and similar gabled N vestry in 1st bay from E. Tall square wooden bell turret over W end arcaded in Early English style with single-hand to clock in base, and short leaded spire with vane.Fine quality moulded red brick everywhere with narrow reddish joints,used for pilaster quoins and corbel-table to side-walls,the tall lancet window in each bay of 2 chamfered orders and the hoodmould extended to link the windows. Also for the similar stepped triple lancets at E and W ends,the W having a pointed super arch but the E having 3 crosses in brick in the flintwork above the windows and a stepped brick band below the gable coping giving the effect of crow steps. Gables have added buttresses and circular tie-plates at eaves level,but original corner buttresses.Gabled porch has a chamfered pointed doorway, small side lancets, interior stuccoed and lined as ashlar and floor of worn medieval encaustic tiles, of single and 4-tile patterns, but also one with a crowned bust with raised hands,set in an incised circle.Pointed S door of wide planks with large trefoil ended hinge plates. The doors and altar rail of the church are said to be of wood from the old church.Narrower pointed N gable door into N vestry up 2 steps with door similar. 5 bays interior with open timber roof ceiled at tie-beam level c.1980 but visible in roof space. Curved braces to tie-beams with pendants, and queen-post trusses with king-strut above collar and 2 purlins. All timbers and rafters chamfered and stopped.W gallery on 2 cast iron columns with moulded caps and bases. Central aisle.Pointed commandment boards 2 each side of E window.Stained glass E window 1955 by John Hayward.Simple pine pews with trefoil ends to aisle. Original heating by boiler in stoke hole under W end, gable chimney, and floor grating along central aisle.Octagonal medieval font, Perp with circular sunk quatrefoil roundel on each face, swept curved profile, and shaft and base renewed.Lattice leaded glazing generally but 2 eastern windows on S side have stained glass of 1862 as memorial to Rev Bryant Burgess and his wife,and 1889 to his son Rev Bryant Burgess. The turret bell 1578 cast by William Knight of Reading inscribed 'Gloria in excelsc deo' (similar bell also from old church sold for St.John's Church Uxbridge c.1837 and a third said to have been stolen then).Beside the medieval bell, font, floor tiles, and timber of doors and altar rail, there is a glass case at the W end a stone with a scratch dial and a small fragment of walling with white plaster and red-line wall painting, from the old church. Of singular interest as the first church of a celebrated Victorian architect,and as having medieval encaustic pattern tiles, late medieval font and bell from the old church.(VCH(1908)226-7: RCHN(1911)90 no.2: Kelly(1914)101: Pevsner(1977)143).

Listing NGR: TL0134700793


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Books and journals
Doubleday, AH, The Victoria History of the County of Hertford, (1908), 226-7
Pevsner, N, Cherry, B, The Buildings of England: Hertfordshire, (1977), 143
'Kellys Directory' in Hertfordshire, (1914), 101
Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Hertfordshire, (1910)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 04 Sep 2000
Reference: IOE01/02857/07
Rights: Copyright IoE John Reeve. Source Historic England Archive
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