Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:

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

East Hertfordshire (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TL 29286 26565


TL 22 NE WALKERN CHURCH END (north side)

1/6 Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin 24.11.66 (C of E) (formerly listed as Church of St Mary)


Parish church. A-S Cll nave, early C12 S aisle, early C13 chancel and N aisle, early C14 W tower, early C15 2-storeys S porch, late C15 aisle windows and a clerestorey. Rainwater heads dated 1789. Chancel restored 1878, NE chapel 1882 by Hugh Roumieu Gough. C19 SE vestry, restoration and re-seating 1882. Flint rubble with dressings of Barnack stone and clunch. Chancel and flanking chapel and vestry steep roofs in old red tile. Flatter- pitched roofs of W parts concealed by crenallated parapets. Pyramid slate roof to tower topped by a tall slender finial. In a hollow by a ford over the River Beane, a small church of nave, N and S aisles, unbuttressed 3-stage W tower, 2-storeys S porch, and chancel flanked by lean-to NE chapel and SE vestry. Tall Saxon nave, proportioned 1:2, with a sculptured Rood in Situ, formerly external over S door, of robed Christ. S wall pierced by 2 plain round arched openings in early C12 with multiple cable moulded impost on E jamb of W archway, possibly re-used from Saxon S door. In S aisle Norman S door with recessed order and colonettes, and blocked Norman window to W. C13 3-bay N arcade of nave into narrower N aisle. Octagonal columns with moulded caps and bases support 2-centred arches of 2 chamfered orders. Late C14 N doorway of 2 moulded orders. 4 carved heads as roof corbels. Late C15 windows, 3 3-light in N wall and a 2-light window in W wall. S aisle has a 4-light C15 S window, 3-light similar window at W, lower door and winding rood stair at NE, small C15 door to W of S door leading by winding stair to parvise over porch, late C14 clunch octagonal font with shafts worked on alternate facets of bowl, and in an arched wall recess in S wall the fine Purbeck marble effigy of a knight with crossed legs, mail hauberk, coif, chausses, long surcoat, shield, sword and closed flat-topped helm (said to be William de Lanvalei d. 1211, or his son of same name d,121?). Tall double chamfered arch into tower, with recessed reticulated tracery in 3-light W window. Late C15 bell-chamber openings above. Low pitched medieval roofs over nave and aisles contemporary, each of 3 bays with moulded principals, sub-principals, purlins and ridge, with carved bosses at intersections and provision for angel figures to be fixed with wings displayed on the lower part of each sub- principal. Deep cambered tie beams and arched knee-braces from wall posts in nave and N aisle. Wide C13 chancel arch of 2 chamfered orders has a C15 oak screen, panelled below and with 2 open traceried bays each side of central opening. Chancel has a trefoil headed early C13 piscina with dog-tooth ornament and shafted jambs, triple C13 stepped sedillia, C19 triple lancet E window with shafted rerearch, 2-bay C19 N arcade in elementary plate-tracery into NE chapel, and stepped sanctuary with patterning of encaustic and glazed coloured tiling in floor. Slim C16 octagonal oak pulpit. Royal arms over tower arch. Consecration crosses on E jamb of W arch of S arcade, and in knapped flint externally on each face of base of tower. Brasses: to Edward Humberston and wife 1583 in front of tower arch (palimpsest of John Lovekyn 1368); to C15 man and wife, and inscription to William Bramfielde 1596 both in floor of N aisle; to Edward Chapman 1621 and wife 1636 on S wall of chancel; 3 inscriptions in vestry. Wall monuments: to Gyles Humberston 1627, on S wall of nave, an aedicule with Corinthian pilasters, broken pediment, mantled achievement and man and wife kneeling facing over prayer desk; to David Gorsuch 1638 and wife, on S wall of chancel, a similar aedicule of 2 arches with kneeling figures; to Philip Adams 1803, on N wall of N aisle, a tablet surmounted by a draped urn, referring to tomb in churchyard (q.v.). A church of outstanding interest on account of its early origins, varied dates of development, the Saxon Road sculpture and the early C13 knight's effigy in the S aisle. (RCHM (1911) 224-5: VCH (1912) 155-7: Kelly (1914) 254: Pevsner (1977) 372-3).

Listing NGR: TL2928626565


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Doubleday, A, The Victoria History of the County of Hertford, (1912), 155-7
Pevsner, N, Cherry, B, The Buildings of England: Hertfordshire, (1977), 372-3
'Kellys Directory' in Hertfordshire, (1914), 254
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: 15 Nov 2002
Reference: IOE01/09736/03
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Peter Warwick. Source Historic England Archive
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