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List Entry Summary

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


List entry Number: 1101926



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

County: Hertfordshire

District: East Hertfordshire

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Widford

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: II*

Date first listed: 24-Jan-1967

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 160045

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

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Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


TL 4115 WIDFORD WARE ROAD (north side)

5/3 Parish Church of St John the Baptist 24.1.67 (C of E)


Parish church. A largely. C14 church incorporating fabric and arch fragments of early C12, C15 tower arch and windows in church: restored 1887-8 probably by G E Pritchett (framed plan in vestry) when S porch and vestry off church were added and roof rebuilt, chancel roof painted in 1881-3 by Miss F C Hadsley Gosselin, spire rebuilt and vestry heightened as an organ chamber 1890 by J (or G) Slater BA of London, new vestry off navel897-8 by J T Micklewaite. Flint rubble with clunch dressings (Barnack stone to tower), knapped flint to Cl9 vestry and organ chamber, on N, timberframed open gabled S porch. Slender octagonal copper sheathed spire. An unaisled nave and narrower rectangular chancel now under a continuous Cl9 steep roof with overhanging eaves. 3-stage unbuttressed W tower with battlements and rectangular stair projection on S rising to middle stage. Projection on N wall of nave for rood-stair concealed inside. In the nave: 2-light SE window c1350, similar recut on NE, copy at SW of 1871, S doorway and door on N to vestry c1370 with C13 ironwork on present doors, C12 chevron arch stone inset over S door, 4-bay roof reusing cambered tie beams with hollow chamfers and soffit mortices for wall-posts and arched braces, 7-sided Cl9 waggon roof with moulded battens and bossed, panelled octagonal stone font c1420, small C15 plastered piscina with shelf at SE. The lower part of the tower has a wide C15 arch, C14 W door of two moulded orders and 2-light traceried window over, small pointed doorway to stair and a ceiling of heavy chamfered beams with a central square panel. In the chancel: a C15 2-light Perpendicular window in each side, C14 sedelia or tomb recess in S wall, credence table formed from a C12 carved cushion capital on a turned plain shaft perhaps from an altar (assembled 1879) at SE, fine wall paintings survive with on N wall Christ ofthe Apocalypse sitting on a rainbow with a sword c1300, and flanking the E window C14 saints in the form of a knight and a bishop or abbot wearing a chausible and mitre. 3-light traceried C19 E window with stained glass of 1894, attributed Burlison & Grylls (Pevsner (1977) 406) commemorating John Eliot the 'Apostle to the Indians' born in the parish in the C17 whose Bible for the Massachusetts Indians was printed by Samuel Green in 1661. The church is associated with Charles Lamb whose grandmother Mary Field was a housekeeper at Blakesware nearby and whose grave is in the churchyard. The church is described in his poem The Grandame. A small medieval church, little altered, with many features of special interest and of outstanding interest for its medieval wall paintings and literary associations. It stands on the edge of the precipitous valley of the River Ash to the N and is an important landscape feature especially from the park of Blakesware. From the S it is part of a picturesque group of buildings in this part of the Conservation Area. (EHAS Trans (1903) 124-9: RCHM (1911) 240-1: VCH (1912) 405-6: Pevsner (1977) 406: J Traviss-Lockwood Widford and Widford Church Hertford 1883).

Listing NGR: TL4132615795

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Doubleday, A, The Victoria History of the County of Hertford, (1912), 405-6
Pevsner, N, Cherry, B, The Buildings of England: Hertfordshire, (1977), 406
Traviss-Lockwood, J , Widford and Widford Church Hertford, (1883)
'Transactions of the East Hertfordshire Archaeological Society' in Transactions of the East Hertfordshire Archaeological Society, (1903), 124-9
Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Hertfordshire, (1910)

National Grid Reference: TL 41326 15795


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End of official listing