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


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Statutory Address:

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

North Hertfordshire (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TL 23489 28125



12/8 Church of St. Mary 27.5.68 GV I

Parish church. Nave C12; chancel enlarged or rebuilt in C13; W tower c.1480; nave heightened and reroofed in C15; S porch probably C18; N aisle, N vestry and general restoration 1887. Flint rubble with stone dressings. Steep old red tile roofs pyramidal to tower topped by lead covered standing cross with octagonal tapered shaft. Low pitched lead roof to nave. Small parish church of shrunken village. Long rectangular chancel, taller nave with added N aisle and gabled NE vestry, gabled S porch, tall W tower with crenellated parapet and diagonal buttresses at W angles. The C13 E windows of the Chancel probably 3 lancets were replaced c.1500 by a window of 3 cinquefoil lights, but the C13 interior jambs with edge-roll moulding and part of the arch remain. In N wall 2 C13 lancets and door to C19 vestry. At E end of S wall a C13 lancet window and at W end a pointed segmental arched window c.1500 with 3 cinquefoil lights and disturbed masonry below cill at position of a probable low-side window. Jambs of C12 S doorway between windows, blocked externally and head adapted as pointed window in C13. Early C13 double piscina to S of altar with pointed arches formed by intersecting boldly moulded semi-circular arches carried on small columns within a square moulded frame (cf piscina at Jesus College, Camb.). Patterned vivid stained glass c.1841 in lancets to N and S of altar. Stone reredos C19 with gabled central aedicule and arcaded flanking parts with painted panels. Encaustic tile patterned floor to chancel and indent for brass in slab by door to vestry. Elaborate C19 open timber roof in 3 bays with ridge-piece and rafters individually strutted from 2 purlins horizontally and vertically. Pointed segmental chancel arch late C15 of 2 orders, the inner with half octagonal pilasters with moulded caps. C15 oak rood-screen with plain lower panels, 3 bays of 2 cinquefoil tracery lights each side of arched entrance, embattled cresting, and is said to have base of central cross remaining. The Nave has 2 windows in the S wall and clearstorey above. The eastern window c.1330 has 2 cinquefoil lights and 2-centred arched head with quatrefoil. C15 western window is similar but with a 4-centred arched head. The S door is set in the lower part of a tall recess with C12 semi-circular arched head. Piscina below eastern window has a C12 scalloped capital hollowed out on top for the drain within a C14 chamfered trefoil recess. Adjoining the N jamb of the chancel arch a tall shallow C15 niche with 2-centred arch in a moulded rectangular frame. Semi-circular headed C12 former N doorway of nave re-used as entrance to vestry from N aisle. The eastern window in the N wall of the N aisle is a C14 window re-set. 3-bays C15 open timber roof carried on stone corbels, moulded 4 to middle part but carved heads at corners. Wall-posts and moulded long curved braces support heavy cambered moulded tie-beams. Ridge piece, one purlin to each slope and deep wallplate all moulded and with carved bosses at intersections with principals and sub-principals, the latter with carved angels with folded wings next the wall (restored). N arcade of 2 bays with moulded pointed wide arches of 2 orders with dripmould. Fat octagonal pier and imposts with moulded caps and bases. Lean-to open timber roof to N aisle with curved braces from stone corbels. Octagonal limestone font C15 with trefoil sinkings around bowl and octagonal shaft with moulded base. Octagonal C19 wooden cover carved with sprays of flowers in relief. Brass indents in floor slab with incised marginal inscription in Lombardic capitals ' ..... ELIENORA CONIUX VIRGO SIMULATA [XPUS MEUS?] ORA QUOD SIT BEATIS SOCIATA'. To E of S door large wall monument to Margaret Sparhauke d.1770 signed by B. Palmer, marble classical tablet with framed base and surmounted by a smooth unmoulded urn, its base flanked by Rococco assymetrical cartouches, against a black obelisk. 2 smaller monuments to W of S door, Timothy Lane d.1807 white marble with Roman lugs, and an early C19 slab with triangular pediment and acroteria. Flanking tower arch on LH May Lane d.1775 white marble slab on 2 corbels and triangular pediment. On RH Frances Burr d.1831 a marble slab on corbels with guttae with urn over. Some early C14 chip-carved wooden tracery incorporated into reading desk. W tower has tower arch and W doorway of late C15, 2 stages with external string courses below and above the belfry stage which has a 2 lights pointed louvred opening on each face. Clockface on S just below belfry opening. 3-lights W window with stopped pointed lights and stained glass of c.1889. West door of old shiplap vertical oak boarding under pointed arch set in deep square-headed moulded surround. Label has shield-shaped stops. Moulded deep stone dado-plinth to base of tower. Attached to exterior of E wall of chancel 2 oval stone tablets with late C18 inscriptions, LH to Jane Cheselden d.1795. RH to Mrs. Sarah Nedham. (RCHM (1911)92: VCH (1912)89-90: Kelly (1914)105: Pevsner (1977)148).

Listing NGR: TL2348928125


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), 89-90
Pevsner, N, Cherry, B, The Buildings of England: Hertfordshire, (1977), 148
'Kelly's Directory' in Kelly's Directory, (1914), 105
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: 06 Jul 2001
Reference: IOE01/04772/31
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Ron Walker. Source Historic England Archive
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