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 38280 35610


BARKWAY CHURCH LANE TL 3835 (North side)

Barkway 9/2 Church of 27.5.68 St. Mary Magdalene


Parish church. C13 origins. C15 nave rebuilt with aisles. 1861 restored, tower rebuilt, porch and vestry added by B. Ferrey at expense of the Hon. Mrs. V. Harcourt. Knapped flint with stone dressings. Tiled steep chancel roof, slate on shallower nave and porch roofs. Large 6 bay nave with broad N and S aisles, narrower and shorter chancel, W tower, S porch, N vestry/organ bay. Chancel: round arched 3 light E window with C19 geometrical tracery. Quoins, coped gable parapet with ridge cross and kneelers. To S a C19 pointed arched entrance, a restored C13 lancet and towards W a low side window of 2 cinquefoiled lights, blind below a transom, square head with mask stopped label. To N 2 blind lancets and a large C19 opening of 3 cinquefoiled lights with a square head, 2 stage buttress. Nave E end coped parapet with kneelers and ridge cross. 5 clerestorey windows to each side, paired cinquefoiled lights with square heads, ball flower friezes. N and S aisles have restored C15 windows of 3 cinquefoiled lights with rectilinear tracery in depressed arched heads, 3 to each side. S porch has outer moulded pointed arch with shafted jambs, double plinth, diagonal buttresses, coped gable parapet, 2 light windows in returns with pointed arched heads. C15 inner 4 centred wave moulded entrance arch. Projecting vestry with a 3 light N window as on aisles, double plinth, diagonal buttresses, coped parapet, pointed arched door to W. 3 stage W tower rebuilt to original pattern. To W rising through 2 stages is a tall 4 light window with rectilinear tracery, ogee headed label with finial and stops. 2 light foiled belfry openings with pierced quatrefoil panels. To N a small door and to N and S an additional small light in belfry, clock imposed on N belfry opening. Double plinth. String courses separate stages. 3 stage diagonal buttresses, empty niches in lower stages with crocketed, finialed surrounds. Buttresses to N and S where tower meets nave. To SE is semi-octagonal ashlar stair turret with a small outer entrance. Embattled parapet with crocketed finials at angles, weathervane at top. Interior: early C15 pointed chancel arch, double order of wave mouldings with label, semi-octagonal responds also wave moulded with elaborately moulded caps, simpler bases. Tall pointed tower arch, outer wave, middle casement and inner hollow mouldings, last of which terminates on engaged shaft responds with foliated moulded caps. 6 bay nave arcades differ very slightly in mouldings, that to N possibly a slightly later rebuilding. Pointed arches, hollow, casement and wave mouldings terminate on capitals of composite piers with 4 engaged semi-octagonal columns, moulded caps and bases with hollows in angles, labels over arcades with grotesque masks and animals at springings. Roofs rebuilt in C19 re-using some old timber in nave, arched braces from posts which rest on large carved C15 and C19 stone corbels, angels with shields, crouching figures, grotesque heads, similar corbels in aisles. Chancel roof is a depressed barrel vault, ceiled with bosses on C19 ribs, C15 moulded wall plates. Chancel N wall, upper part of rear arches of blocked lancets. C15 wave moulded rear arch to E window, a similar blocked arch over C19 door to S. At SE angle of nave a small door in a splay to rood stairs, upper door blocked. Piscinae: chancel S wall, C13 with a trefoiled head and C19 with 2 arches with a central marble shaft, S aisle E end, a pointed wave moulded arch, broach stopped. Furnishings include a simple C17 chest, an octagonal C19 Gothic pulpit, C19 Gothic font, brass eagle lectern of 1881, early timber ladder in tower. Monuments: in tower a large neo-classical marble monument by J.M.Rysbrack to Sir J. Jennings, d.1743, a tall broad pedestal stepped forward twice with moulded base and capping, epitaph over cartouche and arms, flanking gadrooned projections, above a bust in Roman costume with flanking putti and military accoutrements. N aisle wall, 2 marble pendant epitaphs by P. Chenu to J.Andrew, d.1796, fluted pilasters frame epitaph, above a black obelisk rises with a relief allegorical figure of Hope, and to T.T. Gorsuch, d.1820, executed 1821, similar with tourchettes in place of pilasters, arms at base, relief figure of Father Time. S aisle wall, a similar marble monument by Kendrick to John Baron Selsey, d.1816, and his son, d.1811, draped urn with willow branches and a pelican over epitaph and arms. Small reset brass figures of R. Poynard, d.1561, and his 2 wives. Chancel S wall: Baroque marble epitaph by Stanton to Mrs. J. Chester, d.1702, aedicular frame to inscribed panel with a segmental head, Solomonic Corinthian columns, open segmental pediment, arms above with festoons, all surmounted by an urn, scroll brackets below with skull, 2 seraphs and flowers. Another in a similar style to Mrs. M. Chester, d.1703, inscribed panel bowed out slightly with skull and cross bones to fluted pilasters with scrolled outer jambs, arms above with scrolls to an urn with festoons, framing putti, at base relief of skull and musical seraphs. Chancel N wall: E. Chester, d.1708, marble, long epitaph in ellipse with aedicular surround, scrolled pilaster jambs, scrolled broken pediment with arms above. T. Smoult, d.1707, by R. Hartshorne, long epitaph in panel with aedicular surround, Ionic columns of black marble, outer scrolled jambs, skull at base, above a trumpet and leaf relief, panel with flanking funerary urns, book with flanking seraphs. Smaller alabaster monument to Mrs. S. Castell, framed panel with scrolled brackets and a seraph below, frieze with lozenges, arms above. Huge wall monument to Dame S. Chapman, d.1800, marble slab with festoon and urn above on a Gothic arched backing. Floor slabs to Mrs. E. Devenish, d.1670, and Mrs. J. Chester, d.1702. Glass: S aisle E window, centre light has remains of mid C14 Jesse window, flanking C15 fragments of saints with musical angels above. Some C15 heraldic fragments in N aisle E window. E window Crucifixion, 1905 by Clayton and Bell. (Kelly's Directory 1899: East Herts Archaeological Society Transactions, vol.2, pt.2, 1903, p.151: RCHM 1910: VCH 1914: Pevsner 1977).

Listing NGR: TL3828035610


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Doubleday, AH, The Victoria History of the County of Hertford, (1914)
Pevsner, N, Cherry, B, The Buildings of England: Hertfordshire, (1977)
'Kelly's Directory' in Kelly's Directory, (1899)
'Transactions of the East Hertfordshire Archaeological Society' in Transactions of the East Hertfordshire Archaeological Society, , Vol. 2, (1903), 151
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: 20 Dec 2004
Reference: IOE01/13621/35
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr A. Gude. Source Historic England Archive
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