Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
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Ordnance survey map of CHURCH OF ST LEONARD
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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 07887 14548


FLAMSTEAD HIGH STREET TL 0714 (South side) 9/27 Church of St. Leonard 26.1.67


Parish church. W tower early C12; nave arcades, aisles, and W part of chancel early C13; NE sacristy and E part of chancel early C14; clearstorey, nave roof, upper stage of tower, short spire and its massive angle buttresses, the rood-stair at NE corner of nave and N and S porches C15; brick tower parapet and buttresses to aisles C18; nave roof partly renewed 1791; chancel repaired c.1860 for University College Oxford; restoration c.1902-5 by E.F. Cobb; restoration and spire rebuilt and shingled 1974. Flint walling with coursed flint facing and Totternhoe stone dressings. Tower top and parapet in red brick. Brick buttresses to aisles. Much SPAB type tile repair to stonework. Exterior of some clearstorey windows a pioneering use of stone-dust faced fibre-glass. Steep old red tile roofs to S aisle, chancel and sacristy (hipped), low pitched metal roofs elsewhere. Standing isolated in churchyard a large ancient church of 3-bays chancel, 6-bays nave and aisles, N and S gabled porches, 3-stages massive W tower, and 2-storeys sacristy at N side of chancel. The church contains the most important series of wallpaintings in the county apart from St. Albans Abbey. Chancel narrower than nave with steep pitched open timber roof of 3-bays. Clasped-purlin construction on tie-beam and collar trusses. Straight braces to collars. Curved wind-braces. Ashlar pieces to each flat rafter. One step up at chancel arch, altar rail, and altar. A moulded stone string runs round the interior below the windows (missing on rebuilt E wall). Near W end of N wall a lancet window with rebate at outside and deep splays within. Small door to sacristy further to E, and in a blocked archway within altar rails a large neo-classical monument in veined grey marble signed 'JOHN FLAXMAN FECIT 1782' in form of a large tablet with 2 panels of inscription and reclining figures of Hope and Faith with slender fluted urn between. Inscription to Sir Edward Sebright. Oak altar rail c.1700 with twisted balusters. Renewed 4-lights E window with traceried head in C14 Dec. style. 2 2-light similar traceried windows restored in S wall. Moulded string canted up over priest's door. To E are stepped C14 sedilia of 2 and one seats with cinquefoil ogee heads, the latter with spandrels. Immediately to E a sharply pointed cinquefoil piscina. On wall above this an alabaster and marble wall monument to Sir Bartholomew Fouke d.1604 with kneeling figure at prayer desk under round arch with panelled pilasters, full entablature, broken pediment and armorial achievement. Projecting console brackets at base frame bottom panel with painted inscription and strapwork apron. The brackets formerly carried tall marble obelisks. Wide C14 chancel arch of 2 chamfered orders, with Perp C15 oak rood-screen of 5 bays the central a cinquefoil cusped opening. Each tall bay has 6 narrow lights with the central mullion running up to apex of arched head. C17 oak altar table. Brasses in chancel floor to John Oudeby rector 1414 in vestments with ogee canopied niche above. C15 figure of man, wife and 4 children. Slab with indents only. Nave of same width as Norman nave of 1:3 proportion. 6-bays early C13 arcades erected on inner edge of older foundations. Pointed arches of 2 hollow chamfered orders, octagonal piers, moulded bases and stiff-leaf capitals. Responds have slim circular attached shafts and capitals with 2 tiers of leaves. NE respond cut back and arch widened in C15 for access to rood stair. 4 clearstorey 2-light cinquefoil windows to each side square-headed externally, in 1st, 2nd, 4th and 6th bays from E. Low-pitched C15 open timber roof of 6 bays. Stone corbels of angels with shields support wall-posts and long curved braces to heavy cambered chamfered tie-beams. Short king-posts with moulded curved braces to moulded ridge-beam. Moulded purlin to each slope supported on tie-beam. Repairs in 1791 recorded by inscription on beam. On shafts of nave arcades are 3 incised inscriptions recording burial places of John Pace d.1596, Ffrauncys Cordell d.1597, John Grigge d.1598. 6-sided oak pulpit of 1698 with bolection-moulded panels and low pedestal. Wall paintings: lower parts of 4 large Apostles C13 in red ochre: upper walls have Three Living and Three Dead Kings and very large St. Christopher C15. Christ in Glory on a rainbow and Doom of C15 over chancel arch, possibly over earlier paintings. Narrow pointed upper doorway to roodloft to N of chancel arch. Small narrow door high-up at W end of N arcade, to former W gallery removed in C19. N aisle has C15 E window of 2 cinquefoil lights and a similar window to each side of N porch. 3-light C14 Dec taller window with ogee reticulated tracery lighting altar of former Beauchamp Earls of Warwick in chantry in 2 E bays of aisle. Prsent altar erected in C20. Wall paintings mid C14 fragments of 6 subjects of Passion from New Testament. Walls divided into 2 tiers by spiral design in red. 2 hatchments of Sebright family on N wall. Organ at W end. Early C15 tomb chest under arcade with stone effigies of man and woman under a single ogee canopy. Image bracket at NE corner of aisle. Trefoil recess in E respond of arcade. Painted on boards framed memorial to George Cordell d.1653 Sergeant of the Ewry to James I and Charles I. Roof renewed except principals with short wallposts and knee-braces. Narrower S aisle has 2 3-lights windows in the E part restored in a length of wall rebuilt in 1693, and a C15 window of 3 cinquefoil lights to the W part. Large altar tomb at E end c.1690 by William Stanton (cost £1,500) to 5 children of Thomas Saunders of Beechwood in black marble with kneeling children in white marble. Ionic pilasters and heavy segmental pediment with armorial cartouche. Original iron railings with figure of surviving child. On S wall nearby wall monument to Richard Pearce d.1800 in white marble with panel between moulded consoles, urn finial, and armorial apron. 2 hatchments on wall. Royal arms at W end. Roof renewed except principals with short wallposts and knee-braces. 3 late medieval oak benches at W. The W tower, 17ft square internally, has a wide C12 depressed semi-circular E arch with chamfered label and imposts, underbuilt in late C13 with a pointed arch of 3 moulded orders and half-octagonal responds, with a consecration cross on S jamb. C15 pointed moulded W doorway with contemporary 2-lights pointed window over, with quatrefoil in head. Blocked 2-lights round-arched former bell opening in each face of tower. Pilaster buttress at E end of N wall, and larger projection with spiral stair in corresponding position on S, with round headed narrow doorway at foot. C15 added top bell stage with walls set-in on outside above moulded string, and 2 cinquefoil light square headed bell opening in each face. 2 hatchments in base of tower. Square N porch C15, gabled with 2-centred opening with hollow-chamfered and plain chamfered orders without imposts. Original open timber roof with flat rafters carried on moulded ridge and wallplates. Short king-post with curved brace to ridge stands on moulded tie beams. S porch with diagonal buttresses and brick gable parapet has 2-centred doorway of 2 chamfered orders without imposts. Boarded double doors. The 2-storeys sacristy, now the vestry, on N side of chancel is 16ft x 9ft internally with diagonal corner buttresses has a narrow C14 square headed window on E and 2 symmetrically on each floor on N wall, with fireplace between on ground floor. At S end of W wall is a curved recess for a winding stair. The unheated upper floor has stone corbels to support beams. Arched piscina in W wall. Hipped roof probably C18. Many of the present pews are made from the old box pews. One bench end in N aisle has 'VICAR' upside-down. Octagonal stone font repaired 1852. (I V Bullard Flamstead its Church and History (1902): VCH (1908)197-9: RCHM (1911)88-9: Kelly (1914)100-1: Pevsner (1977)141-3).

Listing NGR: TL0788714548


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Bullard, I V , Flamstead its Church and History, (1902)
Doubleday, AH, The Victoria History of the County of Hertford, (1908), 197-9
Pevsner, N, Cherry, B, The Buildings of England: Hertfordshire, (1977), 141-3
'Kelly's Directory' in Kelly's Directory, (1914), 100-1
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

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 22 Apr 2007
Reference: IOE01/15574/11
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Keith Hurst. Source Historic England Archive
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