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 17852 24827


TL 1724 PRESTON CHURCH LANE (North side)

8/81 Church of St. Martin (C of E)


Parish church. 'Anno Dom:mdcccxcix' carved in SE buttress, 1900 by Thomas Carter. Roughcast on brick with limestone ashlar and dressings and steep green slate roof swept down in wide bellcast to eaves of nave. An unusual small church in the Voysey tradition consisting of a tall 5-bays nave and a narrower square-ended short chancel, both under one roof. The arch-braced timber nave roof is carried on separate rectangular piers projecting inside and out and linked by segmental stone chamfered arches under the eaves and outside the diaphram walls on the line of the centres of the piers, with a 3-lights mullioned oak window in each of the 5 bays with segmental arch, metal opening light and rectangular leaded glazing. The chancel has a deep chamfered stone plinth and stone buttresses at corners. Tall 2-light S window to chancel with Dec. tracery and battened door in pointed arched stone doorway next E corner. E end has moulded gable parapet with apex cross, moulded string below high 3-lights pointed E window with cinquefoil tracery to each light. Central gabled buttress stops below sill and divides 2 square-headed narrow single-light windows with trefoil tracery lighting the narrow space behind the reredos, to which the S door leads. More dramatic W end with entrance into a canted central projection carried up to apex of nave and with lead covered moulded offsets carries a tapered stone bellcote in smooth jointed ashlar, V-shaped to N and S and pierced by a segmental headed opening with a bell. Lower part of projection in ashlar with pointed doorway, battened door, and a 2-light square mullioned stone window on each canted side. Higher up just above eaves level the gable has a deep ashlar band with a similar stone 2-light window flanking the central projection and lighting the W gallery. N side similar to S but no window to chancel and chimney combined with one buttress and has decorative small tiled gable on each side. Interior has an octagonal lobby below the W gallery which occupies the W bay of the nave. The stair is on the N of the lobby, panelled double doors in centre of panelled screen divided by ovolo moulded posts below moulded cross-beam supporting simple panelled front to gallery, all painted white. 5 bays open timber roof with 2 purlins to each slope, exposed rafter and arched-braced chamfered trusses with high collars and wall-posts dying into piers. Deep painted moulded cornice at wallplate level and cove below between piers. Simple plastered interior walls. Pine woodblock floor in herringbone pattern. Light fittings hung from each truss of copper with hoop as spreader for 3 pendant bulbs with small shades. Stone font at NW with plain octagonal bowl on fat stem faced with short keel-moulded shafts with moulded caps and bases in C13 style, an octagonal step extended to W. Oak cover with iron handle, font given by Mr. and Mrs. Cazenove. Semi-octagonal panelled oak pulpit at NE with buttress pilasters and ogee heads to panels raised on chamfered stone base, given by Francis Newton of Hitchin. Carved oak eagle lectern at SE. In SE corner a C13 tapered stone coffin lid carved in relief with slender cross and foliated crosshead. Hollow chamfer over a plain chamfer. Bottom missing. Found on site of Lutyens' extensions to Temple Dinsley c.1909 (RCHM (1911)165). Chancel one step up through wide 2-centred stone arch with chamfered jambs but extra deep chamfered order to head on single hemispherical corbels with moulded circular abacus. Plastered walls, black and white marble floor and boarded pointed Waggon roof divided into 3 short bays by moulded wooden arches springing from moulded corbels below level of deep painted cornice at walltop level. Central moulded rib to each bay of roof. A narrow vestry space is divided off at the E end by a plain stone reredos with moulded and embattled cresting and chamfered door to chancel at N end with depressed ogee moulded head. Wooden door with 2 vertical panels. Central and set high is the 3-lights E window in a recess with splayed jambs and with pointed segmental rear arch. Large statues on pedestals in moulded cinquefoil ogee-headed niches on each side of window, of St. George on N and St. Martin on S. Standing figures in Renaissance armour. In S angle of reredos with S wall a faceted angle-shaft with moulded base and cap carries a cusped piscina with trefoil drain, chamfered cusped stone shelf over and ovolo-moulded ogee headed stone canopy across corner above. Stained glass E window of Jesse tree 1900 by Christopher Whall (Pevsner(1977)273). Another later stained glass window on S. Stone wall monument on N wall with marble relief of the Adoration in embattled stone frame in memory of Leslie Grace [Seebohm]. (Kelly (1914)151: Pevsner (1977)273: inf Mrs. Nina Freebody).

Listing NGR: TL1785224827


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Pevsner, N, Cherry, B, The Buildings of England: Hertfordshire, (1977), 273
'Kellys Directory' in Hertfordshire, (1914), 151


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: 21 Jul 2001
Reference: IOE01/04974/05
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Ron Walker. Source Historic England Archive
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