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Listed Building
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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.

East Hertfordshire (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TL 33018 13638



TL3313NW ST LEONARD'S ROAD, Bengeo 817-1/14/289 (South side) 10/02/50 Church of St Leonard


Anglican church. C12, alterations C13 to C15, C18 porch, late C19 and early C20 restoration. MATERIALS: flint rubble with ashlar, clunch and Barnack stone long and short quoins and red brick stitching, traceried stone windows. Porch of Flemish bond red brickwork. Clay tiled roofs with curved east apsidal end, and C19 wooden bellcote, with moulded framing, trefoil heads, pierced trefoil openings in lower panels and tall pyramidal shingled roof, with 1 small lucarne on each face, and with iron finial. PLAN: simple 2-cell plan, nave and chancel with curved apsidal east end. EXTERIOR: south elevation has a 2-light C17 window, 2-lights with elliptical heads, moulded brick jambs and dripmould. To right C14 2-light window with ogee tracery and mouchettes, flat head with moulded dripmould. Chancel windows C13, 1 flat head, 1 lancet either side and above C15 priest's door with low 4 centred arch, blocked with red brickwork with stone panel dated '1889'. Large 2-light C15 window with traceried cusped quatrefoil heads, and flat dripmould, small lancet east window with long and short jambs, single blocked round-arched Norman window on north wall of chancel. North wall of nave has single altered C12 window and early C20 north doorway with red brick jambs. Tudor arch with ashlar kneelers; three light C15 west window. INTERIOR: south porch has earlier roof structure than its C18 exterior brickwork, C15 paired rafters originally with pegged collars. South doorway has C12 imposts with rough pilasters with roll moulded caps, and remains of 2 incised mass dials, Barnack stone lintel, semicircular headed arch internally, C14 battened door with original iron hinges and handles. Nave with C19 collared roof, west end with arch bracing. C12 chancel arch with colonnettes and roll moulded round head, internal piers with splayed caps, mutilated at lower level in C18, allegedly to accommodate the box pew of Thomas Hall of Goldings. Paintings on wall of chancel arch discovered 1938, C13 representation of Deposition from the Cross, with figures of the Virgin, Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus, with fragmentary 4 leaf patterns on the opposite wall. Chancel 2 steps down from nave. Chancel with apsidal end, C12 east window with C13 outer square head and rebated jambs, on

north of blocked C12 window, with remains of Anchorite's cell and squint below. On south wall the east inner jamb of the 2-light window is C13, the remainder C15 carried down to form a sedilia. Piscina C13 with roll moulded pointed arch, with sill formed from part of stone coffin lid. Crown post roof over chancel with octagonal post with moulded base and caps, and curved boarded ceilings. Walls have a fragmentary painted pattern of masonry blocks, with lozenges in red and white. At east end panel of C14 encaustic tiles, recovered when the C18 vault, dug for the families of Goldings, was opened in 1882; the designs are comparable with those at Much Hadham. Communion rails c1700, vase balusters, heavy moulded rail. MONUMENTS: John Byde 1665 Alderman and Sheriff of London, mural tablet with broken scrolled pediment, reset from Shoreditch church 1736, William Stanton artist. Humphrey Hall, 1695, obelisk with armorial cartouche, profile medallion held by modelled putti, Thomas Adey, artist. Daniel Minet FRS 1790, a modest wall tablet by Nollekens, and a tablet to Martha Hirst, 1756, and Rev William Hirst, 1760, Master of Hertford Grammar School, Vicar of Bengeo and Rector of Sacombe. 3 framed hatchments, 2 in nave, 1 in chancel. HISTORICAL NOTE: St Leonard's Church is named after a French saint d.559. The church was held by the de Tany family in C12, and was given to the Priory of Bermondsey, remaining their property until the Dissolution. The church passed to the Byde, and Fanshawe families and in 1846 the Abel Smiths of Woodhall purchased the rectorial tithes and turned the living into a rectory. (Victoria History of the Counties of England: Hertfordshire: London: 1902-1912: 426-7; Royal Commission on Historical Monuments (England): An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Hertfordshire: London: 1910-: 49-50; Pevsner N: Buildings of England: Hertfordshire: Harmondsworth: 1977-: 93; Page FM: History of Hertford: Hertford: 1993-: 57; Hertfordshire Countryside: Wood J: Bengeo's Norman Church is virtually intact: 1970-: 36-8; St Leonard's Church Bengeo).

Listing NGR: TL3301813638


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
St Leonards Church Bengeo
Doubleday, AH, The Victoria History of the County of Hertford, (1902), 426-427
Page, F M, History of Hertford, (1993), 57
Pevsner, N, Cherry, B, The Buildings of England: Hertfordshire, (1977), 93
'Hertfordshire Countryside' in Hertfordshire Countryside, (1970), 36-38
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: 03 Sep 2000
Reference: IOE01/01240/32
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr A. Gude. Source Historic England Archive
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