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 21692 27244


WYMONDLEY CHURCH PATH TL 2127 Little Wymondley

11/148 Church of St. Mary 27.5.68 the Virgin

- II*

Parish church. Early C12 origin for the Argentein family, given to Wymondley Priory c.1218, renovated c.1400 with chancel apse changed to square end and W tower added. Restored 1874-6 except tower, rebuilding S porch, extending N vestry and E end of chancel, and adding N aisle. The work involved replacing the chancel arch, fittings, and font, raising the nave floor level, and forming the N arcade of the nave. Restoration in 1948 revealed the rood stair and openings in S wall of nave, and ancient roof structure of nave. Tower restored 1966. Flint rubble, W end of nave, and the tower faced in coursed flint pebbles with stone dressings. Tower parapet of flint and red brick. Walls elsewhere roughcast with deep plaster cove to eaves of S side of nave. Steep red tile roofs, that of nave taller than chancel and extending down as a catslide roof over the added N aisle. Pyramidal low tile roof to tower with vane and weathercock. Small church isolated from village with square-ended chancel, nave, N aisle, gabled NE vestry, S porch, and embattled W tower rising only a little higher than the nave roof. The chancel is one step up from nave and there are 3 steps to the altar. Red and black chequered tile floor. Patterns and borders of coloured and encaustic tiles on higher steps. Facetted boarded waggon roof with cornice and battens. 2 original early C15 windows in S wall, the eastern one has a single cinquefoil light with tracery in the head and 3-centred rear arch. Western one a low-side window with cinquefoil head, pointed chamfered rear arch, jambs rebated for shutters and pivots, now glazed with an engraved glass window by Francis Skeat 1974. C15 piscina reset in S wall has a cinquefoil head within a rectangular frame. C19 3-lights E window in C15 style with stained glass. Single light N windows of similar date. Stone C14 fine carved female corbel head reset in N wall may formerly have supported the rood beam. Brass on N wall with inscription recording the erection of a monument in 1605 by George Nedham to his father John and grandfather James Nedham who came into the county in 1536 (when as Surveyor of the King's Works he was granted the lands and buildings of Wymondley Priory at the Dissolution and became patron of this church). The altar has riddel posts. The nave has an exposed timber roof from which boarding was removed in 1948. It is single-framed with each couple having a collar with straight braces under, and ashlar pieces at the foot. The 2 rough tie-beams may have been added to hold in the wallstops. The roof structure is similar to that surviving at Wymondley Priory (q.v.) possibly dating from the C13. There is a considerable external projection of the S eaves, covered by a plastered cove. The S wall is thickened where it contains the winding rood stair with pointed rebated lower doorway and upper door facing W with round-cornered square head and slot for rood-beam at threshold, 2 C15 windows in S wall, eastern one of 2 cinquefoil lights with traceried pointed head, and encircled consecration-cross cut in the E reveal. Western one a high single-light window with cinquefoil head and hollow moulded 3-centred rear arch. C15 S doorway continuously wave-moulded externally in 2 orders, and with a pointed wave-moulded rear arch. C19 door flush beaded to inside. Tall 2-bays C19 N arcade in C14 style with wide arches of 2 chamfered orders and octagonal pier and imposts with moulded caps and bases. Image niche in NE corner, C15 reset, with cinquefoil opening, square head, and semi-octagonal front bracket shelf. C19 octagonal oak pulpit and lectern. Swept-back mission style pews with openwork scissor-shaped ends. Black stone armorial grave slabs in floor next the chancel step are to George Nedham 1669, George Nedham 1726, and Rev Stephen Woodifield 1757 (under the pulpit). Caen stone octagonal font of 1875 with C17 moulded oak cover topped by symmetrical arrangement of oak flying buttresses of serpentine shape supporting a centre with pendant and pierced obelisk finial. Brass plates at rear of nave record the erection of a clock in 1903 for the Coronation of Edward VII, restoration of belfry windows and masonry of tower 1966, and restoration of W window 1974. 2-centred C15 tower arch of 2 chamfered orders, with jamb shafts and caps. Oak screen with embattled headbeam across tower arch. W tower of 2 receding stages with tiled offset below the crenelated parapet, a chamfered string course at sill level of the 2-lights belfry openings on N and W with trefoil heads in rectangular opening. Chamfered stone base to tower. 2-lights W window with 4-centred head. Hatchment-shaped clock-face with raised circular metal fret. 2-bays N aisle is a wide lean-to structure with a buttress between its 2 N windows. Open timber roof on central arched braced principal with collar and brace to the purlin. 2 2-lights cinquefoil N windows with square heads and 3-centred rear arches. Single-light pointed W window. Open to vestry on E. NE vestry gabled with prominent bargeboard, pointed 2-lights window with Y-tracery and cinquefoil lights. Red brick chimney. Chamfered stone E doorway with boarded door. Stuccoed S Porch lined as ashlar with stucco label mouldings, battened doors, and cross on gable parapet. Church said to have formerly been dedicated to St. Peter. (RCHM (1911)148-9: VCH (1912)191: Kelly (1914)296: Pevsner (1977)243: St. Mary's Church Little Wymondley n.d. (church guide): inf Mr. Farris).

Listing NGR: TL2169227244


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

Legacy System number:
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Books and journals
St Mary's Church Little Wymondley
Doubleday, A, The Victoria History of the County of Hertford, (1912), 191
Pevsner, N, Cherry, B, The Buildings of England: Hertfordshire, (1977), 243
'Kellys Directory' in Hertfordshire, (1914), 296
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: 14 Mar 2003
Reference: IOE01/09700/30
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Graham R. Heasman. Source Historic England Archive
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