An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Hertfordshire. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1910.
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AN INVENTORY OF THE ANCIENT AND HISTORICAL MONUMENTS IN THE COUNTY OF HERTFORD
ACCREDITED TO A DATE ANTERIOR TO 1700, arranged by Parishes.
1. ABBOTS LANGLEY.
(O.S. 6 in. (a)xxxix. N.W. (b)xxxix. S.W.)
(fn. 1) a(1). Dwelling House, about 200 yards N.W. of King's Langley railway station, was found about 1825.
Condition—No remains above ground.
a (2). Parish Church of St. Lawrence, stands on high ground a little N. of the village. It is built of flint rubble with Totternhoe stone dressings, and is roofed with tiles. The earliest part is the Nave, with its late 12th-century arcades. The West Tower was added c. 1200, the South Chapel early in the 14th century, and the Chancel was re-built c. 1400. In the 15th century the upper part of the tower, and possibly the outer walls of the Aisles, were re-built. In the 16th century the chancel arch was destroyed, and a skew arch was built at the E. end of the S. arcade of the nave to give better access to the chapel. The South Porch was added, or re-built, in the 18th century, and the present chancel arch was built probably about the same time.
The 12th-century arcades of the nave are especially interesting on account of their early date, and the windows of the S. chapel are fine examples of 14th-century work.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (39½ ft. by 14½ ft. (fn. 2) ) has an E. window of three lights. In the N. wall are three windows of two lights each, with simple 15th-century tracery, restored, and a plain N. doorway. On the S. side a 14th-century arcade opens into the chapel; it is of two bays, with pointed arches, octagonal shafts and moulded capitals and bases. The earlier chancel arch has been replaced by a much flattened arch, probably of the 18th century. The South Chapel (40 ft. by 22 ft.) has an E. window of three lights with tracery, and, in the S. wall, plainer two-light windows; all of the 14th century. The Nave (43 ft. by 19 ft.) has N. and S. arcades of two bays, with circular columns and square, scalloped and foliated capitals; E. of the S. arcade a 16th-century archway leads to the chapel. The clearstorey has two windows of two lights each on the N., and three on the S., all of the 15th century. The North Aisle (9½ ft. wide) has a plain doorway and two square-headed windows of two lights in the N. wall, and a similar window restored, in the E. wall. The South Aisle (9½ ft. wide) has five windows like those in the N. aisle, and a 15th-century S. doorway. The Tower (16 ft. by 15 ft.) is of two stages, with 15th-century diagonal buttresses and an enbattled parapet. The 13th century tower arch is of two moulded orders with a chamfered label, and has half-round responds with square bases and foliated capitals, and in the N. and S. walls of the ground stage are 13th-century lancets. The W. window and doorway are of the 15th century. The Roofs of the nave and aisles are also of the 15th century; those of the chancel and chapel are modern.
Fittings—Brasses and Indents: in S. chapel, indent of Rauffe Horwode, 1498, and brasses of his two wives and six childern: indent of a man in armour: in the nave, brass of Thomas Cogdell, 1607, and his two wives. Font: with octagonal panelled bowl and stem, bearing traces of paint and gilding, 15th century. Glass: in a N. window of the clearstorey, frament representing the half-figure of St. Lawrence. Monument: on S. wall of chapel, to Anne Combe, 1640, of marble, with effigy. Paintings: on E. wall of chapel, remains of figures of two Bishops, and on S. wall a series of panels, defaced, 14th-century: near N. doorway in chancel, fragment of a painted figure: in N. aisle, table of Commandments, dated 1627. Piscina: in S. wall of chancel, with 14th-century head, otherwise modern.
Condition—Fairly good; the stonework of the windows is decaying in places, and the plaster is scaling off the chapel buttresses.
a (3). Homestead Moat, in the garden of the Manor House, large fragment.
a (4). Cottages: one almost opposite the parish church, of timber and plaster, was built in the 17th-century; two at Kitters Green, about ¼ mile S.W. of the church, are of brick and timber, and may be of the 17th century, with later additions.
a (5). Brakespears, a farmhouse in the hamlet of Bedmond, about ¾ mile N. of the church, appears to be partly of 17th-century brick and timber construction, with contemporary internal partitions, but much of it has been re-built.
b (6). The Lawn, a house, now two cottages, in the hamlet of Hunton Bridge, about 1¼ miles S.W. of the parish church, is said to have been a hunting lodge of Charles I., and was probably built c. 1642, a date which appears over one of the fireplaces. It is a rectangular building of two storeys and an attic, facing N. It was lengthened towards the E. in the 19th century, and all the walls are faced with modern brick; the roof is tiled. The central chimney stack and another at the back are built of thin, 17th-century bricks. The parlour of the easternmost cottage contains a wide fireplace, now filled in; over it is an elaborate decoration in plaster, consisting of the Royal arms, with the initials C.R. above and the date 1642 below them, and on each side a large fleur-de-lis; the design was originally enclosed by a band of ornament, but only part of it remains. The ceiling, a fine example of plaster work, is divided by two large moulded beams and sub-divided into smaller panels each containing the Royal arms, or a unicorn, a crowned Tudor rose or a fleur-de-lis; two of the panels and part of a third have been destroyed by the erection of a staircase. The rooms in the upper storey of both cottages have old oak floors.
Condition—Good; much altered.