An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Hertfordshire. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1910.
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(O.S. 6 in. (a)xxxvi. S.E. (b)xxxvii. S.W.)
b (1). Parish Church of St. Augustine, stands a little below and E. of the village, about 350 yards from the London and Ware road. It is built of flint rubble with stone dressings, except the N. chapel and vestry, which are of limestone ashlar. The roofs of the nave and chancel are tiled, the others are covered with lead. Nothing remains to show the date of the original Chancel and Nave, as the church was completely re-built and enlarged in the 15th century, the North Aisle being built first, then the E. part of the South Aisle and the W. bay of the South Chapel; both aisle and chapel were increased to their present dimensions a little later, and towards the end of the century the West Tower was built; in 1522 the North Chapel and North Vestry were added. The South Porch is of early 17th-century date.
The north chapel and vestry are valuable dated examples (1522), and the Say brass is unusually large and retains much of the original coloured inlay.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (35 ft. by 17 ft.) has a 15th-century E. window of three lights with tracery. On the N. and S. are arcades of two bays and similar detail, which were built with the chapels; the two-centred arches, of two moulded orders, have columns of four engaged shafts with moulded capitals and bases. There is no chancel arch. The North Chapel (34 ft. by 10 ft.) has an E. window of three lights with tracery and a four-centred main head; in the N. wall are two similar windows and, between them, a door opening into the vestry; over it is a blocked window originally opening into the upper floor of the vestry. There is no structural division between chapel and aisle. The Vestry, which is built on to the N. chapel, between the two N. windows, is of the same date and design, and both structures have a continuous parapet ornamented with cusped panels and the arms of Say, Hill and Fray. The inscription: "Pray for the welfayr of Sir Wyllyam Say knyght wych fodyd yis chapel in honor a ye trenete the yer of our Lord God 1522," is carried round the external and re-entering angles of the parapet. The vestry is lighted on the N. and W. by small traceried windows. The South Chapel (34 ft. by 10 ft.) has one traceried window on the E. and two on the S. Externally the joint between the earlier and later work is clearly visible. The Nave (68½ ft. by 17 ft.) is of four bays with N. and S. arcades in continuation of the chapel arcades, which they resemble in detail, though they are of the same date as the aisles. The North Aisle (10 ft. wide) has a small half-octagonal turret at the E. end of the N. wall, with stairs leading to the rood-loft and the roof. In the W. wall is a small loophole and in the N. wall are four windows of two lights with tracery. The South Aisle (10 ft. wide) has, in the S. wall, four windows similar to those in the N. aisle, a small modern doorway, and an original doorway with continuously shafted jambs; the two-centred moulded W. West Tower is of three stages with an embattled parapet, and a turret staircase on the S.W. The tower arch is of two moulded orders, with shafted jambs; the two-centred moulded W. doorway has a square outer order, and the window over it is of four lights with tracery; the bell-chamber windows are of two lights. The South Porch has a doorway with a semi-circular head and flanking pilasters supporting a segmental pediment of classic design; over it is a shield charged with three staffs. The Roofs of the nave and aisles are of the 15th century, much restored; those of the chancel and N. chapel are of early 16th-century date and nave panelled ceilings. Over the E. end of the nave is a painted inscription, probably of early 16th-century date, which records the ceiling and painting of the chancel roof by John Bryce. The floor of the vestry is also original.
Fittings—Bells: eight; 4th, 5th, and 7th 1615, 8th 1670. Brackets: for images, on each side of the E. Window of N. chapel. Brasses: in the chancel, of a priest, in chasuble, late 15th-century, without inscription: of a priest, in cassock and amice, with symbols of the Evangelists, early 16th-century: in the nave, indent of a knight and lady, part of knight effaced: a shield, vair bordered crusily, dated 1630: of a knight, carrying mace, said to be John Borrell, Sergeant-at-Arms to Henry VIII. (See also Monuments.) Chest: in upper room of vestry, two, carved, 14th and 17th-century. Door: to the vestry, with ironwork, original. Font: octagonal bowl on circular shafts, bowl ornamented with round-headed panels, Purbeck marble, late 12th-century. Glass: in S.E. window of S. chapel, shield, 15th-century. Monuments and Floor Slabs: on S. side of the chancel, altar tomb of Sir John Say and his wife, 1473, with moulded panelled plinth, and moulded slab with large brasses of the knight in elaborate plate armour with close-fitting, short-sleeved surcoat charged with his arms; and the lady, wearing butterfly head-dress, sideless gown and long mantle charged with her arms elaborately engraved, and retaining much of the original colour; two shields remain with the arms of Say, one with helm and mantling; the head of the knight is missing and the brass marginal inscription is imperfect. On N. side of chancel, altar tomb of Sir William Say, early 16th-century, the plinth decorated with cusped panels containing shields with indents of ten small figures; at the angles are octagonal columns carrying a crested canopy; the soffit is carved to represent fan vaulting; under the canopy at the E. end is a slab with indents of the knight and lady, etc.: in S. chapel, large monument to Sir Henry Cock, keeper of the wardrobe to Elizabeth and James I., 1609, and his wife, with recumbent effigies, in alabaster, much mutilated, under a curved pediment; on base, figures in relief of two daughters and their children: in chancel, mural, to William Gamble, alias Bowyer, 1558, with inscription and arms: in N. chapel, mural, to Sir R. Skeffington, 1646: to John Baylie, 1609, his wife and children, with arms: in various parts of the church, 17th-century floor slabs, of which many are to members of the Rawdon and Monson families. Niche, for tomb, in S. chapel, late 15th-century. Piscina: in S. chapel, of same date as W. bay, partly destroyed when niche for tomb was built. Plate: includes cup and cover paten, 1606, and paten, 1633. Stoups: in S. porch, of rough workmanship: in S. aisle, E. of S. door, recess for stoup.
Condition—Good, much repaired; the window tracery is nearly all of modern stone.
b (2). The Cedars, in the High Street, is an 18th-century house, but contains an early 17th-century open well staircase, re-set, of three storeys, with three flights to each storey. The newels are large, square and quite plain, with square moulded urns and spikes as finials and pendants. The handrail, very heavy and not moulded, is carried on turned balusters of moderate size; the soffit, string, etc., are plain.
a (3). Broxbornebury, about a mile W.N.W. of the church, is a red brick and stone house of two storeys and an attic; the roofs are covered with tiles, slate and lead. It was built originally at the end of the 16th century, and is of the courtyard type, the main entrance being on the E. A square block, with a simple classical cornice, was added on the W. late in the 17th century, and additions and alterations were made at various later dates. In the 19th century the house was almost entirely re-built, but fragments of old brickwork remain in the walls facing the courtyard. A chimney stack on the N., with V-shaped pilasters of brick, is original, but the top has been re-built; parts of the chimney stacks on the W. may also be old. All the windows are of the 18th century or modern. The interior has been almost completely altered, but the kitchen and offices in the N. wing are probably in their original position. In a room on the first floor of the W. wing is a late 16th-century fireplace of clunch, which has a four-centred opening of three moulded orders, the outer order being square; the stops on each side are splayed and the bases moulded.
a (4). Baas Manor House, about a mile W. of the church, is a brick and plastered timber, rectangular building of early 17th-century date, with gabled ends; the roof is tiled. The house is now divided into two tenements, many of the partitions being probably modern; the exterior is also almost completely modern; one original doorway with a chamfered four-centred head, and one window, with moulded wood mullions and frame, remain, both somewhat mutilated.
Condition—In poor repair; much defaced and altered.
a (5). The Gables, on the E. side of the main road S. of the village, a two-storeyed timber house, of T-shaped plan, built c. 1600, is now covered with plaster, and has a modern gabled front. The two brick chimney stacks are original, but repaired at the top; the central stack has engaged square shafts, set diagonally, the other is a rectangular block. Some of the rooms have old, exposed ceiling beams, and in one room is a wide, open fireplace.
b (6). The Bull Inn, on the W. side of the main road in the middle of the village, is a 17th-century building of timber and plaster. The plan is L-shaped, and there are two original brick chimneys, repaired at the top. The central chimney has engaged square shafts, the other is a large square block. In one of the rooms is an old chamfered beam with stops.
Condition—Good. The interior has been much altered and repaired.