18. BENGEO, Urban and Rural.
(O.S. 6 in. (a)xxi. S.E., (b)xxix. S.E.)
b(1). Church of St. Leonard, stands on
low ground about 3/8 mile E. of the modern
parish church and ½ mile N. of Hertford. It is
built of flint rubble in courses 12 inches high,
with quoins of clunch and Barnack stone, and
is of early 12th-century date; the plan is complete and typical of that period; windows have
been inserted in the 13th, late 14th, and 15th
centuries, and an 18th-century porch has been
added. The chancel arch is closed with boarding, and the chancel only is now used for
The building is valuable as a typical example
of the plan of a small 12th-century church: the
remains of wall paintings of an early date, and
the evidence of an anchorite's cell, are also of
Architectural Description—The Chancel
(24 ft. by 19½ ft.) has a round apsidal E. end; the
E. window is a 12th-century single light with a
13th-century outer square head and rebated
jambs; on the N. side is another original single
light, now blocked; below it are two rough
holes, formerly opening into an anchorite's cell.
On the S. side is a window of two lights; the
E. inner jamb is probably of the 13th, and the
rest of the window of the 15th century; the
ledge is carried down to form a sedile. In
the same wall are a 13th-century lancet, a
blocked doorway, probably of the 15th century,
and a 13th-century rectangular light. The
chancel arch is of the 12th century, and has
shafts on the side towards the nave with mutilated bases and carved capitals; the jambs have
been partly hacked away. The Nave (44 ft. by
21 ft.) has a small N. window with 12th-century
inner jambs, each of a single stone; the sill has
been lowered, and the outside is of brick; the
N. doorway is blocked. On the S. side is a
square-headed window of late 14th-century
date, the tracery repaired with cement; the
second window has been restored and is coated
outside with cement; the S. doorway has 12th-century imposts like those of the chancel arch,
under a flat lintel of Barnack stone, and a semi-circular rear arch. In the W. wall is a 15th-century window repaired with cement. The
Roof of the chancel is modern; that of the nave
is probably old; over the W. end is a modern
Fittings—Bell: one, dated 1636. Door: in
the S. doorway, oak, probably 14th-century.
Locker: in the chancel, a rough recess; probably
used as a locker. Paintings: on the jambs of
S.W. window in chancel, of two human figures
almost obliterated; one appears to be a bishop:
on the chancel walls, a red chequer pattern,
palimpsest on a 13th-century masonry pattern:
on the E. wall of the nave, part of a crowned
figure and further traces of colour are visible.
Piscinæ: in the chancel, remains of very small
piscina: W. of it, a larger one with part of a
coffin lid reversed to serve as a sill. Plate:
includes a silver cup and paten of 1626.
Tapestry: in nave, piece 8 ft. sq., representing a hunting scene, with unicorns, a lion and
other animals, probably late 16th-century.
Tiles: below communion table, 14th-century.
Condition—The chancel, restored in the 19th
century, is in good condition: the nave requires
repair to make it fit for use.
a(2). Homestead Moat, at Bengeo Temple.
The main entrance is to the N.E. and there is
an outer rampart along part of the S.W. arm.
a(3). St. Leonard's, formerly the Old Vicarage, S. of the Church of St. Leonard, is a timber-framed and plastered building of two storeys
and an attic; the roofs are tiled. It was built
on a rectangular plan, probably in the 17th
century, but was much altered and repaired in
the 19th century, when two wings were added.
Two original chimney stacks remain, built of
17th-century thin bricks.
b(4). Revel's Hall, a farmhouse N.E. of
St. Leonard's Church, is a timber-framed building of two storeys and an attic; it is of the 17th
century, with a later addition on the S. front,
which is gabled; the roof is tiled. One chimney
stack is built of 17th-century thin bricks. The
interior has been entirely altered and restored
in the 18th and 19th centuries.
a(5). Chelsing, a farmhouse about 2¼ miles
N. of Ware, W. of the main road, was built
in the 17th century, but has been much
altered. The ends of the house are of plastered
timber, and contain one or two small, old
window frames. A brick chimney stack is
original. Inside the building are a few old