A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 5, Hendon, Kingsbury, Great Stanmore, Little Stanmore, Edmonton Enfield, Monken Hadley, South Mimms, Tottenham. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1976.
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A church at South Mimms was first mentioned c. 1140, when it was included in Geoffrey de Mandeville's grant to his new foundation at Walden (Essex). (fn. 1) The appropriation to Walden abbey was confirmed between 1163 and 1172 (fn. 2) and a vicarage had been ordained before 1180-3. (fn. 3) Walden retained the rectory and the advowson of the vicarage until the Dissolution.
In 1538 the advowson had been granted to Sir Thomas Audley, (fn. 4) although later that year Joanna, widow of Thomas Goodere, presented pro ista vice. (fn. 5) Audley was licensed in 1540 to alienate it to Francis Goodere, (fn. 6) and in 1545 Francis Goodere granted it to William Stanford. (fn. 7) The advowson became separated from the rectory later in the same year (fn. 8) and in 1569-71 was settled by William's son and heir Robert, together with the manor and chapel of Monken Hadley, (fn. 9) on Alice Stanford and her second husband Roger Carew for life, with remainder to Robert. (fn. 10) By grant of a turn Owen Jones had presented in 1570 and John Parrott in 1586. (fn. 11) William Stanford granted the advowson in 1603 to Thomas Marsh, (fn. 12) whose heirs held it until 1712, although they exercised the right only thrice, George Fane presenting in 1663 and John Wray in 1666. (fn. 13) Edward Marsh, by will dated 1700, left the advowson to his wife Grace, with remainder, in default of any issue of his own, to William Parker and other sons by Grace's previous marriage to Dr. William Parker. From 1712 the patronage was held by the Parker family, (fn. 14) although the Crown, owing to the lunacy of William Parker, presented in 1766, 1769, twice in 1770, and in 1773. (fn. 15) The trustees of William Parker Hammond (fn. 16) presented in 1790 and 1806, (fn. 17) and thereafter the advowson was retained by the Hammond family until 1915, when it was bought by E. L. Hamilton. (fn. 18) In 1958 it was devised to the bishop of London. (fn. 19)
In c. 1190 the vicar was paying one mark a year to the monks of Walden in return for the oblations and small tithes of the parish. (fn. 20) The vicarage was valued at four marks c. 1247, (fn. 21) at five marks in 1291, (fn. 22) and by 1535 had risen to £12 3s. 4d. (fn. 23) By 1547 an unknown person had given 12 a. of land to the church. (fn. 24) In 1649 the living comprised the vicarage house, with the churchyard adjoining and one pightle of c. ½ a., and the small tithes, together worth £30. (fn. 25) The vicarial tithes, paid at the rate of 3d. in the £, were worth £20 in 1731, although payment was two years in arrears. (fn. 26) With the inclosure of Enfield Chase, the vicar was allotted 27 a. adjoining the road leading from Ganwick Corner to Southgate, which he exchanged with Edward Vincent for 7 a. south of the churchyard and vicarage house. (fn. 27) During the 19th-century most of the glebe was leased and by 1835 the annual gross income of the vicarage was £336. (fn. 28) In 1841 a rent-charge of £595 was allotted to the vicar in lieu of small tithes, and the great and small tithes arising from the glebe lands were commuted to rent-charges of £1 6s. to be paid to Lord Salisbury, the impropriate rector, and 10s. 6d. to the vicar, whenever the lands were not occupied by the vicar. The glebe covered 9 a. in 1842, and consisted of the vicarage house, the churchyard, and meadow land in Blackhorse and Blanche lanes. (fn. 29) After some of the glebe had been added to the burial ground, (fn. 30) it was estimated in 1887 that there were 7 a. (fn. 31)
A vicarage house was first mentioned in 1361. (fn. 32) The modern building, of red brick, has an 18th-century garden-wall and gateposts. In 1951 plans were drawn up for two houses to be built on the glebe land, for the use of the curate and verger. (fn. 33)
Between 1439 and 1447 Thomas Frowyk founded a chantry chapel for his own and his parents' souls. It opened out of the north side of the chancel of the parish church (fn. 34) and was endowed with 148 a. (fn. 35) After its suppression in 1547 (fn. 36) the lands were granted to the king's physician, Walter Cromer. (fn. 37)
Provisions for lamps for the altar of St. Mary in the church accompanied grants of land to St. Bartholomew's hospital in the early 13th-century. (fn. 38) John Hassell, vicar, in 1413 left 6s. 8d. for a St. Catherine's light. (fn. 39) None of the gifts of money and livestock recorded in 1547 was of more than four kine. (fn. 40) Henry Ewer (d. 1641) gave a yearly rent-charge of 10s. out of a house, in 1973 the site of the Black Horse, (fn. 41) for a sermon on Good Friday and John Bradshaw (d. 1698) endowed a Christmas 'bread service' which was still held in 1973. (fn. 42)
Most of the early vicars seem to have been resident, although several were pluralists: John Barrow (1468-1471) was also vicar of Sawbridgeworth (Herts.) and John Brikenden (1554-58) also held an Essex living. Thomas Willeford seems frequently to have visited Rome until 1385, when he was forbidden to travel abroad to prosecute suits prejudicial to the Crown. (fn. 43) William Foster was examined in scriptures in 1586 and retained the living for another 32 years. (fn. 44) William Tuttey, vicar from 1643, had left the parish by 1645 and was ejected at the Restoration as a Presbyterian. (fn. 45) 'Silver-tongued Batt', (fn. 46) vicar c. 1644-5, was popular (fn. 47) but under his successor, the episcopalian George Pierce, it was said in 1650 that the parish had long lacked a 'pious' preacher. (fn. 48) During Pierce's incumbency Ely Turner, an ejected minister from Monken Hadley, officiated at baptisms. (fn. 49) Arnold Spencer, who presumably succeeded Pierce, was deprived in 1662. (fn. 50) Vincent Hodgkin, vicar 1667-87, for four years combined the living with that of Hertingfordbury (Herts.) In 1677 three men, including John Nicholl of Knightsland, protested during Hodgkin's sermon and were afterwards imprisoned for brawling. (fn. 51) Several 18thand 19th-century vicars were pluralists: John Jacob (1724-31) was vicar of Ridge from 1725, John Heathfield (1773-90) held the living of Northaw, both P. A. Hammond (1790-1806) and his younger brother, F. T. Hammond (1806-12), held South Mimms and Widford (Herts.) simultaneously, and G. F. Bates (1812-41) held West Malling (Kent). (fn. 52) Edward Evanson, vicar 1766-70 and later rector of Tewkesbury, wrote several tracts which caused his prosecution for heresy, although he was acquitted on a technical flaw, and eventually became a Unitarian minister. (fn. 53)
High church practices have been a feature since the coming of C. Thompson, vicar 1852-70. In 1854 the vestry rejected a plan for restoration by G. E. Street on the grounds that it was too popish. P. F. Hammond (1870-89) was attacked for 'sacerdotalism' in the local press but W. H. Wood (1889-98) introduced more ritualism and redecorated the church with the approval of most of the parishioners. (fn. 54) His successor A. Hay (1898-1954), who set up a Calvary in the churchyard and further altered the interior of the church, (fn. 55) substituted Mass for Matins in 1910. A parish hall, with reading-rooms and a library, was built in 1891. (fn. 56)
There were two services each Sunday in the early 18th-century, when communion was celebrated between three and five times a year. (fn. 57) By 1790 communion was celebrated four times a year, and there were 40 communicants. (fn. 58) Assistant curates were appointed frequently from the late 18th-century.
The church continued to serve the whole of South Mimms until 1836, when the parish of St. John, Potters Bar, was created. Christ Church, Barnet, built in 1845, became a separate parish in 1884. St. John's was replaced as the parish church of Potters Bar by that of St. Mary the Virgin and All Saints in 1915, and development in the western part of Potters Bar led to the creation of the parish of King Charles the Martyr. (fn. 59)
The church of ST. GILES (fn. 60) lies toward the west side of the parish and has a chancel with north vestry and chapel, nave with north aisle and south porch, and west tower. Except for the north aisle and chapel, which are partly of brick, the walls are of flint rubble with stone dressings.
The chancel, or at least its western part, is of the 13th-century; the east end may be an extension of the earlier 14th-century, the date of the east window. It is not structurally divided from the nave which appears to have been rebuilt at the end of the 14th-century, the date of the windows and doorway in the south wall. The three-stage tower was added c. 1450 and has a western doorway and an external stair turret. The north chapel and aisle, with their arcades of two and four bays, were built in the early 16th-century (fn. 61) and the latter was apparently complete by 1526, (fn. 62) when the stained glass windows depicting its donors were in place. (fn. 63) The whole church appears to have been richly provided with stained glass of the medieval period. The chapel, which may be a little older than the aisle, is enclosed by wooden screens which are decorated with the leopard's head badge of Frowyk. There was formerly a late medieval rood screen.
The chancel was out of repair in 1685, when it was ordered that the communion table be railed in. (fn. 64) By the 18th-century (fn. 65) all the medieval glass, except the lower part of four panels in the north aisle, had gone and the chancel, nave, and aisle had flat plaster ceilings. Then the walls and the screens of the Frowyk chapel were all whitewashed. There was a gallery for children at the west end, extending some way along both sides of the nave, and there were box pews, a lofty pulpit, and a reading desk. The royal arms were 'placed where the rood had been'. Externally the south porch was of classical design and the tower was covered in ivy.
The lead roof of the nave was replaced by slates in 1823 and the gabled roof of the chantry by a flat leaded roof and a battlement before 1849. In 1846 a flint-and-brick wall was built at the west end of the church and Lord Salisbury, as lay rector, was asked to repair the chancel. In 1848 he still had not done so and the vestry resolved on legal proceedings. By 1852 the church had fallen into greater disrepair but the vestry, after rejecting G. E. Street's plans, decided merely to repair the pavement and to patch the windows. The chancel-roof and communion rails were in bad condition in 1861, when another dispute occurred with the lay rector, and minor repairs were done in 1864 and 1868. By 1876 the fabric was causing concern and the vestry accordingly appointed Street to carry out a complete restoration. The church was re-opened in 1878, after the plaster had been stripped from the exterior, a south porch built, and a battlement added to the south wall to give height to the nave. Inside, the lath-and-plaster ceilings were taken out but the timber roof of the aisle was preserved; whitewash and white paint were removed, the box-pews were replaced by oak ones based on the design of two which had survived from the 16th-century, and a stone pulpit and an oak roodloft were installed. No stained glass had been introduced into the church since 1541, but in 1889 the central light of the east window was filled with Munich glass and in 1894 more stained glass was inserted. Much decoration was carried out over the next 20 years, including the further addition of stained glass, the display of plate and paintings, the hanging of Stations of the Cross in 1908, and the placing of a crucifix in the rood loft in 1910.
In 1552 the church possessed a pair of organs. (fn. 66) A barrel-organ had been introduced in 1813, although the innovation was not welcomed by all the parishioners, and a new organ built in the chantry in 1889. (fn. 67) The square bowl-font dates from the 13th-century and has 14th-century panelling on the pier. Its cover, designed by Sir Ninian Comper in 1938, is supported on four gilt pillars. Other fittings include a 13th-century piscina, a 13th- or 14th-century chest, and two 16th-century linen-fold bench ends. (fn. 68)
The notable collection of monuments includes 15th- to 18th-century brasses to members of the Frowyk, Ewer, Harrison, Hodsden, and Ketterick families, including one commemorating Thomas Frowyk (d. 1448), his wife, and nineteen children. Wall-monuments include an early-17th-century memorial, with a death's-head and carrying the arms of the Nowell family, (fn. 69) and memorials to William Adams by Thomas Denman and Mary Dakin by William Spratt. (fn. 70) There are 17th-century floor-slabs to the families of Norbury, Marsh, Howkins, Adderley, and Ewer, and a canopied altar-tomb with some Renaissance features, perhaps that of Henry Frowyk (d. 1527). In the north chapel there is a canopied tomb in an earlier style bearing the arms of Frowyk impaled with those of Throckmorton, Aske, Knollys, and Lewknor, and with an effigy of a man in armour adorned with the Frowyk leopard's head; it is probably that of Henry's son Thomas, who died by 1527. (fn. 71) The churchyard contains a large monument to Sir John Austen, M.P. (d. 1742). (fn. 72)
By 1552 the church had 4 bells, as well as a sanctus bell and 2 hand-bells. (fn. 73) In 1778 the bells, whether the same ones or not, were rehung but in 1812 they were replaced by a new peal of six. (fn. 74) Two of the bells were recast in 1893 (fn. 75) and the whole peal rehung. A church clock was repaired in 1802 and a new one given by George Byng in 1812. (fn. 76) The plate includes three 17th-century brass alms-dishes which are probably Dutch or Flemish. The Georgian altar-plate was recast in 1890 and consists of a flagon, cup, paten, and spoon. (fn. 77) The registers date from 1558 and are complete. (fn. 78)
The church of ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST, Potters Bar, was opened in 1835 as a chapel of ease, on a site in High Street given by Lt. Col. W. L. Carpenter of Oakmere House. Most of the building funds were contributed by George Byng of Wrotham Park, (fn. 79) who made the first presentation, the patronage afterwards being vested in the bishop of London. (fn. 80) Before the District Church Tithes Act Amendment Act of 1868 the vicar was sometimes described as a perpetual curate. (fn. 81) A grant from Queen Anne's Bounty covered most of the cost of building a vicarage house west of High Street, on former waste of Wyllyotts manor acquired by George Byng. (fn. 82) The first incumbent, H. G. Watkins, who held the cure for 53 years, (fn. 83) was governor of 5 London hospitals (fn. 84) as well as founder of 2 schools in Potters Bar. (fn. 85) The church, built in 'Ranger's Patent Stone', was designed by Edmund Blore (fn. 86) in a Norman style and consisted of a semicircular apsidal chancel, a nave, and a western tower containing one bell. Internally the building was a simple, whitewashed rectangle with a flat ceiling, plain glass, box pews, and a western choir gallery, all centred on a three-decker pulpit. (fn. 87) The church had many monuments to members of the Byng family, who were buried there until a mausoleum was built in Wrotham Park in 1880. (fn. 88) In 1908 the church had 250 seatings, of which one-third were free. (fn. 89) A fire damaged the roof in 1911 (fn. 90) and in the following year a fund was inaugurated for the erection of a new church, (fn. 91) whither the font, stone pulpit, and organ were transferred. (fn. 92)
The church of ST. MARY THE VIRGIN AND ALL SAINTS, (fn. 93) which replaced St. John's, was erected in 1915 on the opposite side of the road to the old church, on land given by J. Hart. The church, designed by J. S. Alder, was built of freestone in the 14th-century style, and comprised choir, two sidechapels, nave, clerestory, and one bell. (fn. 94) The altar cross in the Lady chapel is made from the metal of a Zeppelin that was brought down in Potters Bar in 1916. (fn. 95) The new building, with its large windows, raised sanctuary with marble paving, and stone altar under a baldachin, was in marked contrast to St. John's, which had been designed solely as a preaching-house. The completion of the building, without the tower that had originally been planned, was carried out in 1967. (fn. 96) The original vicarage, built for the incumbents of St. John's, was replaced by one on an adjacent site in the Walk c. 1928.
CHRIST CHURCH, (fn. 97) Barnet, was built principally at the cost of Captain Trotter of Dyrham Park, who purchased part of Four Acre field from George Byng in 1844. There he erected a minister's house and a school in which services were held. The church, opened as a chapel of ease in 1845, was consecrated in 1852. A conventional district was assigned to it in 1853 and a separate ecclesiastical parish created in 1884. The living was endowed by Trotter with £1,000 and was a perpetual curacy until 1898, when the full rights of a vicar were granted to the incumbent. The parsonage was enlarged 1851-4, and in 1896 a plot of land (1 a.) was purchased as glebe from Lord Strafford. Canon Mowbray Trotter gave the land surrounding the church c. 1904, whereupon the Ecclesiastical Commissioners increased the benefice income by £350. In 1919 the patronage of the living passed from the Trotter family to the Church Patronage Society. A house was acquired for assistant curates and in 1900 a burial ground was added, partly through a gift by Mrs. Llewellyn, sister of Canon Trotter. (fn. 98) The first incumbent, Alfred Moritz Myers (1845-52), was a converted Jew. His successor William Pennefather (fn. 99) became a friend of David Livingstone, who attended the church while staying in Hadley Green in 1857-8.
The church, of flint with stone dressings, was designed by G. G. (later Sir Gilbert) Scott in the Early English style, and consisted of chancel, nave of three bays, south aisle, south porch, and turret containing one bell. (fn. 100) A north aisle was added in 1855, of approximately equal proportions to the nave, and a gallery was installed at the west end of the new part of the building to accommodate orphans of the Crimean War. The organ was renovated in 1882 and eventually replaced in 1914. Alterations, including taking out the pews, reducing the length of the gallery, and removing the external wall which cut short the north aisle, culminated in panelling the east end in 1929. The Pennefather Memorial hall was erected in 1907, after 2,500 guineas had been left in trust to the church by Leopold Taylor. (fn. 101)
TRINITY CHAPEL at Bentley Heath was designed by S. S. Teulon (fn. 102) and erected by George Byng, earl of Strafford (d. 1886), in 1866. (fn. 103) It is of red brick with patterns of white and black and some stone dressings, and consists of a chancel with north vestry, nave with wooden south porch, and apsidal baptistery. The memorial to George Byng, formerly in St. John's, was moved there. (fn. 104) Although the chapel was built for the Byng family, the public were admitted to services. In 1973 it was seldom used.
The mission church of ST. MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS in Church Road, Potters Bar, was erected in 1874 at the sole cost of Watkins, vicar of St. John's. A corrugated iron building, it seated 160 (fn. 105) but was burned down c. 1942 and not replaced. (fn. 106)
In 1937 (fn. 107) the London Diocesan Home Mission founded the Cranborne mission (fn. 108) to serve the new housing estates in the western part of Potters Bar. The Revd. E. Etherington was the first missioner, holding services in his own house and later in a garage. The church hall was built in 1938 and used for worship until in 1941 the permanent church of KING CHARLES THE MARTYR was built, with money from the Royal Martyr Church Union, on a site at the corner of Dugdale Hill Lane and Mutton Lane given by Viscount Cranborne (later marquess of Salisbury). In 1949 the district was made a separate parish. The living was a perpetual curacy in the patronage of the bishop of London. (fn. 109) The church, designed by F. C. Eden and R. Marchant in the 17th-century vernacular style, is red-brick and comprises a chancel with vestry, aisled nave and south porch, and apsidal baptistery. Fittings include a font, choir-stalls, and pulpit in the 17th-century style.