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An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Hertfordshire. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1910.

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In this section


(O.S. 6 in. (a)xxix. S.W. (b)xxxvi. N.W.)


a(1). Parish Church of St. Mary, at the S.E. end of the village, is built of flint rubble with stone dressings; the roofs are tiled. The building was completely restored in the 19th century, and only a few traces of the early work remain. The Chancel was built in the 13th century, and the walls of the Nave are possibly of that date, but both it and the North Aisle retain only some 15th-century detail. The West Tower is also of the 15th century. The North Chapel and Vestry were added in the 19th century.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (38½ ft. by 21 ft.) has three lancet windows of the 13th century in the E. wall; the internal arches are richly moulded, the jambs have engaged shafts with moulded capitals and bases, and the labels terminate in head-stops; the exterior stonework has been renewed. The Nave (50½ ft. by 23 ft.) and the North Aisle (50½ ft. by 11½ ft.) have 15th-century stonework in some of the windows. The Tower is of three stages, with an embattled parapet and a lead spire; the lofty tower arch is of the 15th century, but all other detail has been renewed or altered.

Fittings—Bells: five; 4th and 5th, 1656. Brasses: on N. wall of tower, to Thomas Ellis, 1608, and his wife, 1612, inscription and shield, arms of Ellis impaling Hawkins: said to be under the wooden floor of choir seats, to Phelipe and Isabel, children of Robert de Louthe, inscription in French, 13th or 14th-century. Monuments: on N. side of tower, altar tomb, of Anne, wife of George Calvert, 1622, with alabaster effigy, and mural cornice supporting three shields with arms of Calvert and Mayne: on S. side of tower, altar tomb, of William Harrington and his wife; black marble slab, with two recumbent shrouded figures in white marble, figure of kneeling child in front; arched cornice above with arms of Harrington and 17 other quarterings, early 17th-century: over the pulpit, mural tablet to Christopher Vernon, 1652, with arms: in the N. aisle, mural slab to Thomas Keightley, 1662, and his wife, 1682: in the chancel, floor slabs, to Robert Mynne, 1656: to Helen Mynne, 1659. Piscina: in the chancel, E. jamb richly moulded, with dog-tooth ornament, 13th-century; the rest is modern. Plate: covered cup, standing paten and flagon of 1675.



Homestead Moats

b (2). S.E. of Roxford Farm.

a (3). At Birchall, 2 miles N. of Essendon.

a (4). The Manor House, in the middle of the village, N. of the church, is a two-storeyed brick building, of early 17th-century date; the roofs are tiled. The plan is L-shaped, and the main block has been cemented and otherwise altered; the shorter wing, of red brick, remains in its original condition, and there is an original chimney stack.

Condition—Good; altered and restored.

a(5). The Infants' School, N. of the church, is a red brick building of two storeys. It is probably of early 17th-century date, and has a modern addition at the N. end. The roof is tiled, and there is a central chimney stack with four octagonal shafts.