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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. iii. S.E.)


(1). Parish Church of St. Mary Magdalene, stands about three miles N. of Baldock in the midst of barns, cottages, etc., which belong to a farm, and are the only other buildings in the parish. The walls, of flint rubble, with stone dressings, are cemented; the roof is low-pitched. The Chancel and Nave, the Tower, erected over the W. bay of the nave, and the South Porch were all built about the middle of the 15th century; later work consists only of repairs.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (18 ft. by 14 ft.) has a traceried and transomed E. window of three lights: in the N. wall is a window of two lights under a square head, and in the S. wall, in addition to a similar window, there is a single light, of which the sill is carried down low. There is no structural division between the chancel and nave. The Nave (33 ft. by 14 ft., including the W. bay) has a N. and a S. window which resemble the E. window of the chancel, but the N. window has lost the original tracery; the W. window, of two lights, has a quatrefoil in the head. The N. and S. doorways are original, but the former is much restored. The W. bay (7 ft. from E. to W.) is divided from the rest of the nave by a wall which carries the E. wall of the tower, and is pierced by a two-centred moulded arch with shafted jambs; from this dividing wall to the W. wall, within the N. and S. lines of the nave, spring arches of two chamfered orders, which support the N. and S. walls of the tower, the W. wall being carried by the W. wall of the nave. The Tower rises one stage above the nave, and is finished with a plain parapet; the belfry windows resemble the W. window of the nave. The South Porch (9½ ft. by 7 ft.) has a moulded shafted entrance archway, and two single-light windows on the E. and W.

Fittings—Bells: one, by Robert Oldfeild, 1630. Font: octagonal, 15th-century, ornamented with traceried panels and shields bearing the heraldry of the Passion. Glass: in E. window, a panel, with white and gold ornament, 15th-century: in S. window of nave, part of a kneeling figure in a blue gown. Plate: includes cup of 1569 and paten of 1696. Seating: in the nave, some plain open seats, 15th-century. Stoup: in the porch, of rough design, under a richly crocketed, spire-shaped canopy, much defaced, not in situ.

Condition—Fairly good; much of the old detail, especially the window tracery, has been restored with cement.


Homestead Moat

(2). At Caldecote Farm, fragment.

(3). The Old Rectory, about 50 yards N.W. of the church, is a two-storeyed cottage of plastered timber, built late in the 16th century; the roof is tiled. The plan is L-shaped, and both wings have gabled ends. The exterior has been partly re-plastered and the interior much altered; the heavy moulded beams which carry the floor over the parlour are the only original details.

Condition—Fairly good.