BHO

Great Wymondley

Pages 105-106

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

55. GREAT WYMONDLEY.

(O.S. 6 in. xii. N.W.)

Roman

(1). See below, under Secular.

(2). Dwelling House, near Purwell Mill, found and planned in 1884.

Condition—No remains above ground.

Ecclesiastical

(3). Parish Church of St. Mary, at the E. end of the village, is built of flint with stone dressings; the walls of the nave have courses of uncut pebbles, with wide mortar joints, and contain a few Roman tiles; the chancel is roofed with tiles, and the nave with lead. The Chancel and Nave were built in the 12th century, windows were inserted during the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries, and the West Tower was added in the 15th century. The North Vestry and South Porch are modern, and in 1883–4 the building was thoroughly restored, and much of the stonework renewed.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (20 ft. by 16 ft.) is apsidal; the E. window, of three lights with tracery, under a square head, is of the 14th century. In the N. wall is a 13th-century lancet window, with 12th-century jambs and rear arch; in the S. wall is a 13th-century lancet, and a low side window, probably of the 13th century; they are all repaired. The chancel arch has a semi-circular head and engaged shafts with volute capitals and scallop bases, and is of early 12th-century date, well preserved. The Nave (44 ft. by 19½ ft.) has, on the N., a two-light window, 14th-century work renewed. On the S. are two late 15th-century windows of three lights each, which have been repaired, and the cusps destroyed. The S. doorway is of c. 1120, but has been much repaired; it has a round arch with edge roll moulding, and the face of the tympanum is enriched with star ornament. The jambs are of two orders, with abaci, which have the star ornament repeated on each face; the shafts of the outer order have capitals carved as human faces, and inverted cushion bases. N. of the chancel arch is a 15th-century low squint into the chancel; the corbel above it was probably under the former rood-loft, of which the stairs remain in the thickness of the wall on the N.E., and also the upper and lower doorways, but with renewed stonework. The Tower (11 ft. square) is of three stages, with diagonal buttresses, embattled parapet and pyramidal tiled roof. The W. window is of three lights with modern tracery; the W. doorway, of two moulded orders, and the four windows of the bell-chamber, each of two lights, have been restored. The Roof of the nave is of the 15th century.

Fittings—Bells: six, 5th by John Dier, 1595. Font: octagonal, with plain sides, probably 15th-century. Floor Slab: in the nave, to Henry Barnewell, 1638. Niche: in the nave, at N.E., for image, probably at the nave altar, trefoiled. Piscina: in the chancel, with angle shafts, 13th-century, much repaired and with a modern sill. Recess: in the chancel, at S.W., small and square. Seating: W. end of nave, several 15th or early 16th-century benches, repaired. Miscellanea: on S. wall of nave, outside, incised sundial, imperfect.

Condition—Good.

Secular

Great Wymondley

(1). Enclosure, of the mount and bailey type, immediately E. of the churchyard, covers an area of 5 acres, the mount (¼ acre in internal area) being in the S.W. corner. This enclosure appears to be mediæval. Outside it, to the N.E., Roman tiles, indicating a Roman building, and pottery and coins (some now in the collection of Mr. Ransom, of Hitchin) have been found, and a few Roman tiles are built into the walls of the church (see above). The enclosure, together with adjoining fields, in total extent about 17–18 acres, has been conjectured by Mr. Seebohm to represent a Roman holding (see his English, Village Community, p. 431).

Condition—Poor.

(4). The Manor House, 2/3 mile N.W. of the church, is a two-storeyed building of late 16th-century date, timber-framed, with brick and rough-cast filling; the roofs are tiled. The plan is rectangular, facing S., and has a slightly projecting wing at the E. end, and a projecting central porch, with a room over it. The windows were altered in the 19th century. Two brick chimney stacks have square shafts, set diagonally. The inner doorway of the porch has a massive moulded oak frame, and the original door. Passages have been cut off from the hall by wood partitions, but it retains a wide fireplace, now partly filled in, and, in the ceiling, some large moulded beams. All the bedrooms have large timbers in the walls and ceilings, and in one room is a stone fire-place with moulded jambs, four-centred head and carved spandrels. The kitchen, with bed-rooms over it, at the W. end of the house, now forms a separate cottage.

Condition—Moderately good.

(5). Delamere House, about ¼ mile S.W. of the church, is a three-storeyed building, probably of late 16th-century date. The walls are of brick with stone dressings; the roof is tiled. The plan is rectangular, with chimney stacks on the E. and W.; modern additions have been built beyond them. The S. front has original windows with stone mullions and transoms, and a deep brick cornice above the second storey windows; the two curvilinear gables were probably added in the 17th century, and in them are the windows of the third storey. On the N. front the two pointed gables are original. The narrow hall, containing the staircase, has a room on each side of it. The nail-studded doors, and the fine oak staircase with turned balusters, are probably of the 16th century; two rooms have early 17th-century panelling and wood chimney-pieces, carved and moulded.

Condition—Good.

(6–7). Cottages, two, in the village; the first, near the church, is of timber and plaster; the second, near the Manor-house, of brick. They were built in the 16th or early 17th century, and much altered in the 19th century.

Condition—Fairly good.