An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Hertfordshire. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1910.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by English Heritage. All rights reserved.
(O.S. 6 in. (a)iii. N.E. (b)iii. S.E.)
a(1). Parish Church of St. Nicholas, stands S.E. of the village, and about 4 miles N. of Baldock. The walls are of flint with stone dressings, except those of the chancel, which are of brick. The Nave and West Tower were built early in the 15th century; the South Porch was added c. 1450, and the Chancel was re-built in the 18th century.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (20 ft. by 16 ft.) retains of the original work only the chancel arch, which has been re-cut, and is thrown out of shape by the pressure of the wall over it. The Nave (42½ ft. by 20 ft.) has, in the N. wall, a window of three lights with tracery, under a four-centred head, and another of two lights with a square head; in the S. wall are two windows of two lights under square heads and between them a three-light window with tracery and a four-centred head; they are all of the 15th century, though of slightly different dates. The N. and S. doorways are original, and have pointed arches of two chamfered orders with labels; the S. doorway retains the original wood draw-bar. The four windows of the clearstorey are of the 16th century. In the N.E. corner are the stairs which led to the rood-loft. The Tower (about 10 ft. square) is of two stages, with an embattled parapet. The tower arch, of early 15th-century date, is of two chamfered orders with semi-octagonal jambs, having moulded capitals and bases; the two-light W. window, with tracery, is of the same date, but much repaired with cement, and an 18th-century doorway cuts into the sill. The bell-chamber has 15th-century windows of two lights with tracery, all much decayed. The South Porch blocks one light of the S.W. window of the nave, and the mullion has been re-built to bond in with the porch wall; the windows of the porch are of three lights, but the E. window is filled in; the entrance has a four-centred arch under a square head. The Roofs are modern, but in the roof of the nave are four original figures holding shields, one charged barry.
Fittings—Bells: six; two dated 1651. Brasses: on N. wall of chancel, figures of a man and woman, c. 1450, no inscription: on the chancel floor, of a man (thought to be John Lambard, 1487, Merchant and Alderman of London) and his wife, with their children, one of whom is a priest, below; at the corners, heraldic shields, one with the arms of the Mercers' Company, another with a merchant's mark: to Andrew Gray, 1614, inscription. Niches: for image, in S.E. corner of nave, with canopied head, early 15th-century: in the E. jamb of the N.E. window, also with canopied head, 15th-century. Miscellanea: in the porch, coffin lid, 14th-century.
Condition—The nave has been recently restored, but the tower needs repair, especially the upper windows.
a(2). Homestead Moat, at Bury End, fragment.
b(3). Hinxworth Place, nearly ½ mile S. of the church, is a farmhouse of two storeys and an attic, built chiefly of clunch; the roofs are tiled. It was erected in the 15th century, when it appears to have been a large house of H-shaped plan; the only original parts remaining are the main block facing E., and the W. half of the S. wing; but indications of the former N. wing and extensions of the S. wing can be traced. On the W. side of the main block is a range of low buildings, apparently added at a later date, re-using the old materials. The main block, formerly the great hall, is divided into hall, kitchen and cellars on the ground floor, the S.W. wing contains the parlour, and in the low additional buildings are the domestic offices. Towards the end of the 16th century a plain square chimney stack was built in the centre of the hall, and a large projecting stack at the N. end of the S. wing; several windows were also remodelled.
The building is unusually interesting as an example of a large private house of early date, with some contemporary details.
The E. Front of the main block is of clunch; in the N. half is the principal entrance, which is of the 15th century; it has a pointed arch in a square head, with carved shields in the spandrels; a contemporary window, N. of the doorway, is cusped, and has a square head and low sill; it is partly filled in and lights a cellar. S. of the doorway are the two large windows of the kitchen and hall, each of four lights with mullions and transoms, probably inserted late in the 16th century; at the S. end is a small four-centred doorway, and in the wall there are signs of the former extension of the S. wing. The four upper windows are of three lights each, with square heads, also of the 16th or early 17th century, and in the roof are two dormer windows. The N. end of this block is also of clunch, and has no windows or doors in it. The roof has hipped ends, and on the W. side is carried down without break over the low additional buildings, in which is a range of cusped 15th-century windows with square heads. The W. end of the S. wing is gabled, and on the ground floor is a window of five lights with stone mullions and transoms; above it, in the projecting upper storey of plastered timber, is a window of three lights with a modern frame and wood mullions. The upper storey also projects on the S. side of the wing; the doorway and window in that wall are blocked; the E. end of the wing is modern, and forms a re-entering angle with the S. wall (also modern) of the main block.
The kitchen and the present hall have the large 16th-century chimney stack between them and two large fireplaces set back to back; the space on each side of the chimney stack has only recently been filled in and the W. side of the hall cut off to form a narrow passage from the kitchen to the S. wing. N. of the kitchen is a cellar and a narrow steep staircase. The domestic offices have doorways with four-centred arches; a single original cinque-foiled light in the W. wall of the narrow staircase now looks into one of the offices, indicating that this was originally an outer wall. The parlour has a stone fireplace of late 16th-century date in the N. wall, and the mullioned window at the W. end contains old glass, with arms of the former owners of the house; one shield is dated 1570. The modern lobby and staircase originally formed part of the parlour. On the first floor several rooms have four-centred stone doorways, of which two or three retain their original iron-studded oak doors. One room contains a massive moulded tie-beam of oak, with a natural camber, and another room has a late 16th-century stone fireplace with a four-centred arch. At the top of the narrow staircase from the kitchen are two blocked doorways; one probably opened into the former N. wing; the other, in the W. wall, may have opened on to an outside staircase, and next to it is the jamb of a former window; none of these can be seen on the other side of their respective walls. In the kitchen is a long, narrow, 17th-century table with heavy, moulded legs.