An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Hertfordshire. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1910.
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(O.S. 6 in. (a)xii. N.W. (b)xii. S.W.)
a(1). Parish Church of St. Ippolyts, stands in the middle of the village, about 1¼ miles S. of Hitchin. It is built chiefly of flint with limestone and clunch dressings; the tower is covered with cement, and the S. porch is of timber and brick; the roof of the N. aisle is covered with lead, the other roofs are tiled. Almost the whole church, except the tower, was re-built from the foundations in 1879, but the old materials were carefully replaced and the history of the original building can be followed. The Nave was built towards the end of the 11th century, and the chancel was re-built c. 1320, when the North and South Aisles were added, the S. aisle first and then the N. aisle, succeeded immediately by the addition of the West Tower. In the 15th century the chancel arch was widened, a rood-screen and several windows were inserted, and the North and South Porches were built. When the church was restored in the 19th century the width of the N. aisle was increased from 6 ft. to 9 ft.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (26 ft. by 22 ft.) has a modern E. window; the N. window and the two S. windows, each of two lights with tracery, are of the 14th century, much repaired; the 15th-century chancel arch is partly restored. The Nave (29 ft. by 20 ft.) has two 14th-century arches on each side, separated by about 4 ft. of wall space; they were inserted in an earlier wall, and are of two chamfered orders, the inner order springing from carved corbel heads, of which some are modern; the labels and parts of the arches are also modern. The stair-turret of the rood-loft in the N.E. corner has a four-centred doorway at the former level of the loft. Above the S. arcade are the remains of a window with a round head, of late 11th-century date, built in tufa. The North Aisle (9 ft. wide) has modern windows and a doorway of early 14th-century date, restored, with a modern rear-arch. The South Aisle (6 ft. wide) has a narrow 14th-century E. window of two lights with tracery, and a square-headed S. window of two lights, repaired; the S. doorway, of moulded clunch, is of c. 1320; the W. window is modern. Part of a 13th-century arch and label with dog-tooth ornament is set in the wall of the arcade. The West Tower has no external string courses; it has square angle buttresses and a S.W. stair-turret; the roof is pyramidal, finished with a tall lead-covered finial or post. The tower arch is plain, with modern abaci; the 14th-century W. window, of three lights with tracery, has been partly repaired; the second storey is lighted by loops, and the bell-chamber by windows of two lights repaired with cement. The North Porch is of stone repaired with cement; the entrance doorway has a pointed arch in a square head, with traceried spandrels, and is flanked by buttresses. The South Porch is of 15th-century timber framing, with 17th-century brick sides. The Roofs are modern.
Fittings—Brasses: in the N. aisle, to Robert Poydres and Alice his wife, 1401, incomplete inscription: in the chancel, of Alice, wife of Ryce Hughes, 1594, kneeling figures of man, woman and children, with inscription, all on one plate. Font: octagonal bowl, on stem with engaged shafts, 14th-century. Lockers: two, in the N. wall of the chancel. Monument: in the S. aisle, recess with recumbent effigy of priest, 14th-century. Niches: on each side of entrance to N. porch, rough, trefoiled: over entrance, with canopied head, 15th-century: on the sill of E. window in S. aisle, remains of canopy, 14th-century. Piscinae: in the chancel, combined with credence, 14th-century: in each aisle, 14th-century. Plate: includes silver cup of 1634 and paten of 1639. Screen: in the chancel, modern, with 15th-century middle bay.
a(2). Maydencroft, farmhouse and moat, about a mile W. of the church. The house is a two-storeyed, red brick and timber building, of early 17th-century date; the roofs are tiled. The plan is L-shaped, and on the E. side are large projecting chimney stacks with tall square shafts set diagonally. On the ground floor the hall, now divided into two rooms, has old ceiling beams, supported in the centre by a substantial circular pillar with a moulded capital, and the date 1615 above it. Some of the rooms retain old timbers.
Outbuildings—S.W. of the house is a large barn, built of timber with brick nogging, and a stable, both of the same date as the house. A network of timbers supports the gabled roof of the barn, but it is falling in at one end.
Only a fragment remains of the moat.
Condition—Of buildings, good, except the roof of the barn.
a(3). House, W. of the church, on the N. side of the road, is a rectangular building of brick and timber; the roof is tiled. The W. part of the house is of early 17th-century date, and is gabled on the N. and S.; the E. side was destroyed by fire and re-built in the 18th century, the wall being carried up to the level of the tops of the gables. At the back is an open, arcaded passage, of which the two round arches at the W. end are original. There is an old nail-studded door in the principal entrance.
Condition—Good; much restored.
a(4). Cottage, S.E. of the church, is of brick and timber, with a projecting upper storey supported on brackets, and was built probably early in the 17th century. At the gabled W. end of the house is a large brick chimney stack with two square shafts, set diagonally.
b(5). The Wych, 2/3 mile S.S.E. of the church, is a two-storeyed house, formerly five cottages, each of two rooms, built probably in the 17th century, of timber with brick nogging, partly replaced by modern tiles; the roof is tiled. The plan is roughly T shaped; the walls were raised a few feet and under-pinned at the end of the 19th century. The upper storey is partly in the roof, and one or two of the trusses and also some beams in the ceilings of the rooms on the ground floor appear to be original; old timbers have been re-used for posts and lintels of fireplaces, and in the floors, but the windows and doors are modern.
b(6). Cottage, 1 mile S.S.E. of the church, of late 17th-century date, is a small rectangular building, of two storeys, the upper storey partly in the roof; the original walls are of timber with brick nogging; the front, facing S., is of modern brick, and the roof is tiled. Over a gabled dormer window are the letters I L and the date 1695. The central chimney stack is of thin bricks. S.W. of the cottage is an old barn built of timber.
(7). House and Cottages, ¾ mile W. of the church; the house is of red brick and has a central chimney stack with three square shafts, of which two are original; inside the house a chimney-piece bears the date 1663. The cottages are of brick and timber, built in the 17th century.
(8). Tumulus, near Gosmore.