King's Walden

Pages 135-136

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. xix. N.E.)


(1). Parish Church of St. Mary, W. of King's Walden Bury, is faced with flint and has stone dressings; the vestry is of brick; the chancel is roofed with tiles, and the rest of the church with lead. The nave arcades are of c. 1190, but the Nave was probably built at an earlier date, without aisles. The Chancel, though the plan is possibly of the 13th-century, has been much re-built. The West Tower was erected c. 1380, and during the 15th century the clearstorey was added, and the Aisles were wholly or partly re-built. The North Vestry was built early in the 17th century, and in the 19th century the outer walls of the church were refaced, the chancel and aisles partly re-built and a South Porch added.

Architectural Description—In the Chancel (34½ ft. by 17½ ft.) all the windows have been renewed. There are a few 15th-century stones in the E. window, and in the W. window of the S. wall; both windows are of three lights; the other window in the S. wall is a lancet, and possibly retains some original stones. The early 14th-century chancel arch is of two chamfered orders, with half-octagonal responds and moulded capitals. The Nave (40 ft. by 20½ ft.) has late 12th-century arcades of three bays, with two-centred arches of two chamfered orders, circular pillars and capitals of water-leaf, scallop and trefoil designs. The clearstorey has three windows of two lights on each side, with restored tracery. The doorway of the rood-loft, high up in the wall at the N.E. corner, is partly blocked. The North Aisle (40 ft. by 7½ ft.) has a 14th-century doorway, with a pointed head, restored; the E. window, the two N. windows, and most of the exterior stonework have been renewed. The floor has been lowered, as shown by the height of the bases of the N. arcade, compared with those on the S., and by the position of the steps from the doorway. The South Aisle (45 ft. by 8½ ft.) extends towards the E. beyond the line of the chancel arch; a blocked doorway on the N. formerly opened into the chancel. The E. window, of three lights, and two S. windows, one of three and the other of two lights, are of the 15th century, much repaired; the S. doorway, also of the 15th century, is of two moulded orders, and has a four-centred arch in a square head with traceried spandrels. The North Vestry (21 ft. by 15 ft.) is of early 17th-century date, with 'Gothic' wood window frames. The West Tower (12 ft. by 11 ft.) is of three stages with buttresses, embattled parapet and a projecting stair-turret at the S.E. corner. The late 14th-century tower arch is of two chamfered orders, with two-centred head and shafted jambs. The W. window and the four bell-chamber windows of two lights each, with tracery and pointed heads, are also of late 14th-century date, repaired. The Roofs of the S. aisles and some timbers in the N. aisle are of the 15th century; two large stone corbels which support the E. truss of the nave roof are also probably of the 15th century; the chancel roof is modern.

Fittings—Bells: six; 1st, 4th, 5th, 1627; 2nd, 1699. Bracket: for image, on E. wall of N. aisle, carved, much defaced. Brass: in the chancel, to Sibbill, wife of Robert Barber, 1614, inscription only. Chest: in the vestry, of oak, 17th-century. Door: in W. doorway of tower, old. Locker: E. end of S. aisle, with rebate for door. Monuments: in the chancel, to Timothy Sheppard, 1613, alabaster, mural: in N. aisle, two mural tablets, to Roland Hole, 1688, and to Richard Hole, 1689. Piscinae: in the chancel, 13th-century, double: in the S. aisle, late 14th-century: in the N. aisle, square-headed. Screen: under chancel arch, traceried upper panels, cresting, much patched, coated with paint, 15th-century.

Condition—Fairly good, much restored; masonry of tower decayed, much ivy on tower.