Little Munden

Pages 147-148

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. xxi. N.E.)


(1). Parish Church of All Saints, stands on high ground a little over ¼ mile N.E. of the village. It is built of flint rubble with stone dressings; the roofs are tiled. The early history has been much obscured by the later work, but it seems probable that in the second half of the 11th century the church consisted of a Chancel and Nave with a North Aisle and arcade of three bays. The western half of the present North Chapel was built c. 1340, and about twenty years later the two eastern bays of the nave arcade were replaced by the present arcade; the aisle may have been widened at the same time. Early in the 15th century the N. chapel was enlarged to its present size, new windows were inserted, a stair-turret to the rood-loft was built, and the aisle probably re-built; later in the century the West Tower was added. In the 19th century, in addition to general restorations, the South Vestry and North and South Porches were added and the arch of the third bay of the nave was replaced by the present arch.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (21½ ft. by 16½ ft.) has an E. window of three lights and a S. window of two lights, the latter wholly, and the former almost completely restored. In the N. wall an early 15th-century four-centred arch leads to the N. chapel; it has an ogee label with crockets and finials and a panelled soffit; W. of it, a two-centred arch of c. 1340 is of two moulded orders with shafted jambs. In the S. wall is a doorway, originally of the 12th century and external, but now opening into the modern vestry, and very much restored. The chancel arch, of two moulded orders with shafted jambs, is of the 15th century. The North Chapel (21½ ft. by 12½ ft.) has windows in the E. and N. walls, both 15th-century openings, but otherwise modern: the N. jamb of the arch to the aisle is original. The Nave (41 ft. by 21½ ft.) is of three bays: at the E. end the N. wall is pierced by the rood-loft door, and the first two bays have arches of two chamfered orders, with an octagonal column, moulded capitals and bases, etc., of c. 1360: the W. bay has a modern two-centred arch, but the jambs are of the 11th century, and their abaci are roughly cable-moulded, the E. jamb being set in pink mortar, which is not visible anywhere else in the church. In the S. wall is a 15th-century window of two lights with modern tracery; the 14th-century S. doorway is of two continuously moulded orders. A 15th-century doorway with a pointed head opens into the tower. The North Aisle (10 ft. wide) has newel stairs to the rood-loft: in the N. wall are two late 15th-century windows of three lights, much restored, and a window of two lights possibly of a little earlier date, also much restored. The 15th-century N. doorway has continuously moulded jambs and a four-centred head. The West Tower (11 ft. square) is of three stages, with an embattled parapet and a small lead-covered spire. The ground stage has modern vaulting. The W. door, with a moulded square outer order, the window above it, and the bell-chamber windows, all of two lights, are of the same date as the tower.

Fittings—Bells: six; 2nd, 1629; 3rd and 5th, probably by John Danyel, mid 15th-century. Bracket: on the N.W. pier of the arcade, small. Image: in a niche in the E. respond of the nave, part of a small female figure. Monuments: in the E. arch on the N. side of the chancel, an altar tomb with effigies of knight and lady, the former in plate armour, wearing, on his bare head, a rich and heavy orle; early 15th-century: in the W. arch an altar tomb with effigies of knight, in armour, and lady, late 14th-century; on the effigy of knight, traces of gilding: in the N. chapel, tomb recess, 15th-century. Niches: in the E. responds of nave, a group of three, the central niche cinque-foiled, the others trefoiled, and all with crocketted labels, late 14th-century. Piscina: in chancel, with a trefoiled head, late 14th-century. Screen: under W. arch of the chapel, three bays with open traceried upper panels and closed lower panels, late 15th-century.

Condition—Good, much restored.