BHO

Newnham

Pages 155-156

An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Hertfordshire. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1910.

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Citation:

In this section

92. NEWNHAM.

(O.S. 6 in. iii. S.E.)

Ecclesiastical

(1). Parish Church of St. Vincent, stands on the N. side of the village, 2¼ miles N. of Baldock. The external walls and parapets are cemented; the roofs are covered with lead. It is recorded that a church in this parish was consecrated by Losinga, Bishop of Norwich, 1094–1119, and some of the walling of the Nave may belong to it, although no detail remains of that date. The Chancel was either re-built or lengthened in the 13th-century; the South Aisle was built c. 1340; and a West Tower was added at the same date by erecting a wall across the W. end of the nave, the N. and S. walls of the tower being carried upon arches springing from this wall to the W. wall of the nave, within the lines of the original N. and S. walls. In the 15th century a stair-turret was built at the S.E. angle of the tower, and, at some later date, the tower was enlarged to give more room for bells by pulling down its N. wall, and raising the N. wall of the nave, the E. and W. walls of the tower being extended northwards to meet it. The South Porch is also of the 15th century, and may have been built during the repairs carried out by John of Wheathampstead, Abbot of St. Albans, between 1420–40.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (31 ft. by 12½ ft.) has a 15th-century E. window of three lights with tracery; in the N. wall are two 13th-century lancet windows; in the S. wall are two windows of two trefoiled lights with pierced heads, possibly of the same date as the E. window, and between them is a small doorway. The chancel arch is of two chamfered orders without responds. The Nave (48 ft. by 15½ ft., including the tower, which occupies the W. end of the nave) has, in the N. wall, two 15th-century windows of two cinque-foiled lights with square heads. The S. arcade, of c. 1340, is of four bays with octagonal shafts, moulded bases and capitals, and pointed arches of two chamfered orders. The clearstorey has, on each side, three 15th-century windows of two lights with square heads. The South Aisle has two S. windows with modern tracery, and a plain S. doorway, probably of the same date as the nave arcade. The S. Porch has a 15th-century four-centred outer arch under a square head. The West Tower is of two stages, with a S.E. newel stair-turret, embattled parapet and flat roof; the wide tower arch, of c. 1340, has the same detail as the nave arcade. The windows of the bell-chamber, of two trefoiled lights under square heads, are also original. The Roof of the porch is of the 15th century, but all the other roofs are modern.

Fittings—Bells: one, 16th-century, with a meaningless inscription; there are pits for three more. Brasses: in the chancel, of Joane Dowman, 1607, eight children, shield and inscription: of a civilian, his two wives and four children, c. 1490, no inscription. Floor Slab: to William Dyer, 1680. Door: of the S. aisle, probably 15th-century, with original strap hinges. Font: octagonal, richly panelled sides and shaft, 15th-century. Glass: in W. window of S. aisle, a few quarries, 15th-century. Plate: includes cup and cover paten of 1568.

Condition—Fairly good. The S. arcade leans somewhat to the S., and the stonework of the porch is decaying in places.

Secular

(2). Homestead Moat, at Manor Farm. The island is revetted with a brick wall.

Condition—Good.

(3). Newnham Hall, formerly the 'Church Farm', E. of the church, is probably part of a 16th-century house, but has been much altered and enlarged in the 19th century. The old walls are of considerable thickness. The building is covered externally with cement; the roofs are tiled. One of the bedrooms has two small original windows, now blocked; part of a staircase is of the 17th century, and there are old beams in the attic.

Condition—Good.

(4). Cottages, almost opposite the church, said to have been originally the malting house of the manor, are probably of the 17th century. They form a long rectangular building of brick and timber; most of the walls are covered with cement; the roofs are tiled.

Condition—Fairly good.