St. Albans

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

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, 'St. Albans', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Hertfordshire, (London, 1910) pp. 177-190. British History Online [accessed 24 May 2024].

. "St. Albans", in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Hertfordshire, (London, 1910) 177-190. British History Online, accessed May 24, 2024,

. "St. Albans", An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Hertfordshire, (London, 1910). 177-190. British History Online. Web. 24 May 2024,

In this section

110. ST. ALBANS.

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


(1). The Abbey Church of St. Alban, on high ground on the S.W. side of the town, is a large cruciform building, and one of the longest cathedrals in England. The oldest parts are built chiefly of flint rubble, Roman bricks and Barnack stone, taken from the ruins of Verulamium, and in the later work Totternhoe stone is largely used. The roofs are covered with lead and tiles. The site, which falls considerably from E. to W., overlooks the valley of the Ver, and the long nave and massive central tower form a landmark for many miles.

The Abbey is a monument of quite exceptional interest, though some parts of it have been obscured and much of the old work has been destroyed in the course of restoration. Amongst the most notable features of the structure are: the advanced design of the Lady chapel windows of c. 1308; the early Norman work in re-used Roman brick and flints of the presbytery, of the central tower (which, beyond being stripped of its coating of plaster, and having lost its original roof and the top of the walls, is almost untouched), of the transepts and of the nave; the fine detail of the 13th-century bays and the unusual design of the 14th-century work of the nave; and the late 13th-century wooden vault of the presbytery, an early example of its kind. Of the fittings the most remarkable are: the large and elaborate brass of Abbot de la Mare; the richly ornamented 15th and 16th-century sepulchral monuments of Abbot Wheathampstead (so called), Abbot Ramryge and Duke Humphrey of Gloucester; the many paintings, possibly representative of the school for which the Abbey was famous; the richly carved, 15th-century, wooden chamber of the Feretrar, a rare example, richly carved; the 13th-century iron grate in the presbytery aisle, a piece of ironwork of unusually early date; and the pedestal of the shrine of St. Alban, one of the best examples remaining in the country.

Historical Development.

No part of the pre-Conquest buildings of the Benedictine Abbey founded by Offa II., king of the Mercians, in 793, now remains. The earlier monastery was destroyed during the rebuilding by Abbot Paul of Caen (1077 to 1093), though some of the old material appears to have been re-used.

The Norman church, completed in 1088, was cruciform in plan, and covered the ground now occupied by the Feretory and Presbytery with their North and South Aisles, the Central Tower, the North and South Transepts, and probably ten of the existing thirteen bays of the Nave with its North and South Aisles. There were also an Apse to the presbytery, two apsidal chapels on the E. of each transept, and a North West Chapel of St. Andrew attached to the N. aisle of the nave, all of which have been destroyed. Of the late 11th-century church there remains a large part of the presbytery and feretory walls, the central tower, the transepts, about nine bays of the N. arcade and aisle of the nave, and about three bays of the S. arcade and aisle. About 1195 the work of lengthening the nave to its present dimensions by the addition of three bays was begun by Abbot John de Cella; at the same time a new W. front was commenced which was intended to have flanking towers and three projecting vaulted porches. By 1197, for various reasons, the work was stopped, and was much neglected till after 1214, when it was finished by Abbot William of Trumpington (1214 to 1235), but the flanking towers to the W. front and the vaulting of the nave were abandoned, and the design and its details were very much modified. This Abbott also re-built in stone many of the brick windows, erected a lead-covered wood spire, and probably altered and re-vaulted the three eastern bays of the S. aisle of the presbytery. In 1257, the two E. bays of the eastern arm were pulled down as they showed signs of collapse, and an extension to the E. was then begun in order to provide a new Lady chapel. The presbytery was re-modelled and the vestibule to the Lady chapel was then built. This part of the work was finished by the end of the 13th century, but the Lady chapel itself was not completed till the following century. A stone vault was planned for the presbytery, but was not carried out, a wood vault being substituted, but the stone springers and the abutments of the flying buttresses remain. The shrine was moved by Abbot John de Maryns, and the defaced pedestal for it, now in the feretory, belongs to this date. The Lady chapel was completed by Abbot Hugh of Eversdon (1308 to 1326), and again a wood vault was substituted for that of stone originally proposed, of which the springers were destroyed in the late restorations. A flat roof was built in the vestibule instead of the stone vault originally intended, and the vault springers were cut back. The sleeper walls of the two rows of columns, which were originally planned, still remain below the floor.

On the day of St. Paulinus, 1323, two columns on the S. side of the nave, probably the fourth and fifth, fell, and as a result part of the roof of the nave, the S. aisle, and the adjacent part of the cloisters collapsed. The repairs were begun at once and were nearly finished by 1326, when Abbot Hugh died. His successor, Richard of Wallingford (1326 to 1335), neglected this work and left it to be completed by the next abbot, Michael of Mentmore (1335 to 1349), who by 1343 had re-roofed the nave and re-built and vaulted the S. aisle. Little work of importance was done during the remainder of the 14th century beyond the paving of the nave, but early in the 15th century the feretrar's wooden gallery was set up. John of Wheathampstead, during his first abbacy (1420 to 1440), built a small sepulchral chapel for himself (consecrated in 1430), made alterations to the pulpitum, built a chapel S.E. of the Lady chapel, possibly removed the apses of the N. transept, and inserted a large window in the W. end of the nave. During the second abbacy of John of Wheathampstead (1451 to 1465) the chapel of St. Andrew was built anew, the old chapel, erected at the end of the 11th century and enlarged at the end of the 12th, and beginning of the 13th century, being pulled down. William Wallingford (1476 to 1484) built the stone screen behind the high altar, inserted the windows in the N. and S. transepts, and probably altered the W. front to the condition in which it remained until the recent restoration. He also possibly built the tomb chapel usually attributed to John of Wheathampstead. The only pre-Reformation work of a later date is the Chantry chapel of Abbot Thomas Ramryge (1492 to 1520) on the N. side of the Presbytery.

In 1553 the church was sold to the Borough of St. Albans to be their parish church, and the chapel of St. Andrew was then pulled down and the Lady chapel assigned to the grammar school. The following are the dates of the more important post-Reformation repairs and restorations: 1681, 1704, 1721, 1764, 1832, 1835 till 1877 (under Sir Gilbert Scott), and from 1877 to 1885 (under the late Lord Grimthorpe).

Architectural Description.

The Lady chapel (56 ft. by 23 ft.) is of three bays, with 19th-century stone vaulting, which replaces the wooden vaulting of c. 1310. The E. window is of five lights, and there are three windows of four lights each in the N. wall, and two windows of four lights and another in the form of a spherical triangle in the S. wall. The tracery of these windows, on flowing and geometrical lines, is very advanced in character for the date, c. 1308. Each window (except the triangular one) has two courses of ball-flower ornament, and niches with crocketted canopies containing images on the internal splays and central mullions; these windows are entirely modern outside. Beneath them a modern wall arcade replaces the original arcade. In one of the sedilia in the S. wall is a small square-headed opening to the chapel of the Transfiguration, now blocked, and near it a modern doorway, also into this chapel, which was re-built as a vestry by Lord Grimthorpe.

The Vestibule (32½ ft. by 32 ft.) is separated from the Lady chapel by an arch of two richly moulded orders upon multiple shafted jambs with moulded capitals, bases and necking, all much restored. This is flanked by a small space of walling, the vestibule being wider than the Lady chapel. The springers of the vaulting, originally intended for this part of the church, existed before the recent restorations, but only mutilated fragments now remain. The vestibule is of three bays, the E. bay has a N. and a S. window of late 13th-century date; both are of two trefoiled lights, with quatrefoils over them, and have shafted jambs and mullions; they are set in the wall arches continuing the arcade by which the second and third bays open into the aisle. The aisles are of two bays, and continue the aisles of the presbytery. The arcades are of two orders of deeply under-cut mouldings; the E. responds have clusters of shafts, the columns are octagonal, and the W. responds have been partly covered by square piers of modern masonry. The wall ribs for the vaulting also remain in these bays. At the W. end of the vestibule is a thin wall pierced by three acute two-centred arches of one chamfered order, with linked hood mouldings. Against this is a low wall with a modern wall arcade on the E. side.

The North Aisle of the vestibule (19 ft. wide) has an E. window of three lights; the opening is of the 13th century, but the tracery is similar to the tracery of the windows in the Lady chapel. In the N. wall are two 13th-century windows, much restored, each of two trefoiled lights, with a cinquefoil over them. Beneath these windows is some wall arcading, originally of late 13th-century date, now almost entirely restored. In the N.E. angle is an octagonal turret containing a newel staircase, reached by a door and a vaulted passage in the N. wall; this leads to the roof of the Lady chapel.

The South Aisle of the vestibule (19 ft. wide) is similar in arrangement to the N. aisle, but the E. window, of three trefoiled lights with tracery, is of early 14th-century date; the two S. windows are identical with the corresponding windows of the N. aisle; at the N. end of the E. wall is a blocked doorway. Under the windows is wall arcading almost wholly restored with modern stonework; the few old fragments which remain indicate work of an elaborate design. This part of the church was very much damaged after the dissolution of the monasteries.

The Eastern Arm (central span 88½ ft. by 33 ft.) is of five bays, of which the feretory occupies one and a half bays at the E. end and the presbytery the rest. This division into five bays is the result of the rebuilding begun in 1257, for the central span was originally of four bays, though the aisles have always been of five; the unequal spacing was devised in order to prevent the vaulting bays of the central span from being too long and narrow; traces of the original arrangement remain above the vaults of the aisles. The central span is separated from the vestibule by a wall pierced by three arches, of three richly moulded orders, carried on clusters of columns and built against the thin wall at the W. end of the vestibule. The central span was originally divided from its aisles by solid walls, of which a considerable part remains, especially at the W. The first two bays from the E. are pierced by pointed arches of three richly moulded orders carried on piers of clustered columns; the lower parts of the arches of the first bay are blocked, on the N. by the Feretrar's chamber, on the S. by the tomb of Duke Humphrey of Gloucester, while the arches of the second bay are blocked by the walls flanking the reredos, which are pierced by doors giving access to the feretory from the N. and S. aisles of the presbytery (see fittings). The third bay has similar arches, blocked on the N. by the tomb of Abbot Ramryge, and on the S. by the tomb attributed to Abbot Wheathampstead, and a thin wall above it. The remaining two bays retain the 11th-century solid wall, cut back, and with blank arcades inserted in it. All this work was carried out during the second half of the 13th century, but the spacing was much affected by the one bay which was retained of Abbot Trumpington's work in the S. aisle. In the blank arcades of the W. bay are much-restored quire entrances, also part of the rebuilding they project slightly into the presbytery, and have moulded heads carried on shafted jambs; above them are triple gabled and crocketted canopies with trefoiled heads and groinvaulted soffits carried on circular shafts. At the eastern corners of the central span are stair-turrets, which, with the E. gable, were re-built by Lord Grimthorpe. Above the main arcades is a small triforium with ranges of trefoiled arches on circular shafts. The two E. bays of this triforium have seven arches, the three middle arches being pierced; the other bays have six arches, of which only two are pierced. The clearstorey has, on each side, three windows of five lights with moden tracery, and a four-light E. window with a single-light window on each side of it. Between the bays above the triforium level are clusters of circular vaulting shafts, from which the wooden vaulting springs. (See Roofs and Ceilings.)

The North Aisle of the presbytery (15 ft. wide) is of five bays; the three eastern bays were completely altered in the rebuilding, begun in 1257, and the fourth was re-vaulted; the fifth bay retains its plain unribbed groined vaulting of the 11th century, with semi-circular wall, transverse arches and flat pilasters, partly cut away, with a chamfered string at the springline. The later vaulting is quadripartite with moulded ribs and carved bosses, and is carried on circular wall shafts which separate the bays. There are four N. windows, in the first, second, third and fifth bays: the fourth bay is blank. The first two are similar to the N. windows of the vestibule aisle, and are very much restored; the third, of a later type, is of two lights, with three quartrefoils over them. Under these windows is wall arcading and a stone bench of late 13th-century date, with trefoiled arches having trefoils in the spandrels. Under the first window is an arched recess; the arch was found elsewhere and was placed here in the 19th century; the recess is supposed to be a tomb, but it has splayed sides, and is more probably a doorway. Under the second window is a 15th-century doorway, much restored. The fourth window is formed by a partly blocked opening to the 11th-century transept chapel, and modern tracery has been inserted in it.

The South Aisle of the presbytery (15 ft. wide) retains two of its 11th-century bays with their vaulting intact. The two bays, at the E. end, were re-built late in the 13th century, and the work of both dates is similar in every respect to the corresponding work in the N. aisle, except that the wall arcading of the two 13th-century bays appears, from the fragments which remain, to have been richer than that on the N. The middle bay is all that remains of Abbot Trumpington's work in this aisle, and is vaulted at a higher level than the 11th-century, and at a lower level than the 13th-century bays. The S. windows of the first three bays are modern. In the first bay is a doorway flanked by two-light, traceried openings to a chapel built in 1429; the chapel has been destroyed, as well as a second chapel further W., also of the 15th century, of which, in the second bay, a traceried screen remains (see Fittings). In the fourth bay is a curious window of 11th-century date, now blocked and mutilated; it is of two round-headed lights within a round-headed arch; in the N. wall of this bay is an 11th-century brick arch, flush with the surface. In the S. wall of the fifth bay is a wide round-headed arch originally opening into the apsidal chapel; above it is a smaller round-arched opening, now glazed; in the N. wall is part of a blocked arch of the 11th century, one of the original upper entrances to the quire.

The Central Tower (32 ft. by 30½ ft. by 144 ft. high) stands on four massive recessed piers and slightly stilted semi-circular arches of three square orders. Above these arches are four stages, of which two are open to the crossing and form a lantern; the lower has a triforium gallery in the thickness of the wall, with three plain round-headed openings on each side, each enclosing two subordinate arches, with plain imposts, central stone pillars, simple capitals of varying detail and plastered brick bases. On each side of the second stage are two wide, plain round-headed lights. The third stage has a gallery in the thickness of the wall, opening outwards, with four round-headed arches on each side, sub-divided by smaller arches resting on stone columns with cushion capitals; the gallery is covered by a plastered vault. From this stage there is a newel staircase, in the thickness of the N.W. angle. At the corners, and in the middle of each face of these stages, are flat pilaster buttresses; in the fourth, or bell-chamber stage, the corner pilasters take a rounded form, and are finished with embattled parapets, while those in the middle become pairs of half-round pilasters; in each face of this stage are two double windows, with round arched heads, each enclosed in a round arched recess; the tympana are pierced with triangular openings, and above the enclosing arches are lozenge-shaped openings. The arches have stone shafts and roll mouldings of stone, but are otherwise of brick. The tower is finished by an embattled brick parapet of later date.

The North Transept (65 ft. by 32½ ft.) is of three bays divided by wide shallow pilaster buttresses, now partly destroyed. On the ground stage there are two N. and three W. windows of 11th-century date, with jambs and semi-circular heads of two square orders, all in brick. In the E. wall are two round arches, of two square orders, which were originally the W. arches of the transept chapels; the chapels themselves were destroyed in the 15th century, and the arches blocked; the blocking now contains modern windows, and all that remains of the chapels is the springing of the vault and the S. respond at the chord of the apse of the S. chapel. The N. wall was completely re-built above the ground stage and a large circular window was inserted by Lord Grimthorpe. In the E. and W. walls the 11th-century triforium remains, with an open arcade of semi-circular brick arches, four in each bay, enclosed in pairs in larger recessed arches. All four arches and the larger enclosing arches rest on roughly-worked circular and octagonal shafts with cushion capitals. Two of the shafts, on the E., are lathe-turned, and probably re-used material from the church destroyed in Paul of Caen's rebuilding. The clearstorey has a tall open arch and a large round-headed window in each bay of the E. and W. walls. The stages are divided by chamfered string courses. In the N. wall near the N.W. angle is an original external doorway with an outer arch of brick and an inner arch of stone; the space between is roofed with a groined vault. This was probably the entrance of the townspeople to the transept, to which they have certain rights of access. At the N.W. angle is a modern newel-staircase.

The South Transept (32½ ft. by 65 ft.) is almost identical in arrangement with the N. transept. In the blocking of the two chapel arches in the E. wall are doorways, originally opening into the vestries by which the chapels were replaced in the 14th century; the doorways, which are moulded, and have shafted jambs with foliated capitals, now open into closets in the thickness of the wall, and all that remains of the vestries is a vaulting shaft. The triforium and the clearstorey are similar to those of the N. transept, but the triforium has six of the Saxon baluster shafts. In the middle of the S. wall is re-set the much restored late 12th-century arch which formerly opened from the cloister into the slype, or passage, to the cemetery; it has a round head and is of three elaborately enriched orders, the innermost being new; above it, and in the lobby which now replaces the old passage, is re-set some of the 12th-century arcading of the slype; it has interlacing semi-circular arches with ringed roll-mouldings and circular columns with richly carved capitals. The rest of the S. wall is filled by five large modern lancets. In the W. wall the two original windows of the ground stage were replaced, early in the 13th century, by lancet windows, having jamb shafts, with foliated capitals and moulded rear arches. These windows cut into the triforium, and, in order to accommodate them, the central column of the triforium arcade, in each bay, was replaced by a small square pier. In this wall is an 11th-century doorway, which originally opened into the cloister, but is now blocked and used as a cupboard; it has a semi-circular rear arch, and is vaulted in the thickness of the wall; there is no trace of it on the outside. The clearstorey on the W. side is the same as that on the E., except that one window, at the S. end, has a stone jamb shaft with a cushion capital. Close to the S. aisle of the nave a blocked two-light window of the 15th century originally lighted a small chamber in the thickness of the wall, now filled up.

The Nave (275½ ft. by 31 ft.) has N. and S. arcades of thirteen bays, of which nine of the N. arcade and three of the S. are of the 11th century. The detail is very plain; the arches are semi-circular, of three square orders, and rest on recessed piers with a chamfered string course at the springing; the bays are separated by flat pilasters. The triforium stage was altered in the 15th century, when the roofs of the aisles were lowered and three-light windows were inserted in each bay, except the third from the E., opposite the pulpitum. The arches are plain, round-headed, and of three square orders, with a chamfered string at the springing. The clearstorey windows have plain round-headed lights similar to the original clearstorey windows in the transepts. A difference is visible in the detail between the three bays E. of the rood-screen and the rest, which may indicate a slight difference in date. The fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth bays on the S., counting from the E., belong to the rebuilding of 1323–43. The main arcade of these bays has arches of four moulded orders, with labels, and piers with round engaged angle-shafts at the cardinal points, and moulded capitals and bases carried round the complete pier. The dripstones of the labels are carved as heads and may be intended to represent Hugh of Eversdon, Isabel of France, Edward II., and Master Henry Wy, magister operum of the Abbey. The triforium is somewhat more, and the clearstorey somewhat less important than is usual in work of this date, owing to an attempt to make the new work harmonize with the 13th-century design further W. The triforium arcade is continuous, and has arches of two moulded orders, enriched with ballflowers, sub-divided by two sharply pointed cinque-foiled arches, above which are spandrels pierced with trefoiled tracery. The arches are carried upon clusters of three shafts, with four-leafed flowers between them; the capitals of the main arches are moulded and those of the sub-arches are foliated. At the base of the triforium is a string course decorated with four-leafed flowers, and under it are six great shields carved in stone with the leopards of England, alternating with the cross and martlets of the Confessor, the three crowns of St. Oswyn, and a very beautiful shield of the lilies of France. The clearstorey has two lancet windows in each bay with rear arches of two moulded orders and two engaged shafts in each jamb. The five western bays on the S. and four western bays on the N. belong to the work begun by John de Cella in 1195, but not finished till after 1214. The arches of the main arcades are of four moulded orders, carried on piers with four engaged shafts at the cardinal points; the moulded capitals and bases are of four types which indicate the slow progress of the work from W. to E.; the W. responds are set with detached marble shafts, which were much simplified towards the completion of the work, and have capitals of the latest type. The triforium is a continuous arcade with two moulded arches in each bay, sub-divided by moulded arches with a pierced quatrefoil in the spandrel. These arches are carried on clusters of circular shafts with moulded capitals and bases; a line of dog-tooth ornament runs round the arches and down between the columns, and there is a string-course with the same enrichment at the base of the triforium. The clearstorey is similarly arranged with two lancet windows in each bay; externally they are set in a continuous arcade, the windows alternating with blank panels, and internally they have moulded arches with a single line of dog-tooth ornament and three shafts in each jamb. The flat faces of the piers between the windows, which originally were to have been hidden by the vaulting shafts were worked with shallow sinkings in the simplified design. In the upper storeys of the building are other traces of the abandoned vault. There are preparations for vaulting shafts, beginning at the string course below the triforium from shafted corbels over the piers and plain corbels over the points of the arches, in all the bays except the ninth from the E., which is entirely of the later work. The W. front was almost completely re-built by Lord Grimthorpe.

The North Aisle of the nave (15 ft. wide) corresponds with the N. arcade of the nave in date, but has been much altered. There is a 13th-century N. window, with modern tracery and shafted jambs, in each of the first nine bays. The N. wall of the remaining four bays replaces the arcade to the chapel of St. Andrew, destroyed about 1553, and contains modern windows. Two vaulting shafts remain N.E. of the tenth bay, but the vault was never carried further. In the fourth bay from the E. is a modern external doorway, and a modern wall crosses the aisle at this point. In the sixth bay is an 11th-century doorway, with a round head and plain rear vault, and in the ninth bay is another doorway, now blocked, which led into St. Andrew's Chapel. In the W. wall is a single doorway similar in style to that of the nave, and almost entirely modern; above it is a small two-light window and a corbelled vaulting shaft.

The South Aisle of the nave (16 ft. wide) corresponds in date to the different periods of the S. arcade of the nave, but the 11th-century bays have been much altered and were re-vaulted by Lord Grimthorpe. In the E. bay is a late 14th-century doorway which originally opened into the cloister; the outside is modern, and is covered by a modern porch, but the inside is untouched and is richly ornamented. The opening is of three orders, the inner being two-centred, the middle one multi-cusped, and the outer square-headed; it is flanked by buttresses and niches with cusped panelled backs, vaulted canopies and panelled half octagonal pedestals. In the spandrels are two carved and painted shields with the arms of Richard II., France ancient quartering England, and of the Abbey, azure a saltire or; the latter is said to be the earliest representation of these arms. The opening is vaulted in the thickness of the wall with moulded ribs and carved bosses. The first three windows are almost entirely modern, the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth bays have each an early 14th-century window of two lights, with shafted internal jambs, moulded rear arches and modern tracery. These bays have quadripartite ribbed stone vaulting, also of early 14th-century date, which springs, on the S., from clustered shafts with moulded capitals, rings and bases. In the seventh bay is a staircase in the thickness of the wall, now partly blocked and used as a safe, but originally leading to the Abbot's chapel. The outside of these bays retains the mutilated remains of the N. range of the early 14th-century cloister, partly covered by modern buttresses. (See Monastic Buildings.) In the ninth bay is a window of late 13th-century date with shafted jambs and modern or much restored tracery. The remaining bays, originally covered by the buildings of the Abbot's house and chapel, have had modern windows inserted in them, and are covered by modern vaulting on early 13th-century wall shafts. In the S. wall of the twelfth bay are traces of a doorway from the aisle to a vaulted passage below the Abbot's Lodging. In the S. wall of the W. bay is the blocked N. arch of the proposed, but unbuilt, S.W. tower. It is of three moulded orders having detached shafts with moulded capitals, rings and bases.

The three West Porches are mainly contained in the thickness of the W. wall. Little beyond the vaulting ribs and parts of the detail on the E. are old; they belong to the very early 13th-century W. front finished by William of Trumpington, and have elaborate wall arcading with detached shafts now almost entirely restored.

The Chapel of St. Andrew was almost completely destroyed c. 1553, and only the foundations and a few fragments of the walls remain.

The two West Towers were never completed; nothing now remains above ground of the tower on the S. except the blocked arch (see S. aisle), and only a few fragments remain of the tower on the N.

Roofs and Ceilings: Over the central span of the eastern arm is a wooden vault of late 13th-century date with moulded ribs and carved bosses; it is elaborately decorated with colour. (See Paintings.) Round the springers are set a series of late 17th-century painted shields which commemorate the repair of the roof in 1681–3. The following arms appear: Skeffington; Rowbottom quartering Grace; Gape; Monthermer, Earl of Hertford and Gloucester; Brisco; Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick; Edmonds; an unknown coat; Tetley; Anderson; Wittewronge; Ridware; Napier (?); Holles; Berkeley; Capell; Finch, Earl of Nottingham; Wentworth, Earl of Stafford; Butler, Duke of Ormonde; Prince of Wales; Grey, Earl of Kent; Russell, Earl of Bedford; Cavendish, Earl of Devonshire; North; William Sancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury; Cecil, Earl of Salisbury; Howland; Jennings; Pemberton; Farington; de Burgh (?), Earl of Kent; Lytton; Boteler; Blount; Cox; Hale; Chauncey; Garrard; Leman; Fawconbridge (?); Grimston; Jeffreys; Montagu, Earl of Sandwich; Hatton; Tufton, Earl of Thanet; Bruce, Earl of Elgin and Ailesbury; Compton; Monck, Duke of Albemarle; Egerton; Robartes, Earl of Radnor; Howard, Duke of Norfolk; a wrongly painted coat intended possibly for that of the first Duke of St. Albans. The tower is ceiled above the second stage with a mediæval flat painted, wooden ceiling (see Paintings). The modern ceilings of the transepts have 15th-century figures of angels at the feet of the principal rafters. The nave has a flat wooden panelled ceiling of late 15th-century date, with half-figures of angels, some of which hold shields, at the feet of the rafters. (See also Paintings.)


Altar Slab (see Monuments). Bells: eight; 3rd, 4th, 7th, and 8th, 1699. Bracket: on ninth pier of N. arcade of nave, moulded, small, 15th-century. Brasses: in Presbytery, slab, originally covered by large Flemish brass, 9 ft. 3 in. by 4 ft. 4 in. (now in the Wheathampstead Chapel), of Abbot Thomas de la Mare (1349–96), in richly ornamented Eucharistic vestments, diaper background of leaves and heraldic beasts; on each side and over the figure elaborate traceried niches, with figures of saints, prophets, angels, etc.; marginal inscription, date left blank; two small shields with a bend, three eagles displayed thereon: slab with indents only, assigned to Abbot Hugh de Eversdon (1308 to 1326), with mitre and crozier, cusped canopy and marginal inscription: slab with indents only, assigned to Abbot Richard Wallingford (1326 to 1335), with mitre and crozier, pedestal with small arcading, heavy cusped and crocketted canopy and marginal inscription, two small figures above canopy: slab only of Flemish brass of Abbot Michael Mentmore: slab with indents only of small figure and inscription: slab with indent only of half-figure (brass in Wheathampstead Chapel of monk wearing cowl): slab, with remains of brass and indents, of Abbot John Stoke (1440 to 1451), indent only of figure, scroll, small figure of the Virgin, two saints, shield, and inscription; brasses of large, incomplete triple canopy, shield with azure, a saltire or (St. Alban), part of a scroll and marginal inscription: slab with indents, of kneeling figure, large floriated cross, on which are two figures and a scroll, brass only of part of scroll; 15th-century: of Robert Beauver, c. 1455, in monastic habit, with cowl, inscription and scroll: of Sir Anthony Grey, 1480, in plate armour, with indent of inscription (shield with Grey quartering, a quarterly coat of Valence and Hastings, in Wheathampstead Chapel): slab with indents only of ecclesiastic, 15th-century, scroll and inscription: slab with indents only of tau cross, kneeling figures of man and woman, and marginal inscription, early 16th-century, much defaced: slab with indents only of priest and inscription plate, small: slab with indent of Henry Grimbald, priest, 1522, and inscription: slab with indent of Richard Stondon, priest, early 16th-century, and inscription: slab with indents only of Abbot John of Berkhamstede, 1302, fully vested, elaborate canopy, marginal fillets, and marginal inscription in old French in separate Lombardic characters: slab with indents only of knight in armour and of woman, assigned to Bartholomew Halley, 1468, and Florence, his wife, of two sons, two daughters, a shield, and inscription plate (imperfect brass of knight and brass of wife in Wheathampstead Chapel): slab with incomplete brass of an abbot, early 15th-century (lower part of figure, palimpsest, with lower part of figure of lady on the back, now in Wheathampstead Chapel), inscription, lower part of canopy, part of marginal inscription and a heart, indents of the rest of the figure, three hearts and the rest of the marginal inscription, and two shields: slab, with indents only, assigned to Abbot John de Maryns, 1308, figure fully vested, elaborate triple canopy, marginal inscription: slab with indents only of priest, early 16th-century, scroll and inscription plate: slab with indents only of floriated cross, kneeling figure of ecclesiastic, scroll and inscription plate: slab with indents only of civilian, early 16th-century, scroll, inscription plate and marginal inscription, with roundels at the corners: slab with indents of priest, late 15th-century, and inscription plate, brass of scroll with prayer: slab with indents only assigned to Robert Fairfax, doctor of music, 1521, and Agnes, his wife, two figures, inscription plate, two sons and two daughters: slab with indents of a man, his wife, six sons and seven daughters, c. 1500. In the Wheathampstead Chapel, original positions uncertain: of civilian, c. 1465: of civilian, c. 1470, head missing: to Maud Harryes, 1537, inscription: to Agnes Skelton, 1604, inscription (see also above and below). In N. Aisle of Presbytery: slab, indents only, probably of an ecclesiastic, scroll, inscription plate: brass of Thomas Fayrman, merchant of the Staple of Calais, 1411, and his wife Alice, imperfect inscription: slab with indents only of a priest, c. 1440 (brass in Wheathampstead Chapel), scroll and inscription plate: slab with indents only of man and wife, early 15th-century, inscription plate and shield, much worn: slab, with indents only of kneeling figure of monk, floriated cross and scroll, much worn: slab with indent only of figure with device over it, much worn: slab with indent only of monk, inscription plate, small: slab with indents only of a man, two wives, and children. In S. Aisle of Presbytery: slab with indents only, probably of a monk, inscription plate, small: slab, imperfect, with part of indent of floriated cross and two roses: slab with indents only of kneeling figure, in profile, and inscription plate: slab with brass of Ralph Rowlatt, merchant of the Staple of Calais, 1543, six daughters and imperfect marginal inscription, indents of wife, three sons and four shields: slab with indents of figure and inscription plate, small: three slabs with indents, one much worn, two in fragments. In N. Transept: slab with indents only of man, his wife and child, scroll, inscription plate, three shields, late 15th-century: slab with worn indents of William Stroder and his wife Margaret, 1517 (inscription plate in Wheathampstead Chapel): slab with indents only of monk, possibly William Stubbard, late 14th-century, inscription plate, elaborate canopy, scroll, Virgin and Child (?), marginal inscription with devices: slab with indent only of large half-figure of ecclesiastic. In S. Transept: slab with indents only of ecclesiastic and inscription plate: slab with indents of Thomas Rutland, sub-prior, 1521, and inscription plate (brasses of both in Wheathampstead Chapel), indent and remains of marginal inscription with roundels at the corners: slab with indents only of bust of ecclesiastic, possibly Prior Robert Norton, mid 14th-century, over floriated cross of unusual design, with canopy and marginal inscription: slab with indents only of kneeling figure, floriated cross, inscription plate and scrolls much worn: fragment of a slab with indents of bust, scroll and device, mid 15th-century, over grave of John Gyldford, custos of the nuns at Sopwell: slab with indents of monk, scroll and inscription plate. In N. Aisle of Nave: slab with indents, much defaced: slab with indents only of man, wife, four sons, three daughters, and inscription plate, mid-16th-century; slab with indents only of half-figure, probably a civilian, and inscription plate, mid16th-century, small: slab with indents only of figure and inscription plate, small. In S. Aisle of Nave: slab with indents only of floriated cross, inscription plate and part of indent of marginal inscription: slab, a fragment with indent. In W. end of Nave: slab with indents of man and his wife, inscription, two shields: slab with indents only of ecclesiastic, inscription plate and marginal inscription, large: slab with indent of inscription plate: slab with indents only of civilian and inscription plate, small: slab with indent only of civilian, 16th-century: slab with indent of inscription plate: slab with indents only of half-figure and inscription plate: slab with indents only of civilian, inscription and four roundels: slab with indents only of half-figure and inscription plate, much worn. Chairs: in sanctuary, four, and a settle, all with curved back, early 17th-century: two late 17th-century. Chest: in S. aisle of presbytery, plain, with painted scroll, three locks and money slot; on wall above it wooden figure of an old man begging, late 17th-century. Doors: in the late 14th-century doorway in E. bay of S. aisle of nave, elaborately traceried, late 14th-century: in N. aisle of presbytery, original doors, c. 1363, of gatehouse, in fragments, plain work, heavily framed: in doorway of Ramryge chantry chapel, with linen fold panels, cusped and foliated tracery, early 16th-century: in N. aisle of presbytery, old W. doors of nave, with small wickets flanked by cusped panels and with traceried head, 15th-century: in N. doorway of N. transept, with late 11th-century strap hinges: in doorways of feretory, late 15th-century. Images: under the canopies, on the tracery and in the jambs of the windows of the Lady chapel; N. side, first window from the E., an archbishop, figure holding crown, two kneeling figures, two kings, figure with palm, figure (?); second window, St. Edward the Confessor, two headless figures, figure with spear and book, St. Edmund, mitred figure; third window, six mitred figures, one in cope, the others in Eucharistic vestments, a monk; S. side, second window, two figures of Evangelists, three figures of prophets, St. Stephen, figure (?); third window, two figures of queens, two figures of female martyrs, the Virgin and St. Anne, female figure with sword, an abbess: in blocked doorways in E. wall of S. transept fragments of several images and one nearly complete, of man in armour, c. 1400, in gypon and bascinet, with padded chain mail avantail (known as Red Cross knight). Glass: in fourth window of N. aisle of nave, four shields, late 14th-century, probably from cloisters, with arms of Edward III., Edward Prince of Wales, Lionel Duke of Clarence, and John of Gaunt: in fifth window, a shield with or two bars gules, and in next window another with azure a saltire or and a border gules with eight golden mitres (the arms of Abbot William Heyworth), both shields of similar design with angel supporters: in a W. window of N. transept, fragments leaded into a square. Lockers: in the E. bay of the vestibule, on the N.: in the E. wall of the S. aisle of the vestibule: in the N. respond of the arch between the S. aisle of the presbytery and the S. transept. Monuments: on the S. side of the Feretory, the monument of Duke Humphrey of Gloucester, 1447, a triple arch, with a traceried soffit, springing from panelled responds set against the pillars of the arcade, surmounted by cornice ornamented with four shields of the Duke's arms, France and England quarterly in a border argent, ensigned with ducal caps and supported by chained antelopes, alternating with three smaller shields, with helms, crests and mantling; above the cornice are tall, pierced, traceried panels with crocketted heads, pinnacles, and niches, which, on the S. side, are filled with figures; the arms are repeated several times, and also the Duke's badge of daisies in a standing cup. On N. side of Presbytery: the chantry chapel of Abbot Ramryge, c. 1522, a small structure with delicate fan-vaulted roof, in two stages; lower panels of both stages are solid, with shields of arms, upper panels, transomed and traceried; string course between the stages, with shields of arms of various religious houses, and of Henry VIII., and an inscription; top stage designed with elaborate canopies and niches finished with crocketted heads; at the E. end inside are shields, with the arms of St. Alban, St. Oswin, and St. Amphibal, and niches for figures; some traces of a decorative pattern in colour remain internally; on the floor is an incised slab, with the figure of the abbot; the chapel is entered from the S.E. On S. side of Presbytery: the chantry chapel, known as that of Abbot John of Wheathampstead, 1464, with wide, four-centred arch to the presbytery, closed by contemporary iron grille of plain design, ornamented with small gilt shields; above the arch is a cornice, ornamented with a motto and wheat-ears, a band of quatrefoils with devices, and a course of cresting ornament; doorway on the S., where there is a plain panelled plinth, with open tracery and a cornice above it. In S. Aisle of Presbytery: on N. wall, a board with painted inscription to Raffe Maynard, 1613; Margery (Rowlatt) Maynard, his mother, 1547; and Margery (Seale), his second wife, 1619; with arms of Maynard, Rowlatt and Seale: small wall monument in architectural setting to Charles Maynard, 1665, and Mary, his wife, 1663: a rough altar tomb with a plain slab: altar tomb with slab of Frosterley marble marked with five consecration crosses, plain sides, with indents of three figures, inscription, and three shields. In N. Aisle of Presbytery: small mural monument with setting of drapery and cherubs' heads, to Robert Nicoll, 1689, and Mary (Gape), his wife, 1685, erected 1694, with arms of Nicoll impaling Gape: tablet to John Jones Wall, 1686. In S. Aisle of Nave: in S. wall, tomb recess ascribed to the hermits Roger and Sigar, with multi-cusped and moulded arch on shafted jambs, 13th-century; above it a painted inscription in 16th-century characters. Niches: in Lady chapel, in S. wall of E. bay over sedilia, a range of canopied niches, early 14th-century, now almost completely restored: in vestibule, flanking W. arch of Lady chapel, two tall niches with gabled foliated heads, early 14th-century, much restored: in S. respond of arch between S. aisle of presbytery and S. transept, low down, trefoiled, moulded, 13th-century: in S. respond of arch from S. transept to S. aisle of nave, rough. Paintings: In Lady chapel: traces of scrolls with inscriptions in S. window of W. jamb, late 15th-century: in Presbytery: on wooden vault of central span, decoration, on ribs, and circular medallions with symbols of St. John the Baptist, and St. John the Evangelist, late 15th-century: over arch at W. end, three shields with the arms of St. Alban, St. Oswin, and St. Amphibal, and an inscription, late 15th-century: on low wall E. of feretory, figure of St. William of York in archbishop's vestments, late 14th-century: fragment of another figure of an archbishop, early 15th-century: on S. wall fragment of a border. In N. Aisle of Presbytery: over arch at W. end, painting of King Offa, 15th-century; remains of colour decoration, masonry lines, etc., original. In S. Aisle of Presbytery: painted inscription, early 17th-century. In Central Tower: below ceiling, four shields with arms of Edward I., Edmund, Earl of Lancaster, Eleanor of Castile and Richard, Earl of Corn wall: on the ceiling, panels with red and white roses, and shields with the arms of England, St. George, St. Alban and St. Edward the Confessor, 16th-century: arches of tower decorated with coloured squares and masonry lines, original. In N. Transept: on E. wall, painting of the incredulity of St. Thomas, early 15th-century: splays of windows decorated with vine pattern, 15th-century. In S. Transept: on E. wall, figure of an angel with outstretched wings, 13th-century. In Nave: between clearstorey windows of quire, remains of three large figures on the N. and of two on the S.: on second pier of N. arcade, of the Holy Trinity, early 15th-century, defaced: on W. faces of 11th-century piers of N. arcade, a series of five paintings, two subjects in each, one over the other, upper one in each case a crucifixion, the lower, a scene from the life of the Virgin, all 13th-century: on S. faces of these piers, figure subjects, including one of St. Thomas and St. Christopher, mid 14th-century, all much defaced: on ninth pier of S. arcade, an outline in red of the Virgin and Child: on walls of quire, painted texts; on ceiling over monks' quire, painted panels, in rows, ornamented alternately with the sacred monogram and angels holding shields; in the middle a large painting of the coronation of the Virgin; the shields in the alternate panels, thirty-two in number, bear the following arms: St. Edmund, St. Alban, St. Oswin, St. George, St. Edward the Confessor, St. Louis of France, the Emperor, the King of Judea (Christ), the Emperor of Constantinople, Castile quartered with Leon, England quartered with France for the King of England, the King of Portugal, the King of Sweden, the King of Cyprus, the King of Man, the emblems of the Trinity or the shield of faith, the instruments of the Passion or the shield of salvation, the King of Aragon, the King of Jerusalem, the King of Denmark, the King of Bohemia, 'Lord Thomas,' the king's son, the King of Sicily, the King of France, the Duke of Lancaster, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of York, the King of Norway, the King of Navarre, the King of Scotland, mid 15th-century: on the shields held by half-figures of angels in the nave roof the following arms are painted: gules the letters I.W. gold between three white roses, gules the monogram of the Blessed Virgin under a crown, argent the Five Wounds, gules a cross argent, argent a cross gules, party gules and argent a crosslet counter coloured, azure a sacred monogram argent, azure a saltire or, for St. Alban, gules three crowns or, for St. Oswin, argent a fesse sable with a bird on the fesse dimidiating a cross engrailed gules. (See also Ramryge tomb under Monuments.) Panelling: in vestry in E. end of N. aisle of nave, early 17th-century, originally in presbytery. Piscinae: in S. wall of E. bay of S. aisle of vestibule, a triple recess with two drains, vaulted soffit and gabled head with carved tympanum, nearly all modern: in E. wall of feretory, of uncertain date. (See also Sedilia.) Plate: includes cups of 1560 and 1639, large paten of 1697, straining spoon of 1709, flagon of 1721, and two 16th-century cups presented in 1878. Reredos: in the middle of the second bay of the eastern arm, in the form of a great stone screen, built by William Wallingford at a cost of 1,100 marks and finished before 1484; three stages of large, richly decorated niches, original images replaced by modern figures; on each side of the altar are doorways to the feretory, over which are shields supported by angels with the arms of England quartering those of France and a cheveron between nine wheat-ears in groups of three: on the E. side the screen is panelled and has some niches containing modern statues; the whole structure is very much restored. Royal Arms: in N. aisle of presbytery, a painted achievement of the arms of Charles II. or James II. Screens: in S. aisle of presbytery, in S. wall of second bay, blocked stone screen, originally open to the S. chapel at this point, two ranges of pointed uncusped lights, with moulded mullions and embattled transoms; late 15th-century. In nave at E. side of fourth bay, rood screen, constructed of clunch; on E. side, panelled with simple cinque-foiled arcades; on W. side has a range of projecting canopies flanked by doorways, with brackets for two tiers of images under each canopy; over each doorway are plain niches, and beyond the doorways are more canopies; on the N. is a modern continuation across the N. aisle; there are two modern piscinae in the screen; it was probably constructed by Abbot de la Mare (1349–96). Sedilia: in the Lady chapel, under range of projecting canopies, three sedilia and a piscina ranging with them with two grooves for shelves; canopies nearly all modern, the rest of early 14th-century date, much restored. Stoups: at W. end of N. aisle of nave, canopied niche, late 14th-century, much restored, with modern holy-water basin: in S. aisle of presbytery, of clunch, 14th-century: in blocked doorway in E. wall of S. transept, loose with other fragments. Tiles: in N. transept, mediæval. Miscellanea: Chamber of Feretrar: in E. bay of N. arcade of feretory, a wooden structure of two stages, the upper projects, and contains the watching chamber; in the lower stage are cupboards with elaborate traceried doors; soffit of overhanging part is elaborately vaulted in wood, and the front of the watching chamber has, on the S., traceried panels in two ranges, the upper being pierced; on the N. are solid canopied panels; on the top is a plain cornice; the beam separating the two stages is carved with representations in relief of the martyrdom of St. Alban, the Seasons, etc.; at E. end a staircase to the upper stage, entered from feretory, with a pair of traceried doors; erected early in the 15th century. Coffins: in S. aisle of presbytery, three, of stone. Cupboards: in blocked W. doorway of S. transept, three wooden, baluster-fronted cupboards, used to contain bread of a bread charity, 16th and early 17th-century. Fragments: in low wall at E. end of feretory, of all dates from 12th century to 16th century, and some modern: in blocked doorways in E. wall of S. transept, of various dates, including carved bosses, mouldings, etc.: in lobby S. of S. transept, architectural details of all dates from 12th century to 16th century. Grate: set up against S. side of Duke Humphrey's tomb, of wrought iron, three ranges of panels, fourteen in each, alternately square and diamond lattice, with wrought studs at the intersections; possibly of 13th-century date, not in situ. Masons' Marks: many varieties in tower and western bays of nave. Rood Beam: in feretory, in glass case, a short length, moulded and carved, with running pattern and cresting, gilt and pointed. Shrines: in N. aisle of presbytery, the remains of pedestal of shrine of St. Amphibal, constructed of clunch, with a range of canopied niches on rectangular base, ornamented with a diaper inclosing the letters R. and W.; mid 14th-century, found in pieces and re-erected in 19th century. In feretory, the pedestal of the shrine of St. Alban, of Purbeck marble, fragments discovered in 1873 and re-erected; base, 8½ ft. by 2½ ft., by 3 ft. high, with quatrefoil panels; above base a range of niches, four on each side and one at each end, having acutely pointed crocketed canopies, with foliate designs and figure subjects (the martyrdom of St. Alban, etc.) in the tympana and spandrels, the whole crowned with cresting foliage; detached shafts placed round it, early 14th-century, in fragmentary condition.

Monastic Buildings.

The Monastic Buildings, except the Church and the Great Gatehouse, have almost completely disappeared, but the sites of many of them have been identified by excavation. The Cloister was on the S. side of the church and covered rather more than half the S. aisle of the nave, in the S. wall of which are the only remains of it above ground. They consist of parts of vaulting shafts, the springers of some of the vaults and wall panelling, all much weather-worn and partly obscured by modern buttresses. These remains date from the second quarter of the 14th century, but are curiously backward in style when compared with the work in the Lady chapel. On the W. of the cloister was a second court, on the N. side of which were the Abbot's Lodgings which covered the rest of the aisle. Beyond this, in a position S.W. of the church, was the outer court of the abbey.

(2). The Great Gatehouse, on the N. side of the former court, is an unusually fine example, and now forms part of the Grammar School.

It is a three-storeyed building of flint rubble with stone dressings, considerably repaired with brick, and has an embattled parapet, behind which is a tiled roof. It was built by Thomas de la Mare, probably in 1363. In the middle is a large vaulted passage two storeys in height. On each side of this are two vaulted chambers entered by doorways in the S. archway. One of the chambers on the W. has vaulting made up of re-used 13th-century vaulting-ribs. On the first floor there are three rooms on each side of the archway. Above this on the second floor are two large rooms with a third smaller room over the archway. The N. or outer elevation has two moulded arches of unequal size, one for foot, and the other for horse traffic. The S. elevation has one large arch of two moulded orders which is flanked by the projecting staircase turrets. The windows, some of two lights, other single lights, have cinque-foiled heads under square-headed labels: they are mainly original, but have been considerably restored. Over a fireplace on the second floor are the arms of Charles I. The ceilings of the second floor rooms are carried upon heavy joists on carved stone corbels. The Waxhouse Gate in the High Street still exists in the form of a plastered arch of uncertain date; this gave access from the town to the lay cemetery and the door of the N. transept. There are also some remains of the walls of the Sacristy N. of the N. transept, but though much of the foundations exists, only small fragments of the walls remain above ground.

Condition—Of the main structure of the Abbey, good; of the cloisters, bad; of the Gatehouse, good; of the Waxhouse Gate, poor.


George Street

(3). House, at the E. end of the street, now converted into shops on the ground floor, was built in the 15th century, and is an interesting example of a town-house of this date.

The walls are covered with rough-cast between the studs, with the overhanging upper storey supported on a heavy moulded beam; the back of the building is weather-boarded. The plan is rectangular. On the street front is a window of two pointed lights, with a wood frame, and there are traces of four similar windows. The interior is practically modern.

Condition—Fairly good in the front; poor at the back.

Market Place

(4). The Clock Tower, facing the High Street, is a square, four-storeyed building of flint rubble, with stone dressings. It has an embattled parapet and a newel staircase in the thickness of the wall at the N.W. angle, finished above the parapet with a small modern stone spire. It was built between 1403 and 1412, and drastically restored in 1866.

The tower is remarkable as being one of the few mediæval belfries remaining in England, and is the only example in Hertfordshire.

In the ground stage there are open moulded arches on the S. and E., and in the N.W. angle a small pointed doorway opens into the newel staircase above mentioned; a similar doorway in the N.E. corner opens into a second staircase, which finishes at the first floor. Both the first and second floors have fireplaces, with plain four-centred Leads, in the W. wall, and are lighted by windows in the S. and E. walls, with moulded cinque-foiled heads and square labels. The third storey has a similar window in the N. wall; all are much restored, and the windows of the bell-chamber are modern. The floors are original, but considerably repaired. There are two bells: 1st by Robert and William Burford, early 15th-century.

Condition—Fairly good, much repaired; a bad crack is visible in the W. wall, and another in the diagonal wall of the N.W. staircase.

(5). House, No. 30, now a shop, is of late 17th-century date, built of plastered timber and brick. The street front above the shop window retains some of the original plaster work. The interior is modern.

Condition—Fairly good.

(6). The Old Market House and an adjoining building, both of early 17th-century date, are constructed of plastered timber; the roofs are tiled. The houses are of three storeys, the upper storeys projecting one over the other; the cellar or basement is of brick, and has an arched entrance. On the first floor of both houses there is a latticed bay window. The interiors are practically modern.

Condition—Fairly good.

(7). House, now a shop, dated 1637, is of three storeys, and built of plastered timber. The roofs are tiled. On the street front, which is gabled, and has bay windows irregularly designed, the upper storeys project. Under the overhanging second floor at the N.E. angle, is a carved bracket, on which is the date 1637. This is repeated on a modern rain-water head.

Condition—Fairly good; interior completely altered.

(8). House, No. 17, now a shop, is a 17th-century building of two storeys. Above the shop window the street elevation retains the original plaster, which is divided into panels and medallions by moulded ribs worked in plaster. The roof is tiled.


(9). The Boot Inn is a small two-storeyed building of early 17th-century date. The street front is plastered, and has two gables. The interior is modern.

Condition—Fairly good.

High Street

(10). House, No. 13, is a 17th-century plastered building, now used as a shop. Externally, above the shop window the walls are plastered and have rusticated plaster quoins. Over the window facing the so-called 'Cloisters', formerly Schoolhouse Lane, a set of early 17th-century grotesque carved brackets have been incorporated with modern work. These are said to have been removed recently from the shop front in the High Street.

The whole of the interior is modern.

Condition—Good; much altered.

(11). House, No. 17, now a shop, is a plastered timber building of three storeys, with the third storey projecting. The roof is tiled. In a gable on the street front is an oval medallion, which bears the date 1665. The structure is largely original, though little of the old detail remains, except, the front, above the shop window, which is divided into small panels by bands of raised plaster with a running pattern in low relief. The windows are almost entirely modern.

Condition—Fairly good.

(12). Houses, two, adjoining No. 17, probably of the 17th century, are similar buildings which have been completely re-plastered, and otherwise renewed and altered.

Condition—Good; much repaired.

French Row

(13–15). The street consists of a number of attached buildings, of which some are probably mediæval, but all have been much altered in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. At the N. end are several 16th and 17th-century houses. At the S. end, the 'Christopher Inn', now converted into shops, is probably mediæval in front, though no detail remains by which an exact date can be assigned to it. It is a plastered timber building of two storeys and attics; the roof is tiled. At the S. end of the street front is an archway opening to the yard at the back; the upper storey projects above it, and is gabled; and there is a corresponding gable at the N. end. Behind the house a range of buildings was added probably early in the 17th century, a post at the back of the archway, with a carved grotesque bracket under the overhanging upper storey, being apparently of that date. The 'Fleur-de-Lis', still used as an inn, is of plastered timber, and the roofs are tiled. It is only a small part of the original house, which was built at least as early as the first half of the 14th century; a traceried wooden window of that date was discovered early in the 20th century during some alterations, in which part of the old building was destroyed; this window is now in the Hertfordshire County Museum. The original plan appears to have been arranged about a courtyard, in which buildings of later date have been constructed. In the N. range is a small 17th-century open staircase and landing, possibly the remains of an open gallery. On the street front the upper storey projects, and is flanked by two overhanging gables with plain curved brackets.

Condition—Of 'The Christopher Inn', poor; of 'The Fleur-de-Lis', good, but much re-built; of the other houses, fairly good.

College Street

(16). The Collegium Insanorum is an early 17th-century building of plastered timber; the roofs are tiled. The plan is of the H type. In the 18th century the wings facing the street were reduced in projection, re-fronted with brick, and many of the windows were altered. The building appears to have been cut up into several tenements.

Condition—Fairly good; much altered.

Fishpool Street

(17). Godmersham House, of late 17th-century date, is built of plastered brick and timber; the roof is tiled. The street front is divided into large panels by bands of running design in moulded plaster. The interior was much altered in the 18th and 19th centuries.


(18). House, No. 13, is of the same date and style as Godmersham House, but the back is weather-boarded.

Condition—Of front, good; of back, poor.

(19). The Raven Inn, retains traces of 16th-century work, but was re-fronted and largely re-built in the 18th century. The front doorway has a four-centred arched head of the 16th century, re-set.

Condition—Good; much altered.

(20). The Old Queen's Inn, is mainly of early 17th-century date, but is built on mediæval foundations. The plan is L-shaped; the pargetted street front and the interior have been much altered; the gabled overhanging wing at the back stands on a cellar, of which the walls are built of flint rubble; in them there are fragments of mediæval stone carvings, and the remains of a 15th-century window of two lights. The room over it has early 17th-century panelling and an enriched ceiling of the same date.


Holywell Hill

(21). Holywell Brewery, is an early 17th-century building of plastered timber, re-fronted with brick in the 18th century; the roofs are tiled. The only old detail now visible is one of the heavy posts which supported the original front, with part of a grotesque carved bracket which carried the overhanging upper storey. The back of the building is structurally of the 17th century, but it is much patched, repaired and enlarged.

Condition—Fairly good.

(22). No. 54, is a small town-house of early 17th-century date, built of red brick. A lobby entered from the front door has, on the right, the dining room, lined with late 17th-century panelling, and, at the end, the staircase of somewhat earlier date, with plain turned balusters. From the staircase a much repaired part of the house at the back is entered. Above the lobby and dining room is the drawing room, with an original plaster ceiling, decorated in low relief with mouldings in geometrical patterns and medallions of classical heads.

Condition—Good; much altered.

(23). The Old Saracen's Head and The White Hart Inns, are early 17th-century buildings of plastered timber, with overhanging cornices, much altered in the 18th and 19th centuries. In the White Hart there is some early 17th-century panelling.

Condition—Fairly good.

(24). The City Lodging House is of the 17th century. It is a small rectangular building of timber and plaster, with an overhanging upper storey and exposed constructional timbers; the roof is tiled.

Condition—Fairly good.

Abbey Mill Lane

(25). The Fighting Cocks Inn, is a small octagonal building of timber and plaster on stone foundations; the roof is tiled. It stands probably on the site of one of the outlying conventual buildings of the Abbey, and the basement, which is of masonry, may well be mediæval. The upper part appears to be of the 16th century.

Condition—Fairly good.