BHO

Welwyn

Pages 235-236

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

141. WELWYN

(O.S. 6 in. xxviii. N.E.)

Roman

(1). Dwelling House: A flint wall was found in 1906 at the N.E. corner of the Rectory, between the house and the tennis-lawn; bricks roofing tiles, coins, etc., were also discovered.

Ecclesiastical

(2). Parish Church of St. Mary, stands on low ground N. of the village. It is built partly of flint rubble and partly of modern brick, with stone dressings. No detail remains of an earlier date than the second half of the 13th century, when the Chancel was re-built to the present size, but the plan of the Nave is probably earlier; the South Aisle is of the same date as the chancel, but the S. wall has been much re-built, probably in the 15th century, when the South Porch was added. It is recorded in the Session Rolls of the county that in 1663 heavy storms did much damage to the fabric, the tower, standing on the N. side of the church, fell to the ground, leaving that side of the church and the vestry open, and the whole building had to be strengthened by iron tie-rods. The cost of rebuilding was estimated at about £2,000. In the 19th century, the North Aisle, North Organ Chamber, South Chapel, and South-West Tower were built.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (37½ ft. by 17 ft.) is almost entirely modern in detail, the only old work being a late 13th-century lancet window, now blocked, in the N. wall, and the chancel arch, of the same date, of two chamfered orders, with half-octagonal responds, moulded capitals, etc. The arches opening into the Organ Chamber and South Chapel are modern. The Nave (49½ ft. by 19 ft.) has a S. arcade of late 13th-century date, much restored; it is of four bays, with arches of two chamfered orders, octagonal columns, plain moulded bell capitals, and modern bases; the N. arcade is a modern copy. The North Aisle is modern. The South Aisle (8 ft. wide) has been much altered, and the windows and doorway are modern. The S. wall is externally very irregular. The South-West Tower is modern. The South Porch has a plain entrance archway of two chamfered orders and of late 15th-century date. The Roofs of the nave and S. aisle are possibly of the 15th century, and of the plainest detail.

Fittings—Brackets: for images, in the S. aisle, two, with grotesque corbels, late 13th-century. Piscinae: in the chancel, double, 13th-century, much restored; in S. aisle, restored. Plate: includes a cup of 1666 and a paten of 1678. Screen: in the arch opening into the organ chamber, oak, in three bays, with central openings, elaborate pierced tracery, and ogee heads having crocketted finials.

Condition—Good; much restored and re-built.

Secular

(3). The Poor House, now the police station, stands S.E. of the church. It is a small two-storeyed building of early 17th-century date, but the N. and E. elevations have been much altered and are practically modern. The S. and W. walls are of timber and plaster, and the upper storey projects on the W. side. Under the projection a large fire-hook is preserved. The interior is modern.

Condition—Good, much restored.