An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Hertfordshire. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1910.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by English Heritage. All rights reserved.
(O.S. 6 in. vii. S.E.)
(1). Parish Church of All Saints, stands on the S. side of the village, about 2½ miles E. of Hitchin. The walls are of flint (see below). The Chancel and Nave were built in the first half of the 12th century. The West Tower was added c. 1430; the E. diagonal buttresses are built against the W. quoins of the nave, showing that the tower must have been completed before the W. wall was removed and the nave lengthened by three or four feet. The windows and doorways are of the 14th and 15th centuries and modern. The South Porch is possibly of the 15th century. The Chancel was remodelled and probably lengthened early in the 19th century.
Architectural Description—The Chancel (26½ ft. by 13½ ft.) has a 15th-century E. window of three lights, re-used; in the S. wall is a doorway, with a 12th-century rear arch and modern external stonework, and a late 14th-century window of two lights under a square head. The chancel arch, of two moulded orders with shafted jambs, is of c. 1430. The Nave (38 ft. by 18½ ft.) has, in the N. wall, a 15th-century window of two lights with tracery, and a modern window, which cuts into the pointed head of the blocked N. doorway. In the S. wall is a 15th-century window of three lights with tracery; the S. doorway is of late 14th-century character, but is restored with cement. The West Tower (11½ ft. square) is of two stages with diagonal buttresses, a N.E. stair-turret, and an embattled parapet. The tower arch resembles the chancel arch in detail, and is also of c. 1430; the W. doorway has a pointed arch under a square head with shields in the spandrels; one shield has the Instruments of the Passion, the other is charged with a bend in an engrailed border; the oak lintel is possibly old; over it there is a three-light window. The bell-chamber has windows of two lights with tracery. The South Porch is of mediæval, possibly 15th-century date; it has a pointed segmental entrance archway of two orders. The Walls of the nave and chancel are of 12th-century uncut small flints in wide-jointed courses, some of herring-bone pattern; mixed with the flint are some large pieces of free stone; one of them, on the N. side, is part of a 12th-century moulding re-used in the 15th century when the walls were raised; the tower is also of small stones, with much cement facing. The Roofs are modern.
Fittings—Bells: three; 2nd and 3rd of 1662. Brass: on N. wall of chancel, of Richard Goldon, 1446, figure of a priest in Eucharistic vestments; inscription incomplete. Glass: in the E. window, panels, heraldic, 17th-century. Monuments and Floor Slabs: in the chancel, on N. wall, of Edward Lacon, 1625, and Joan his wife, 1624, kneeling figures, the man in armour; three children, arms and inscription: on S. wall of chancel, large white marble monument with busts of Thomas Wilson, 1656, and Lucia his wife, inscription and arms: in circular-headed niche, of John Chapman, vicar of the parish, 1624, and Anne his wife, 1633, small kneeling figures, and inscription: tablet to Matthew Thorley, 1634: on floor of chancel, slabs to Richard Way, vicar of the parish, 1673; and to Alice his wife, 1662. Recess: in S. wall of chancel, outside, probably 14th-century, repaired with cement. Screens: across the chancel arch, remains of rood screen, 15th-century, partly restored with plaster: on S. side of chancel, pieces of a screen, restored with plaster. Stalls: in the chancel; the standards have carved heads, one of an elephant, late 15th-century; one with representation of the head of St. John the Baptist in a dish.
Condition—Good, except the upper part of the tower which needs repair.
(2). Puncharden Hall, on the N. side of the main road, N. of the church, is a two-storeyed house with cellars and small garrets, built in the 17th century, of timber and plaster; in the 18th century the S. front was re-faced with brick. The roof is tiled. The plan is L-shaped, with the main block facing S.; the short wing, with a modern addition, is at the W. end, and projects to the N. The central chimney stack is of brick, and has four detached octagonal shafts with moulded bases and caps. Interior: Some of the original timbers remain in the floors; one beam in a garret is partly in its natural state, with the bark still attached to it. A large original brick fireplace remains in a room on the ground floor, and contains an 18th-century iron grate, on which are the arms of the Merchant Taylors' Company.
(3). The Old Vicarage, stands on the S. side of the main road, N. of the church. It is a small, two-storeyed house of timber and plaster, built probably in the 16th century; the roof is thatched and hipped at the ends. The plan is rectangular, with a central chimney stack. Part of the upper storey projects at the back. The arrangement of the interior is modern, but one old fireplace remains; it is of stone, with a Tudor arch.