Pages 75-76

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

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In this section


(O.S. 6 in. viii. N.W.)


(1). Parish Church, dedication unknown, stands on rising ground about two miles N.E. of Baldock. It is completely covered with plaster inside and cement outside; the dressings are of stone; the roofs are tiled. The Nave was built in the 12th century, the Chancel re-built late in the 14th century, and in the 15th century all the windows were altered, a staircase to the rood-loft was built, and a small Turret added at the W. end to give access to the bells. The South Porch is of the 18th century.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (25½ ft. by 14½ ft.) has an E. window of three cinque-foiled lights with tracery and a transom: the N. wall has a small 14th-century doorway in it, and two windows with cinque-foiled lights and square heads, one of two lights, the other a single light set low in the wall; in the S. wall is a similar window of two lights, and a window of three cinque-foiled lights with a four-centred head. The 14th-century chancel arch is of two moulded orders with shafted jambs. The Nave (31 ft. by 21½ ft.) has three windows, N., S., and W., each of two cinque-foiled lights with square heads. The N. doorway is blocked and covered with cement; the 12th-century S. doorway has been re-built; it has a slightly pointed head with roll-moulding, shafted jambs and scalloped capitals, all much restored. The N.E. angle of the nave is cut off by the wall of the newel staircase to the rood-loft, of which the steps and doorways remain. The Turret, with newel stairs to the bell-cot, is half-octagonal.

Fittings—Communion Table and Rails: plain, early 17th-century. Font: octagonal, basin carved with the heraldry of the Passion, the stem with angels, 15th-century. Glass: in the nave windows, fragments, 15th-century. Monuments: in N. wall of chancel, tomb niche with moulded drop-arched head, 14th-century. Piscina: in chancel, with moulded, pointed head, 14th-century. Pulpit: modern, incorporates a few traceried heads from a 15th-century screen. Rood Screen, still in situ, with traceried panels, closed below and open above, and a carved and moulded cornice; 15th-century; the loft and canopy are missing. Royal Arms: on cornice of rood screen, a small carved achievement, late 17th-century. Seating: some poppy-head bench ends, 15th-century. Miscellanea: fixed to the pulpit, a wrought iron hour glass stand, 17th-century: in the churchyard, ancient stone coffin.

Condition—Fairly good, though the window tracery has been considerably repaired with cement, and the ivy growing outside is likely to do much damage in the future.


(2). Bygrave House (Manorial works). These earthworks stand on the saddle of a detached pair of hills situated N. of the main escarpment of the Chiltern Hills, on the 300 ft. contour and S. of the parish church.

They cover about 17 acres and consist of a series of inner and surrounding enclosures, defended by ditches without ramparts. The innermost enclosure covers about ¾ of an acro and is defended by a wet ditch forming three sides of a square, the N. side having been filled in. Beyond this are the remains of an irregular five-sided moat, wet at the N.W. and N.E. corners, and with parts of the N. and W. sides missing: it encloses about 3¾ acres with a ditch from 3 to 7 ft. deep and 20 ft. wide, and is nearly traversed by a low bank 3 ft. high. Beyond again, on the W. side, is a triangular outwork with a ditch, of which only the S. side remains, 7 ft. deep and 20 ft. wide; and on the E. side are traces of a large outwork extending as far as a valley running N. and crossed by the track of a road 200 ft. from the E. boundary and parallel with it.

Dimensions—Greatest length, S. side, about 1,170 ft.; N. side, about 1,000 ft.

Condition—Fairly good; the N.W. angle and much of the N. side have been altered by the construction of a modern house and garden.