Pages 91-92

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. xxx. S.E.)


(1). Parish Church of St. Mary, stands in an isolated position about ¼ mile N. of Gilston Park and about 2 miles W. of the London and Bishop's Stortford road. It is built chiefly of flint with stone dressings, but the tower is of brick, and the chancel walls are coated with cement; the roofs are tiled. There appears to have been a former aisleless church, of which one doorway, of early 13th-century date, remains, but it was probably entirely re-built and enlarged in the second half of the 13th century; the tower seems to have been re-constructed late in the 16th century. Since 1850 the building has been thoroughly restored, the S. aisle re-built and the vestry added.

The remains of the chancel screen, of late 13th-century date, are of especial interest as an unusually early example of woodwork.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (25 ft. by 12½ ft.) has a modern E. window of four lights: the lancet window in the N. wall, and two in the S. wall, are of the 13th century, repaired; one is of slightly later date than the others. The Nave (46 ft. by 12½ ft.) has N. and S. arcades of four bays, which have clustered piers with moulded bases and capitals, and hollow chamfered arches with labels. The North Aisle (6 ft. wide) has a modern E. window, and, in the N. wall, a two-light window of late 13th-century date, with two other windows copied from it or restored in the 19th century: the blocked N. doorway, with shafted jambs and moulded arch, is a fine example of early 13th-century work; the W. window appears to be contemporary with the rebuilding of the tower. The South Aisle (6 ft. wide) is modern. The West Tower (12 ft. by 11 ft.) is of two stages with a projecting stair-turret on the S., a modern embattled parapet and octagonal leaded spire; the pointed tower arch is of late 16th-century date; it is doubly chamfered, and has in each wide jamb a single detached shaft with roughly cut capital; the W. doorway, of late 13th-century date, has shafted jambs, and a moulded arch of four orders; the window over it has old double-chamfered jambs and a modern head; the bell-chamber windows are of late 14th-century character, repaired with cement.

Fittings—Bells: two; 1st, 1628; 2nd, 1663. Font: bowl with panelled sides, late 12th-century; stem and base, late 14th-century. Glass: in the W. window, 15th-century shield with arms of Sir William Estfeld, Sheriff of London in 1429; sable, a cheveron ermine between three maidens' heads couped at the shoulders argent with hair dishevelled, or. Monuments: mural, in the chancel, to Sir John Gore, 1659; Bridget Gore (his daughter), 1657: on the floor, to his daughters, Bridget, 1657; Dorothy, 1663, and another, 1670: in the N. aisle, coffin lid with floriated cross in low relief, late 13th-century. Plate: includes silver cup and cover paten of 1562, flagon of 1697, undated paten, probably 17th-century. Piscina and Credence combined: in chancel, two pointed arches with a central shaft of Purbeck marble, enclosed under a pointed panelled head, with a rosette sinking in the spandrel, late 13th-century. Screen: between chancel and nave, oak, late 13th-century, remains incorporated in modern screen; the posts, of which two are original, are one inch in diameter, with moulded bases, bands, and capitals, and support trefoiled, pointed heads with roses cut in the spandrels. Seating: in the nave, some plain oak standards, 17th-century.

Condition—Good; much of the stonework is modern.


(2). The Plume of Feathers Inn, Pye Corner, about ¾ mile S.S.W. of the church, is a small, 17th-century, rectangular building of two storeys, with plastered timber-framed walls on brick foundations; it has a central porch and a massive chimney stack, with diagonal shafts; the roof is tiled. Inside the house are a few old beams.