Pages 92-93

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. xii. N.E.)


(1). Parish Church of St. Mary, ¼ mile E. of the village, is built of flint rubble, with stone dressings; the chancel is roofed with tiles and the nave with lead. The Nave is the earliest part, and is probably of the 12th century. The Chancel was enlarged or re-built in the 13th century. The West Tower is of c. 1480, and the South Porch probably of the 18th century. In 1887 the church was thoroughly restored and the North Aisle and Vestry were built.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (31 ft. by 16 ft.) has an E. window of c. 1500, inserted in place of 13th-century windows, of which the inner jambs and part of the arch, enriched with edge-roll moulding, remain on each side. In the N. wall are two windows, probably of the 13th century, and between them is a modern window; the doorway is of the 12th century, removed from the N. wall of the nave when the aisle was built. In the S. wall there is a single-light window of the 13th century; a blocked doorway and window above it are also probably of that date, and the westernmost window is of c. 1500. The chancel arch, of late 15th-century date, is of two orders, the inner supported on half-octagonal pilasters, with moulded capitals. The Nave (30 ft. by 19 ft.) has, in the S. wall, a window of c. 1330, with a two-centred head, and a window of the 15th century. The North Aisle is modern, but in the N. wall is a 14th-century window, re-set. The West Tower (11 ft. by 10 ft.) is of two stages, with embattled parapet. The tower arch and the W. doorway are of late 15th-century date; the masonry of the W. window is modern, and the bell-chamber windows, of two lights, are repaired with cement. The low-pitched Roof of the nave is of the 15th century, but most of the carving is modern.

Fittings—Bells: six; 3rd 1605, 5th 1589. Floor Slab: in nave, with illegible, incised marginal inscription, and indents of brass shields and inscription plate. Niches: in nave, at E. end of N. wall, high, with moulded edges, 15th-century. Piscinae: in the chancel, richly moulded, double, with intersecting arch in moulded framework, 13th-century: in nave, at E. end of S. wall, 14th-century, with 12th-century pillar bowl. Rood Screen: traceried oak, 15th-century. Pulpit: modern, but incorporates some early 14th-century wood tracery.


(2). Church of St. Etheldreda, Chesfield, ruins, on rising ground about a mile E. of Graveley village; the walls are of roughly plastered flint, with clunch dressings; no roofs remain. The side walls are about 14 ft. high, and the W. walls are gabled. The Nave and Chancel, with South-East Chapel, are of c. 1360.

Architectural Description—The Chancel and Nave form one rectangular building (50 ft. by 18½ ft.), but the E. end of the S. wall no longer exists, and of the E. wall only the foundations remain. At the W. end of the N. wall is a doorway with chamfered jambs, a two-centred head, and part of a scroll-moulded label, the rear arch is missing; E. of the doorway is a window opening, of which only the sill and part of one jamb remain; near the E. end is a large break in the wall, probably the site of another window. The S. wall also has a doorway and part of a window. In the W. wall is a traceried two-light window of the 14th century, but the mullion and most of the tracery have disappeared. Of the Chapel (21 ft. by 13 ft.) only the W. wall and part of the S. wall remain; in the W. wall is a doorway of the same detail as those in the nave; in the S. wall is a single cinque-foiled light, of the 14th century, much defaced.

Fittings—Near the E. end, a hole in the ground contains a stone coffin.

Condition—Very bad. The walls are loaded with ivy, the buttresses are defaced, such clunch dressings as remain have initials, etc., scratched on them. The floor is overgrown with grass and nettles.


(3). Chesfield Manor House, now a farmhouse, near the ruins of the old church, is a red brick building of two storeys and an attic, of early 17th-century date, altered in the 19th century; the roof is tiled. The plan is L-shaped; the main block, facing S., originally contained the hall, which is now divided into two rooms. On the N. side is a small staircase wing. The kitchen wing stands out from the N.W. angle of the main block, and is connected with it at one corner only. Part of the upper storey of this wing is timber-framed and covered with basket-work pargetting; the only original window is in the W. wall, and has five small lights with moulded wood jambs, mullions and heads, glazed with diamond-shaped panes. On the N. side of the old hall is a large chimney stack, carried above the roof with a heavy mass of brickwork, moulded at the top and finished with three square shafts set diagonally; in the kitchen wing is a stack with plain square shafts. Inside the house are some oak floors and plain ceiling beams, and in one room is some 17th-century panelling made up with new stained deal. The staircase from the ground floor to the attics is of the 17th century, and has square newels with moulded terminals, moulded handrail and turned balusters, probably of oak, now grained and varnished.

The original brick boundary walls and gate pillars remain on the S. of the house.

Condition—Fairly good.

(4). Graveley Hall, W. of the parish church, is a 17th-century house of two storeys; all the walls are faced with modern brick; the roofs are tiled. The three chimney stacks are of original brickwork; the largest rests on a massive base, with quoins of clunch and brick.


(5). Graveley Bury, a farmhouse 200 yds. S. of the parish church, has pargetted walls, and was built apparently in the 17th century, but has been much restored; the roofs are tiled. The plan is H-shaped, and at the back is a large chimney stack. Inside the house are some old ceiling beams.