AN INVENTORY OF THE ANCIENT AND HISTORICAL MONUMENTS
IN THE COUNTY OF HERTFORD
ACCREDITED TO A DATE ANTERIOR TO 1700, arranged by Parishes.
1. ABBOTS LANGLEY.
(O.S. 6 in. (a)xxxix. N.W. (b)xxxix. S.W.)
(fn. 1) a(1). Dwelling House, about 200 yards
N.W. of King's Langley railway station, was
found about 1825.
Condition—No remains above ground.
a (2). Parish Church of St. Lawrence,
stands on high ground a little N. of the village.
It is built of flint rubble with Totternhoe stone
dressings, and is roofed with tiles. The earliest
part is the Nave, with its late 12th-century
arcades. The West Tower was added c. 1200,
the South Chapel early in the 14th century,
and the Chancel was re-built c. 1400. In the
15th century the upper part of the tower, and
possibly the outer walls of the Aisles, were
re-built. In the 16th century the chancel arch
was destroyed, and a skew arch was built at the
E. end of the S. arcade of the nave to give
better access to the chapel. The South Porch
was added, or re-built, in the 18th century, and
the present chancel arch was built probably
about the same time.
The 12th-century arcades of the nave are
especially interesting on account of their early
date, and the windows of the S. chapel are fine
examples of 14th-century work.
Architectural Description—The Chancel
(39½ ft. by 14½ ft. (fn. 2) ) has an E. window of three
lights. In the N. wall are three windows of
two lights each, with simple 15th-century
tracery, restored, and a plain N. doorway.
On the S. side a 14th-century arcade opens
into the chapel; it is of two bays, with pointed
arches, octagonal shafts and moulded capitals
and bases. The earlier chancel arch has been
replaced by a much flattened arch, probably of
the 18th century. The South Chapel (40 ft. by
22 ft.) has an E. window of three lights with
tracery, and, in the S. wall, plainer two-light
windows; all of the 14th century. The Nave
(43 ft. by 19 ft.) has N. and S. arcades of two
bays, with circular columns and square, scalloped and foliated capitals; E. of the S. arcade
a 16th-century archway leads to the chapel.
The clearstorey has two windows of two lights
each on the N., and three on the S., all of the
15th century. The North Aisle (9½ ft. wide) has
a plain doorway and two square-headed windows
of two lights in the N. wall, and a similar
window restored, in the E. wall. The South
Aisle (9½ ft. wide) has five windows like those
in the N. aisle, and a 15th-century S. doorway.
The Tower (16 ft. by 15 ft.) is of two stages,
with 15th-century diagonal buttresses and an
enbattled parapet. The 13th century tower
arch is of two moulded orders with a chamfered
label, and has half-round responds with square
bases and foliated capitals, and in the N. and S.
walls of the ground stage are 13th-century
lancets. The W. window and doorway are of
the 15th century. The Roofs of the nave and
aisles are also of the 15th century; those of the
chancel and chapel are modern.
Fittings—Brasses and Indents: in S. chapel,
indent of Rauffe Horwode, 1498, and brasses of
his two wives and six childern: indent of a man
in armour: in the nave, brass of Thomas
Cogdell, 1607, and his two wives. Font: with
octagonal panelled bowl and stem, bearing
traces of paint and gilding, 15th century.
Glass: in a N. window of the clearstorey,
frament representing the half-figure of St.
Lawrence. Monument: on S. wall of chapel,
to Anne Combe, 1640, of marble, with effigy.
Paintings: on E. wall of chapel, remains of
figures of two Bishops, and on S. wall a series
of panels, defaced, 14th-century: near N.
doorway in chancel, fragment of a painted
figure: in N. aisle, table of Commandments,
dated 1627. Piscina: in S. wall of chancel,
with 14th-century head, otherwise modern.
Condition—Fairly good; the stonework of the
windows is decaying in places, and the plaster
is scaling off the chapel buttresses.
a (3). Homestead Moat, in the garden of the
Manor House, large fragment.
a (4). Cottages: one almost opposite the
parish church, of timber and plaster, was built
in the 17th-century; two at Kitters Green,
about ¼ mile S.W. of the church, are of brick
and timber, and may be of the 17th century,
with later additions.
a (5). Brakespears, a farmhouse in the
hamlet of Bedmond, about ¾ mile N. of the
church, appears to be partly of 17th-century
brick and timber construction, with contemporary internal partitions, but much of it
has been re-built.
b (6). The Lawn, a house, now two cottages,
in the hamlet of Hunton Bridge, about 1¼ miles
S.W. of the parish church, is said to have been
a hunting lodge of Charles I., and was probably
built c. 1642, a date which appears over one of
the fireplaces. It is a rectangular building of
two storeys and an attic, facing N. It was
lengthened towards the E. in the 19th century,
and all the walls are faced with modern brick;
the roof is tiled. The central chimney stack
and another at the back are built of thin, 17th-century bricks. The parlour of the easternmost cottage contains a wide fireplace, now
filled in; over it is an elaborate decoration in
plaster, consisting of the Royal arms, with the
initials C.R. above and the date 1642 below
them, and on each side a large fleur-de-lis; the
design was originally enclosed by a band of
ornament, but only part of it remains. The
ceiling, a fine example of plaster work, is
divided by two large moulded beams and sub-divided into smaller panels each containing the
Royal arms, or a unicorn, a crowned Tudor
rose or a fleur-de-lis; two of the panels and part
of a third have been destroyed by the erection
of a staircase. The rooms in the upper storey
of both cottages have old oak floors.
Condition—Good; much altered.