Churches #13

My thanks to the creator of the Hertfordshire Churches website for encouraging me to re-visit Clothall church in the hills above Baldock. I’d poked around it once before and entirely missed its treasure. Behind the altar are three late medieval stained glass windows containing dozens of beautifully rendered birds, some of familiar species, some of…

Churches #11

Graffiti This series of posts has already included some examples of graffiti carved into the fabric of local churches: the sword at St. Paul’s Walden and the three-weddings engraving at the same church, the evocative plague memorial and rendering of the old St. Paul’s cathedral at Ashwell, for example. Below are some more instances. The…

Churches #10

The church at Bygrave has been closed every time I have walked through. Parts of it date from the 12th century but there was a Saxon church there before and Romano-British pottery has been found around the site. It is tiny, unusual in its simplicity, and rather beautiful for that. The bell is located in…

Churches #8

Strange folk in Baldock … and Cottered. Happy New Year.

Churches #7

More photographs than usual for this post. It’s one of my favourite churches – St. Mary’s at Ashwell, a beautiful village where two rivers rise. The graffiti in the church is touching, sobering, an emotive bridge to distant forbears. In this year 2020, it is particularly redolent, an obvious link between past and present and…

Churches #5

The church at St. Paul’s Walden dates from the 13th or 14th century and retains some early features. Ancient graves discovered close by indicate much earlier religious activity of some ilk. The church was refurbished in Georgian times. While much may have been lost then, the result is still pleasing. The soft Hertfordshire stone used…

Churches #4

In 1775, Sir Lionel Lyde, a local landowner, tore down much of the 12th century church at Ayot St. Lawrence, leaving what remained as a ‘feature’ while he built a Palladian style church in a nearby field. The new church is pictured above and below are two shots of the remains of the old.

Churches #3

Lower Gravenhurst Like the church at Caldecote (see a previous post), the 14th century church at Lower Gravenhurst is classified as redundant and is cared for by the Churches Conservation Trust. It’s quiet and the interior is beautiful in its simplicity. The woodwork is simple, ancient and worn. The tiles are plain and well-trodden. There…

Churches #1

St. Mary Magdelene at Caldecote, just east of Stotfold, has been cared for by the Friends of Friendless Churches and Caldecote Church Friends since it was declared redundant in 1982. The 14th and 15th century building was the church of the smallest parish in Hertfordshire. It is simple, solid and timeless.

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