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 as a material for parts of many local churches has proven ideal for graffitists over the ages, as other posts will demonstrate. While many are signs of devotion, such as medieval pilgrim crosses, others are profane, some hinting at older beliefs.
Not all graffiti is carved into the clunch. A leaded window at St. Paul’s Walden carries this minor historical note:
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.
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 are remnants of painted decoration.