History in Structure

Church of St Mary and St John

A Grade II* Listed Building in Hertford, Hertfordshire

We don't have any photos of this building yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »


Latitude: 51.7909 / 51°47'27"N

Longitude: -0.1041 / 0°6'14"W

OS Eastings: 530854

OS Northings: 211948

OS Grid: TL308119

Mapcode National: GBR KBP.QHW

Mapcode Global: VHGPN.47TY

Plus Code: 9C3XQVRW+99

Entry Name: Church of St Mary and St John

Listing Date: 10 February 1950

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1268722

English Heritage Legacy ID: 461521

Also known as: St Mary's Church, Hertingfordbury

ID on this website: 101268722

Location: St Mary's Church, Hertingfordbury, East Hertfordshire, SG14

County: Hertfordshire

District: East Hertfordshire

Civil Parish: Hertford

Built-Up Area: Hertford

Traditional County: Hertfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hertfordshire

Church of England Parish: Hertingfordbury

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans

Tagged with: Church building

Find accommodation in



TL3011NE ST MARY'S LANE, Hertingfordbury
817-1/24/339 (East side)
10/02/50 Church of St Mary and St John


Parish church. C13 and C14, restored 1845 and 1890, virtually
rebuilt on the latter occasion.
MATERIALS: flint with sandstone dressings, clay tiled roof
with pierced and fretted ridge tiles, tower has copper covered
setback spire on 'Hertfordshire spike'.
PLAN: nave, north aisle, west tower and spire.
EXTERIOR: west tower in 3 stages, with diagonal buttresses
with offsets, and embattled parapet. West doorway C15 style,
C19 oak plank doors, arch with ogee and band and cavetto
mouldings to jambs and intrados, cusped quatrefoils in
spandrels, dripmould with angel bosses. West windows above
2-light, with restored C15 roll mouldings, irregular
quatrefoil heads, central cusped quatrefoil, 3 centre head and
dripmould. 2-light louvred openings at belfry stage, C14 style
with cusped trefoil heads and roundel. South porch with gabled
parapeted roof, C14 style doorway with chamfer and double ogee
mouldings, dripmould with undercut moulding and foliated
bosses; niche with statue of Virgin Mary above, gabled
parapeted roof.
Nave of 2 bays externally with flint buttress with stone
quoins, restored C15 2-light windows with elliptical inner
heads to left-hand, cusped quatrefoils on right both under
flat moulded dripmould. South projecting vestry C19 with
pinnacle at left, 3-light window with ogee heads and cusped
quatrefoils under segmented arch.
Chancel roof runs through from nave at same height, external
stonework of C13 structure renewed 1890. Single lancet window
on south wall with long and short quoins, parapeted east end,
with cross finial on range, long and short quoins, east window
restored C13. Chancel built 1891, separate parapeted roof,
twin octagonal pinnacles and twin projecting canted bay
windows, with single lancets with double cavetto mouldings.
The right-hand pinnacle, above a buttress, marks the division
of the chapel from the north aisle, 3 bays subdivided by
buttresses. Three 2-light windows, 2 with segmental pointed
heads with C15 stonework, window at right has flat head and is
more fully renewed.
North aisle has separate gabled roof from nave, with diagonal
buttress and parapet gable on west, 3-light window with ogee
heads and segmental arch.

INTERIOR: much altered in 1845 and 1890 restorations. Door
from south porch C14 style moulded surround with dripmould
with carved ball florets. 4 bay nave with deep reveals to C15
windows in south wall; nave arcade on north, octagonal columns
with moulded bases, undercut moulded caps, and double
chamfered arches.
C19 nave roof constructed of oak from the Panshanger estate,
arch braced structure with short hammer beams supported on
moulded corbels, moulded arch braces support high collars with
embattled tops, 2 stages of moulded purlins, common rafters
exposed below ceiling.
Tall C15 tower arch with attached octagonal columns with
moulded base, caps and elliptical arch, moulded outer
surround. North aisle of 4 bays, cavetto mouldings around
window openings restored C15. Arch braced roof with short
hammer beams. C19 chancel arch with outer moulded band,
chamfered arch, and moulded inner arch carried on moulded caps
and columns.
C13 chancel of 4 irregular bays, restored and altered 1890.
south wall has large arched opening to organ chamber and
vestry, south window in wide chamfered reveal, with moulded
clunch inner head with undercut ogee roll and chamfers. East
window C13, triple lancets with engaged colonnettes between
with undercut bell caps, bases with undercut roll ogee
moulding, north wall with single lancet in wide chamfered
2 openings on north to Cowper Chapel, C19 heavily moulded
arches on clusters of 3 shafts, with moulded bases and roll
and bell caps. Arch braced roof with short hammer beams with
wagon roof above, slightly different profile of 2 short east
end bays suggest the possible remnant of a medieval roof
FITTINGS: C19 raised altar area; altar rails in pink and red
veined translucent marble, 4 panels with elaborate pattern of
moulded quatrefoils separated by attached colonnettes, moulded
top rail. Reredos of red and pink veined marble, central
arched niche for cross, 3 niches either side with colonnettes
and ogee trefoil heads, elaborate fretted pierced and carved
top. Below north window is a 2 seat sedilia in pink and white
veined marble, C14 decorated style with ogee heads and carved
flowers and fleur-de-lys. The original sedilia (qv) was
rebuilt in the churchyard south of the porch. Below south
window is piscina, 2-light surround C19 in C13 style with
heavily undercut mouldings but incorporating medieval heads in
dripmould; 2 inner trefoil heads with blank moulded recessed
roundel between. Pulpit in nave, green and pink alabaster,
elaborate Gothic frontal with ogee heads and shields. Lectern
in form of alabaster angel with book rest supported on wings,

font elaborately carved alabaster bowl on octagonal column
with 4 carved lions sejant. Pews have bench ends in Rococo
style, carved in 1893 by Joseph Mayr of Oberammergau; fruit
swags, rope, shell and scroll motifs, carved panelled frontals
with moulded surrounds, the craftsman's name recorded on a
plaque on the first pew.
MONUMENTS: Cowper Chapel built 1890-94 over the family vault,
C13 style, divided into 2 bays with heavy moulded clustered
shafts and moulded arches supporting quadripartite ribbed
vaults; on outer wall 2 single-light lancets in deep chamfered
reveals. Chapel separated from chancel and N aisle by
elaborate wrought-iron screen with gates with acanthus
scrollwork modelled shields and armorial bearings, date '1891'
on overthrow above north aisle gate which is also flanked by
attached candlesticks. Principal memorial to Francis Thomas de
Grey Cowper (d.1905), life size recumbent effigy with shield
at feet on a panelled Italianate style tomb with carvings,
mouldings and shields, by Henry Poole 1909. On east wall
monument to William, second Earl Cowper (d.1764), white,
black, pink and yellow veined marble, break front black marble
base with panels with carved swags of fruit and flowers,
moulded cornice, life sized angel pointing to a weeping putto
who holds an elliptical shield with a relief head and
shoulders portrait of the deceased earl. The angel's left-hand
points to a cluster of putti heads surrounding a sunburst high
up on the pink marble obelisk. Spencer Cowper d.1727, judge of
the pleas, memorial in window embrasure on north wall, black
marble cartouche with inscription, above a scrolled and
pedimented surround in black marble, with a relief of Cowper
in judge's robes, seated between the figures of Wisdom and
Justice, made 1752 by Roubiliac. Lady Desborough (1867-1952),
cartouche with stylised surround, by Lawrence Whistler.
Chancel: south wall, C14 style recessed monument to Henry
Cowper of Tewin d.1890, Clerk to the Church, colonnettes with
stiff leaf caps, cusped arch with dog tooth ornament,
dripmould with ball flowers. Black marble incised slabs with
modelled armorial bearings: Robert Mynne d.1656, Helen Mynne
d.1659. Walter Wallinger d.1709, Elizabeth Hughes d.1714, Jane
Cowper d.1771.
Nave: S wall above pulpit, Renaissance style marble armorial
plaque, painted in polychrome, to Sir Christopher Vernon of
Haddon, Derbyshire, official of the exchequer. Sir Gore Ousley
(1770-1844), Ambassador to Shah of Persia, black marble
surround, white monument with Persian urns and ornament. Mary,
wife of Thomas Urmston, d.1714 elliptical veined marble wall
plaque surmounted by armorial bearings, putti heads and skull
with batswing 'Memento Mori' at foot.
Tower: On south side altar tomb of Sir William (d.1637) and

Lady Harrington and their daughter, black marble slab with 2
recumbent marble figures, with an effigy of their daughter
kneeling in prayer, attributed to Epiphamious of Evesham. Sir
William was MP for Hertford. On north wall monument to Anne,
wife of George Calvert, who was Secretary to Robert Cecil of
Hatfield House, black slab with alabaster recumbent draped
figure resting on cushions with mural cornice supporting 3
shields with armorial bearings and richly moulded swags of
fruit. Brasses on north wall to Thomas Ellis, 1608, and his
wife 1612 who lived at Armores, and one C13 or C14 to Phelipe
and Isabel, children of Robert de Louth with inscription in
Norman French.
HISTORICAL NOTE: an earlier church preceded the present one,
which was built before 1400, and possibly connected with John
of Gaunt, who is said to have added to The Glebe during his
tenure of Hertford Castle from 1360 onwards. The church is
still held by the Duchy of Lancaster. The church was restored
in 1845 and virtually reconstructed by Earl Cowper in 1890-91,
carried out mainly by the Panshanger craftsmen. The spire was
thickened from the slim 'spike' on the basis of mortice holes
found in the timbers of the base. The vestry and Cowper chapel
were added. Two cottages in front were demolished, and a
temporary church built on land at the rear taken in from The
Glebe, now added to the churchyard. The churchyard in front of
the church was cleared in 1930 and headstones set along the
wall. The most important monuments are separately listed (qv).
(Victoria History of the Counties of England: Hertfordshire:
London: 1902-1912: 467-8; Royal Commission on Historical
Monuments (England): An Inventory of the Historical Monuments
of Hertfordshire: London: 1910-: 114; The Buildings of
England: Pevsner N: Hertfordshire: Harmondsworth: 1977-:

Listing NGR: TL3085411948

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

BritishListedBuildings.co.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact BritishListedBuildings.co.uk for any queries related to any individual listed building, planning permission related to listed buildings or the listing process itself.

British Listed Buildings is a Good Stuff website.