History in Structure

Hertford United Reform Church

A Grade II Listed Building in Hertford, Hertfordshire

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Latitude: 51.7978 / 51°47'52"N

Longitude: -0.0818 / 0°4'54"W

OS Eastings: 532369

OS Northings: 212760

OS Grid: TL323127

Mapcode National: GBR KBQ.B3K

Mapcode Global: VHGPN.J2LM

Plus Code: 9C3XQWX9+47

Entry Name: Hertford United Reform Church

Listing Date: 31 October 1995

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1268924

English Heritage Legacy ID: 461303

ID on this website: 101268924

Location: Hertford, 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: Hertford St Andrew with St Nicholas

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans

Tagged with: Church building

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817-1/16/55 (South side)
31/10/95 Hertford United Reform Church


United Reform (formerly Congregational) church. 1862-3.
Architects T Smith & Son, Builder Henry Norris Hertford.
MATERIALS: knapped flint, with yellow brick and sandstone
dressings, and stone windows, steeply pitched Welsh slate
STYLE: Free late 13th century Gothic revival style, with tall
central gable, and lower lean-to aisles, with central gabled
porch facing road.
PLAN: rectangular "hall" plan, with structural subdivisions
defining nave, aisles, transepts, with shallow east end
containing organ chamber.
EXTERIOR: north elevation is of flint, with brick bands, with
projecting buttresses of brick and flint with stone offsets at
the division of nave and aisles, with similar angle buttresses
at left and right. Gabled porch with flint walls and limestone
roof above continuous moulded stone kneelers. Central doorway
beneath 3 inset pointed arches, with projecting dripmould with
carved foliated bosses, above flanking colonnettes with carved
stiff leaf capitals, in front of brick jambs. Twin leaf outer
doors, battened, with wrought-iron strap hinges, with branched
ends and trefoils. Central window above porch, the apex of
whose roof projects in front of the lower central lights. 5
light, leaded lattice glazed window, with stone colonnettes,
mullions and geometrical plate tracery, within moulded trefoil
inner surround, set beneath outer dripmould and brick soldier
arch. Cusped octo-foil within moulded circular surround, and
quatrefoils and trefoils with chamfered surrounds above 5
lights with trefoil heads. Gable above with projecting moulded
stone kneelers, and brick stepped projecting bricks corbels,
dentil course and band, with stone coping. Aisles left and
right have ground floor coupled leaded lattice glazed lancets,
with stone chamfered trefoil heads above central colonnettes
with carved stiff leaf caps, set below brick double header
pointed arches. Above are stone, bar-traceried leaded lattice
glazed rose windows, with 5 large trefoils alternating with
small circles, in stone surround, below pointed-arched
dripmould with carved bosses, below brick double header
pointed arches. Parapet treatment as central gable.
Side elevations divided into 4 bays by projecting buttresses
with stone offsets. Flint walling divided by 3 yellow brick

bands. One 2-light window to each bay, stone lancets with
cusped heads, moulded mullion and reveal, set beneath flint
panel and brick double header pointed arch. Brick corbelled
and bullnose cornice, Welsh slated lean-to roofs. Clerestory
continuous, with obscure-glazed timber windows with trefoils.
Transepts have projecting gables above aisles, with buttresses
with stone offsets, flint walling with 5 brick bands, brick
parapet with corbelling, stone kneelers and stone moulded
copings. Ground floor has 3 light stone leaded lattice glazed
lancets with cusped heads and moulded reveals, flint panel,
and brick double header pointed arches over. Above are stone
rose windows with bar tracery, with central circle with 6
cusps surrounded by 12 smaller circles. Stained and coloured
glass with Star of David motif in centre. Brick gabled parapet
with corbelling, stone kneelers and moulded stone copings.
At southwest corner is low single storey projecting vestry
block, flint with brick dressing, Welsh slated roof.
Rear (southwest) elevation of church has red brick walls,
Flemish bond, matching adjoining British Schools.
INTERIOR: of church is a single space, divided by cast-iron
columns and roof structure to approximate to the traditional
subdivision of nave, aisles and transepts. Elongated columns,
circular with projecting bases and bell abaci to square caps.
On these is set the upper roof structure of timber arch
braces, connected by wrought-iron tie rods at springing level,
supporting a continuous clerestory beam, buttressed by lateral
arch braces across the aisles at bay lines, carried on the
outer aisle walls on stone corbels. Exposed purlin and open
rafter roofs over aisles.
Transepts spanned by large timber arch braces, springing from
corbel pads on the cast-iron column caps. Main nave roof
supported on tall timber arch braces springing from timber
posts set atop the cast-iron columns at bay lines, timber
scissor trusses above, with purlin and open rafter roof. Walls
plastered, splayed reveals and segmental arches to paired
lancet windows. Gallery at north end, timber beam carried on
short cast-iron columns, front with incised quatrefoils, iron
frontal above with cusped quatrefoils.
At south end tall pointed arch carried on coupled colonnettes
with carved stiff leaf caps, organ in timber panelled case
within 1 bay recess. Below is 5 bay stone pointed-arched
arcade, with chamfered intrados, carried on circular
colonnettes, with carved stiff leaf caps.
Wrought-iron ogee-motif organ gallery frontal. Bath stone
pulpit with polygonal end, projecting plinth with roll
moulding, centre with carved panels and inscription around
centre front panel "We preach Christ Crucified", cusped recess
with carved Star of David, other panels carved with religious

symbols. Top of pulpit carved with running leaf, roll
moulding, and stylised stiff leaf foliage, and moulded top
rail. Adjacent raised communion area with cast-iron rails,
with twisted shafts, scrollwork, rosettes and leaves. Choir
area stepped against north transept has panelled timber
frontal with pierced cusps and solid lower panels. Pews of
pitch pine, plain with panelled ends.
Beneath gallery are commemorative tablets commemorating the
first Congregational Church in Hertford instituted in 1673.
Another tablet records the building of the present church in
1862, its architect and contractor, and the first Minister,
Rev James Wonnacott.
HISTORICAL NOTE: the first Congregational Church in Hertford
stood on the Christs Hospital site. The church moved to
Cowbridge in 1796, and rebuilt its premises in 1847. In 1862,
the present church was built, together with the British
Schools on the site adjoining to the south. The foundation
stone was laid on 24 August 1862, and the church as opened on
27 May 1863. The organ was built in 1864 by Halmshaw of
Birmingham, presented in memory of ED Rayment by his son, then
Mayor of Hertford. The building complex was completed by the
construction of the Cowbridge Halls (qv) in 1893.
(Green L: Hertford's Past in Pictures: Ware: 1993-: 127; Page
FM: History of Hertford: Hertford: 1993-: 95; Congregational
Church Hertford' (leaflet for opening): 1864-; Skinner Rev RO:
History of Hertford Congregational Church: Hertford).

Listing NGR: TL3236912760

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