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Description: Church of St Mary Magdalene (Church of England)
Date Listed: 2 December 1986
English Heritage Building ID: 157632
OS Grid Reference: TL0135000795
OS Grid Coordinates: 501350, 200795
Latitude/Longitude: 51.6968, -0.5350
Explore more of the area around Flaunden, Hertfordshire at Explore Britain.
TL 0100 (North side)
11/105 Church of St. Mary
- Magdalene (C of E)
Parish church. 1838 incorporating bell, font and tiles from Old Parish
Church at Chenies Bottom, q.v., ceiling inserted c.1950. Sir George
Gilbert Scott's first church, described by him in his memoirs as 'the
poor barn designed for my uncle King' (Pevsner). A notice on the S wall
of the nave 'This Church was erected AD 1838 in place of the former
Church by private subscription aided by a grant from the Incorporated
Society for the enlargement, building and repairing Churches and Chapels
...Revd Samuel King, Minister ...' (also Rector of Latimer). The records
of the Church Building Society show that in March 1837 it made its grant
for 'enlarging, by rebuilding, the church at Flaunden' (BFL Clarke Church
Builders of the Nineteenth Century London (1938)23). The foundation stone
was laid 12 August 1837. Coursed flints with fine jointed red brick
dressings. Limestone offsets to buttresses, sills, and corbels to gable
kneelers. Sandstone gable copings to church, porch and vestry. Steep blue
slate roofs. A single-volume large, gabled lancet style building,
conventionally orientated, of 5 panelled bays with small gabled S porch
in 1st bay from W, and similar gabled N vestry in 1st bay from E.
Tall square wooden bell turret over W end arcaded in Early English style
with single-hand to clock in base, and short leaded spire with vane.Fine
quality moulded red brick everywhere with narrow reddish joints,used for
pilaster quoins and corbel-table to side-walls,the tall lancet window in
each bay of 2 chamfered orders and the hoodmould extended to link the
windows. Also for the similar stepped triple lancets at E and W ends,the
W having a pointed super arch but the E having 3 crosses in brick in the
flintwork above the windows and a stepped brick band below the gable
coping giving the effect of crow steps. Gables have added buttresses and
circular tie-plates at eaves level,but original corner buttresses.Gabled
porch has a chamfered pointed doorway, small side lancets, interior
stuccoed and lined as ashlar and floor of worn medieval encaustic tiles,
of single and 4-tile patterns, but also one with a crowned bust with
raised hands,set in an incised circle.Pointed S door of wide planks with
large trefoil ended hinge plates. The doors and altar rail of the church
are said to be of wood from the old church.Narrower pointed N gable door
into N vestry up 2 steps with door similar. 5 bays interior with open
timber roof ceiled at tie-beam level c.1980 but visible in roof space.
Curved braces to tie-beams with pendants, and queen-post trusses with
king-strut above collar and 2 purlins. All timbers and rafters chamfered
and stopped.W gallery on 2 cast iron columns with moulded caps and bases.
Central aisle.Pointed commandment boards 2 each side of E window.Stained
glass E window 1955 by John Hayward.Simple pine pews with trefoil ends
to aisle. Original heating by boiler in stoke hole under W end, gable
chimney, and floor grating along central aisle.Octagonal medieval font,
Perp with circular sunk quatrefoil roundel on each face, swept curved
profile, and shaft and base renewed.Lattice leaded glazing generally but
2 eastern windows on S side have stained glass of 1862 as memorial to
Rev Bryant Burgess and his wife,and 1889 to his son Rev Bryant Burgess.
The turret bell 1578 cast by William Knight of Reading inscribed 'Gloria
in excelsc deo' (similar bell also from old church sold for St.John's
Church Uxbridge c.1837 and a third said to have been stolen then).Beside
the medieval bell, font, floor tiles, and timber of doors and altar rail,
there is a glass case at the W end a stone with a scratch dial and a
small fragment of walling with white plaster and red-line wall painting,
from the old church. Of singular interest as the first church of a
celebrated Victorian architect,and as having medieval encaustic pattern
tiles, late medieval font and bell from the old church.(VCH(1908)226-7:
RCHN(1911)90 no.2: Kelly(1914)101: Pevsner(1977)143).
Listing NGR: TL0134700793
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.