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Description: Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin (Church of England)
Date Listed: 24 November 1966
English Heritage Building ID: 159652
OS Grid Reference: TL2928626565
OS Grid Coordinates: 529286, 226565
Latitude/Longitude: 51.9226, -0.1214
Explore more of the area around Walkern, Hertfordshire at Explore Britain.
TL 22 NE WALKERN CHURCH END
1/6 Parish Church of
St Mary the Virgin
24.11.66 (C of E)
(formerly listed as
Church of St Mary)
Parish church. A-S Cll nave, early C12 S aisle, early C13 chancel
and N aisle, early C14 W tower, early C15 2-storeys S porch,
late C15 aisle windows and a clerestorey. Rainwater heads dated
1789. Chancel restored 1878, NE chapel 1882 by Hugh Roumieu
Gough. C19 SE vestry, restoration and re-seating 1882. Flint
rubble with dressings of Barnack stone and clunch. Chancel and
flanking chapel and vestry steep roofs in old red tile. Flatter-
pitched roofs of W parts concealed by crenallated parapets.
Pyramid slate roof to tower topped by a tall slender finial.
In a hollow by a ford over the River Beane, a small church of
nave, N and S aisles, unbuttressed 3-stage W tower, 2-storeys
S porch, and chancel flanked by lean-to NE chapel and SE vestry.
Tall Saxon nave, proportioned 1:2, with a sculptured Rood in
Situ, formerly external over S door, of robed Christ. S wall
pierced by 2 plain round arched openings in early C12 with multiple
cable moulded impost on E jamb of W archway, possibly re-used
from Saxon S door. In S aisle Norman S door with recessed order
and colonettes, and blocked Norman window to W. C13 3-bay N
arcade of nave into narrower N aisle. Octagonal columns with
moulded caps and bases support 2-centred arches of 2 chamfered
orders. Late C14 N doorway of 2 moulded orders. 4 carved heads
as roof corbels. Late C15 windows, 3 3-light in N wall and a
2-light window in W wall. S aisle has a 4-light C15 S window,
3-light similar window at W, lower door and winding rood stair
at NE, small C15 door to W of S door leading by winding
stair to parvise over porch, late C14 clunch octagonal font with
shafts worked on alternate facets of bowl, and in an arched wall
recess in S wall the fine Purbeck marble effigy of a knight with
crossed legs, mail hauberk, coif, chausses, long surcoat, shield,
sword and closed flat-topped helm (said to be William de Lanvalei
d. 1211, or his son of same name d,121?). Tall double chamfered
arch into tower, with recessed reticulated tracery in 3-light W
window. Late C15 bell-chamber openings above. Low pitched
medieval roofs over nave and aisles contemporary, each of 3 bays
with moulded principals, sub-principals, purlins and ridge, with
carved bosses at intersections and provision for angel figures
to be fixed with wings displayed on the lower part of each sub-
principal. Deep cambered tie beams and arched knee-braces from
wall posts in nave and N aisle. Wide C13 chancel arch of 2
chamfered orders has a C15 oak screen, panelled below and with 2
open traceried bays each side of central opening. Chancel has a
trefoil headed early C13 piscina with dog-tooth ornament and
shafted jambs, triple C13 stepped sedillia, C19 triple lancet E
window with shafted rerearch, 2-bay C19 N arcade in elementary
plate-tracery into NE chapel, and stepped sanctuary with
patterning of encaustic and glazed coloured tiling in floor.
Slim C16 octagonal oak pulpit. Royal arms over tower arch.
Consecration crosses on E jamb of W arch of S arcade, and in
knapped flint externally on each face of base of tower. Brasses:
to Edward Humberston and wife 1583 in front of tower arch
(palimpsest of John Lovekyn 1368); to C15 man and wife, and
inscription to William Bramfielde 1596 both in floor of N aisle;
to Edward Chapman 1621 and wife 1636 on S wall of chancel; 3
inscriptions in vestry. Wall monuments: to Gyles Humberston
1627, on S wall of nave, an aedicule with Corinthian pilasters,
broken pediment, mantled achievement and man and wife kneeling
facing over prayer desk; to David Gorsuch 1638 and wife, on S
wall of chancel, a similar aedicule of 2 arches with kneeling
figures; to Philip Adams 1803, on N wall of N aisle, a tablet
surmounted by a draped urn, referring to tomb in churchyard
(q.v.). A church of outstanding interest on account of its early
origins, varied dates of development, the Saxon Road sculpture
and the early C13 knight's effigy in the S aisle. (RCHM (1911)
224-5: VCH (1912) 155-7: Kelly (1914) 254: Pevsner (1977) 372-3).
Listing NGR: TL2928626565
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.