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Church of St Mary (Church of England), Bayford

Description: Church of St Mary (Church of England)

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 24 November 1966
English Heritage Building ID: 160625

OS Grid Reference: TL3097408840
OS Grid Coordinates: 530974, 208840
Latitude/Longitude: 51.7629, -0.1035

Location: Church Lane, Bayford, Hertfordshire SG13 8PP

Locality: Bayford
Local Authority: East Hertfordshire District Council
County: Hertfordshire
Country: England
Postcode: SG13 8PP

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Listing Text

(West side)

5/17 Church of St. Mary
24.11.66 (C of E)


Parish church. 1870-71 by Henry Woodyer for William Robert Baker of
Bayfordbury, incorporating font and monuments from medieval church
demolished 1803 and replaced by yellow brick church in 1804 on site to N
of present church, demolished 1870. Carving of pulpit completed 1872. In
Chancel E end and roof decorated 1890 by Heaton Butler and Bayne to
designs of Sidney Gambier Parry. Squared coursed Kentish ragstone with
red back for quoins, eaves band and plinth offset. Bath stone window
dressings, doorways, and string courses. Very steep pitched handmade
tile roofs, and lead covering to fleche. A tall cruciform building in
Early English Style with roof continuous over unaisled nave and slightly
narrower buttressed chancel with canted apsidal E end. Roof extends down
over transeptal S chapel and N organ chamber and vestry. Gabled S porch
possibly a little later. A tall slender 6-sided oak belfry and fleche
with vane over the chancel screen, row of small triangular dormer vents
on roofslope, and large triangular dormer with circular grid-pattern
wooden window surrounded by tilehanging to each transept. Paired lancet
windows to nave, tall single lancets between buttresses of chancel.
Gabled S porch with pointed arched entrance, double doors, polychrome
tile floor, side benches, purlin roof with ashlar pieces to feet of
rafter couples, and 3-lights trefoil window in each side. Outside of S
door EE style with trefoil arch, jamb shafts with annulets and dog-tooth
band carving, vigorous flower carving to drip stops. 4-bays open timber
roof to nave on scissor-braced trusses with tie-beams and one purlin to
each slope. Ashlar pieces to rafter feet. 3 twin-lancet windows in each
side wall of nave, each with a single pointed rear arch and chamfered
jambs. Moulded stone string links bottoms of windows. W wall has 2
lancets, a large wheel window above, and a small window in the top of
the gable. On an iron crane fixed to the W wall a very tall C19 wooden
font-cover in the form of an EE spire with carved stages, crockets and
finial. Late C15 octagonal clunch font on heavy moulded base. Panelled
sides of bowl alternately a Tudor rose in a quatrefoil, and trefoil
panels. Moulded under edge. Vivid stained glass by Clayton and Bell to
all nave windows except those in N wall of which the middle and western
windows are by the Kemp Brothers for the Clinton Baker family 1901, and
1904. Coloured tile floor. War memorial tablet on N wall of alabaster
referring to memorial cross at crossroads outside church. Memorial
tablets on S wall: to William Robert Baker d.1896 in alabaster recording
that he built this church 1871 which is dedicated to St. Mary the
Virgin: to Charles Robert Barclay d.1900 in repousee copper Arts and
Crafts Style with inset armorial escutcheon and rectangular enamelled
panel of St. George and the Dragon and motto QUO FATA VOCANT: to William
Clinton Baker d.1903 on black marble panel in white marble frame
lettered in gold and armorial achievement carved with drapes on upper
part. Framed black panel lettered in gold a Board of Fees to minister,
clerk and sexton formerly in church built in 1803. Token slight
narrowing to Chancel by lft. side piers with prominent quoins. Arcaded
oak EE chancel screen with very attenuated shafts with annulets, 2 bays
each side of central entrance which has a heavy 2-centred dog-tooth
ornamented arch and a pair of black embattled ironwork gates picked out
in gold. Overhanging panelled rood loft, giant crucifix with angular
gabled canopy fixed back to roof truss and with heavy convex curved down
braces on each side. Chancel has similar arcaded openwork EE screens in
openings to transeptal S chapel and N organ chamber. Open timber roof
similar to nave but of 4 narrower bays and decorated 3-sided apse at E
with wallpaintings and wall shafts. Trefoil rear arches to windows.
Stained glass by Clayton and Bell. Broad aumbry with square head and
Caernarvon arch. Bold stone 2-seat sedilia with stone gable and grey
circular shafts, trefoil heads, and quatrefoil above. In large arched
niche on N side on alabaster tomb-chest panelled and inscribed with
recumbent figure of a man in half armour wearing a ruff, trunk hose and
jack boots lying on a straw mattress, Sir George Knighton d.1612.
Brasses fixed to the rear of the recess c.1545 are all palimpsest cut
from a Flemish brass of a bishop or abbot of c.1480, 2 more pieces of
which are said to be the Wayte brasses at Upminster, Essex. The brasses
were found in a box in the church in 1870 and are thought to be to the
Knighton family. Painted arcaded reredos. Steps to altar in polychrome
tiles with some encaustic. Simple altar rail on gilded ironwork
standards. Lighting by 6 candle lamps hung on chains. S chapel has many
memorial wall tablets some moved from older church: one to William Baker
1824 with a white marble portrait medallion: to John Mayo d.1675 white
marble, draped with cartouches: to William Yarrell 1784-1856 an eminent
Victorian zoologist. There are other wall monuments to the Baker family
and others here and in the N transept. (RCHM (1911)49: VCH (1912)422-3:
Kelly (1914)50: Pevsner (1977)90: Robert B S J Watson The Church of
Bayford St. Mary (1971), church guide).

Listing NGR: TL3097408840

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.