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Church of St John the Baptist (Church of England)

A Grade I Listed Building in Aldbury, Hertfordshire

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Latitude: 51.8026 / 51°48'9"N

Longitude: -0.604 / 0°36'14"W

OS Eastings: 496351

OS Northings: 212471

OS Grid: SP963124

Mapcode National: GBR F4J.XTG

Mapcode Global: VHFRQ.HY1H

Entry Name: Church of St John the Baptist (Church of England)

Listing Date: 30 November 1966

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1078047

English Heritage Legacy ID: 355640

Location: Aldbury, Dacorum, Hertfordshire, HP23

County: Hertfordshire

District: Dacorum

Civil Parish: Aldbury

Built-Up Area: Aldbury

Traditional County: Hertfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hertfordshire

Church of England Parish: Tring

Church of England Diocese: St.Albans

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Listing Text

SP 9612
(North side)
12/4 Church of St. John
30.11.66 the Baptist (C of E)
Parish Church. Nave probably represents the tall nave and aisled chancel
of a Romanesque church, pierced by early C14 arcades but with a
structural change before the 2 easternmost bays, early C13 chancel
subsequent to William de Brocland granting the church to the Canons of
the Priory of St. Mary, Missenden in 1203, N chancel chapel and N aisle
early C14, widening at E part of N aisle for chantry founded 1335, W
tower and S aisle later C14, S porch and top stage of tower C15, Pendley
Chapel formed in E bay of S aisle in 1575 when Whittingham tomb of 1471
and stone screen brought from dissolved monastry of Ashridge.
Restoration 1866 by W.Browing removed 2 plain Romanesque arches from E
end of N arcade of nave and built N vestry. S porch has parvise restored
1871, repaired 1905 along with tower. Flint rubble with coursed flint
facing to nave, tower and aisle: uncoursed to chancel, porch and NE
vestry. Totternhoe Stone dressing and plinth much replaced by Bath Stone
in C19 restoration. Metal roofs of low pitch slate to vestry. A parish
church with low chancel, N chapel, clerestoreyed nave, N and S aisles, S
porch and a tall slender W tower in contrast to the horizontal lines of
the rest. Early dating of nave based on tall narrow proportions, and
evidence of C19 painting (photo in NMR) showing the Romanesque 2-bay
arcade on N side, removed in restoration, and external Buckler drawing
(HRO) showing wide semi-circular arch in E wall above level of chancel
where now is a pointed niche with hood mould. There is a doorway and
stair high up on W end wall of the nave of uncertain date. Square ended
chancel has corner buttresses as does N aisle. S aisle and tower have
diagonal corner buttresses. C13 Chancel has a narrow lancet window with
outer rebate and wide internal splay in N wall, (traces of diaper wall
painting on splay noted c.1910 by RCHM), and a 4-centred C15 arched
recess below probably for an Easter Sepulchre. Small lancet as low-side
window on S. 3-light E window in Dec style (restored). 2-light S window
in C14 style and plain S doorway. Squint from SW corner through to S
aisle. Gambrel roof expressed internally as a 5 bays waggon roof with
moulded ribs, carved bosses, and carved angels as supports. Minton tiles,
with steps to altar and at chancel arch of 2 hollow chamfered orders and
half-octagonal responds with similar caps part cut away and moulded
bases. C19 2-bays N arcade into chapel with stiff-leaf capitals. Marble and
alabaster reredos 1891. N Chancel Chapel (Leeds or Aldbury mortuary
chapel) originally entered by early C14 W archway closed by gates, used
as vestry in C18 and Cl9 before vestry added to N. Minton tile floor and
2 steps up from N aisle. Pointed cinquefoil headed piscina and ogee and
trefoil headed sedile c.1400 in S wall. N window of 2 lights and E
window of 3 lights with tracery renewed. Purbeck marble altar tomb
with brasses of Sir Ralph Verney d.1546, his wife, 12 children and
4 shields brought from Ashridge 1575. On N wall monument to
Thomas Hyde d.1570 and his son d.1580 of alabaster and coloured marble
with broken pediment on 3 Corinthian columns on bracketed base. Marble
skulls and fine strapwork and inscribed 'DESPICE FORMAN. RESPICE FINEM'.
Refined wall monument on W wall to Thomas Hyde d. 1665 with inscribed
black marble panel in moulded white marble shouldered architrave and
with trusses and segmental pediment to the enblature. Moulded base
and carved head with wings between garlanded brackets in high relief at
base. The Nave has 5-bays, arcades of early C14 pointed arches of 2
hollow chamfered orders and moulded caps to octagonal piers. One pier in
S arcade of 2 responds back to back defining 2 eastern bays opposite the
2 C19 bays of the N arcade inserted in place of 2 plain round arches. 3
tall 2-light clerestorey windows each side with quatrefoils in the
heads. 6-bays low pitched open timber roof with old cambered tie-beams,
collars and queen-posts supporting a ridge beam and one purlin to each
slope. Flat laid rafters. Under E respond on N arcade a small vertical
figure brass and label to John Dawers d.1478. Nearby the C16 wooden
lectern with a slender octagonal shaft, cross base, moulded base and
capital, pitched 2-sided desk-top, and applied buttress-like strips at
angles. Simple C19 pulpit at S of chancel arch with stone base and
circular wooden top. Wider Chantry Chapel at E end of N aisle with
canopied C14 niche in E wall and a N window of 3 C14 trefoil lights with
a deeper C15 light added at E end of window. Moulded 2 bays roof.
Buttressed N aisle of 3 bays has medieval encaustic tile floor with
tapering coffin slab set into floor. A carved stone corbel of uncertain
age has been set into the wall. 7 bays moulded timber roof with
kneebraces, wall posts, and stone corbels. 2 square-headed N windows of
2 trefoil headed lights and plain N door. Window to W of door of early
C16 German stained glass of the Crucifixion and Christ of Piety, probably
from Ashridge, with C15 original English canopies in the heads. 2-light
traceried W window to aisle with panelled pew of Stocks House below and
wall monuments to John and Hannah Duncombe d.1728 and 1710, and John and
Elizabeth Duncombe d.1746 and 1712. Similar pilastered panels with
entablature, wreathed urn, coloured marble inlay and painted cartouche
at base. Parish chest beside N door. S aisle has 6 + 2 bays timber roof
plainer than N aisle. Separate treatment of 2 E bays corresponding to
the 5th bay of the arcade which was enclosed in 1575 as the Pendley
Chapel for Edmund Verney who had the Whittingham/Verney tomb moved here
from Ashridge together with the stone parclose screen (brass plate
c.1588 on S wall gives story).A large chest tomb with moulded base,
sides panelled with shields and weepers, gadrooned edge to slab, full
length figures of Sir Robert Whitingham d.1471 in plate armour with a
wild man at his feet and at his wife's a hind. Medieval encaustic tiled
floor. C15 tall. Perpendicular clunch traceried stone screen on N and W,
battlemented and with entrance from N. Brackets for funeral helmets now
gone. On E wall monument to Sir Richard Anderson and his wife d.1699 and
1698 with lively busts, pilastered with open segmental pediment, central
pilaster, panelled base, and central projection with inscription. Tablet
on S wall to Harcourt family. 4-light square-headed trefoil S window. 2
more 2-light square headed trefoil windows in S wall and traceried
2-light window at W, stone stair starts in aisle to upper room of S
porch. Small organ of 1866 by Gray and Davidson now in W arch of S
arcade. W Tower reached by 4 steps from nave has thick walls with tall
C14 arch of 3 hollow chamfered orders dying into the jambs. Medieval
tile floor. Stone font of 1866 with serpentine shafts around the base.
Tall 3-stage tower with straight parapet and 2-light C15 style
cinquefoil belfrey openings with quatrefoil in head. W door and window.
(VCH(1908)145-8: RCHM(1911)30-1: Kelly(1914)19: Pevsner(1977)64-5:
F. Hugh Warwick Aldbury Church, notes on its history and contents 1961).

Listing NGR: SP9635112471

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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