St Katherine, Ickleford, Hertfordshire
- Site Location
- National Grid Reference
- TL 183 317
now: St Albans
now (or name of monument): St Katherine
- Type of building/monument
- Parish Church
II General Description
The church has chancel with S chapel , nave with S aisle and S porch, and W tower. The 12thc. church comprised nave and chancel. The chancel was rebuilt in the 13th. and the tower also dates from this time. The S porch is 15thc. In 1859 when the church was restored by George Gilbert Scott, the S aisle, N vestry and S chapel were added. The church is built of stone, now completely covered with render. Romanesque sculpture is found on the S doorway and on the rere arch of a blocked N doorway.
III Exterior Features
(i) S doorway
Round-headed, of three orders, the third order partially obscured by the porch. The entire doorway is covered in cream gloss paint.
No bases, nook shafts (possibly restored) rest on plain, square modern plinths. The capitals ate attached, with wide, flattened necking. The imposts are hollow-chamfered with a roll on the angle and a tall upright. Each order in the arch is separated by a row of nailhead.
|h. of opening||2.10 m|
|w. of opening (jamb to jamb)||1.12 m|
|h. of capital including necking||0.175 m|
|h. of capital not including necking||0.145 m|
L capital: waterleaf, with a tall pointed leaf on the angle and volutes at the inner edge of each face. A pointed, inverted heart-shaped leaf grows from the necking at the centre of each face. The carving extends onto the face and soffit of the order, forming voluted pseudo-capitals. These lack the central heart-shaped leaf.
R capital: a hybird between a cushion and multi-scallop capital, each face has three cones, each with shallow shields, with a shared cone (with two small shields) on the angle. Above these features on each face is a single larger shield, which occupies the width of each face. Carving extends onto the face and soffit, comprising a row of small pointed leaves, with central veins (two on the soffit and four on the face) with a projecting moulding of indeterminate shape and possibly unfinished, above.
In the arch, a row of free-standing lateral chevron on face and soffit, carved point-to-point and separated by an angle roll. At the apex, a small, downward-facing multi-lobed leaf is carved in the triangle.
L capital: as first order, but crudely carved as if the form was copied without an understanding of what it represented.
R capital: waterleaf
Between second and third order capitals there are two half leaves on the soffit of the third order,
In the arch, a row of free-standing, straddling chevron forming a series of lozenges. These are supported by an edge roll and two outer rolls. At the apex, two straddling free-standing chevrons are carved point-to point.
L capital: as second order
R capital: cushion, with a pointed wedge on angle and with each shield composed of three overlapping shields, giving the appearance of fishscale
In the arch, two rows of chevron carved point-to-point, forming free-standing lozenges which are supported by an edge roll. With the exception of the first three chevrons on L and R, each chevron has carving in the triangles. This is usually a small multi-lobed leaf but there are some variations.
Soffit of arch: 4 - leaf with vertical lobes; 5 - leaf with radiating lobes; 6 - leaf with vertical lobes.; 7 - two facing angled leaves with drilled holes between them; 8 to 10 - leaf with vertical lobes; 11 - two facing, angled leaves with drilled holes between them; 12 to 14 - leaf with vertical lobes; 15 - pointed leaf with a small pointed leaf above.
Face of arch: 4 - leaf with vertical lobes.; 5 - small multi-lobed leaf; 6 to 11 - leaf with vertical lobes; 12 - berry/fruit suspended between two pairs of leaves; 13 to 14 - leaf with vertical lobes.; 15 - leaf with radiating lobes; 16 - leaf with radiating lobes (indistinct)
The interior rear arch has plain jambs. In the arch there are two rows of frontal chevron on face and soffit, carved back-to-back with an edge roll between, and of the profile roll, roll, separated and flanked by fine rolls.
(ii) N doorway
The interior rere arch has three rows of frontal chevron on the face of the profile: roll, roll, roll, separated and flanked by fine rolls.
Ickleford is not mentioned in DS. VCH surmises that it would have been included under the manor of Pirton, which, at the time of DS is was held by Ralph de Limesl, whose family held Pirton until the end of the 12thc. The church was held as a chapel to Pirton. Both livings were held simultaneously until 1847 when the Ecclesistical Commissioners divided them.
- N. Pevsner and B. Cherry, The Buildings of England: Hertfordshire, Harmondsworth, 1953 (1977), 213-4
- The Victoria County History: A History of the County of Hertford, London, 1912, 3:23