St Mary, Little Hormead, Hertfordshire
- Site Location
- Little Hormead
- National Grid Reference
- TL 398 291
now: St Albans
now (or name of monument): St Mary
- Type of building/monument
- Deconsecrated church
II General Description
The church comprises chancel, nave and S porch with a wooden bell turret over the W end of the nave. The nave is 12thc., the chancel (originally 12thc.) was rebuilt in the 13thc. The brick porch is modern. The nave has a 12thc. S doorway, plain apart from a chamfered impost, and one of the original small, splayed 12thc. windows (now blocked) survives in the N wall of the nave. Romanesque sculpture is found on the exterior of the N doorway, and on the chancel arch. There are also some moulded fragments at the W end of the nave. The nave and chancel walls are of coursed rubble masonry with ashlar quoins, the W and S wall of the nave and the E wall of the chancel are rendered. VCH records that the church was restored in 1888, the chancel being shortened at this time.
III Exterior Features
(ii) N doorway
Round-headed, of two orders, blocked. The capitals are clunch, the detached nook shafts and arch are shelly limestone. The R nookshaft is monolithic and en delit. The L is in two segments.
|h. of opening||2.69 m|
|w. of opening (jamb to jamb)||0.98 m|
|h. of capital including necking||0.225 m|
|h. of capital not including necking||0.195 m|
|w. of capital||0.19 m|
Plain, with a hollow-chamfered impost which continues to the second order. The L impost is very worn and details are obscured On the R, a fine groove along the upright is visible.
Simple triangular bases support detached nook shafts. The capitals have necking.
L capital: double scallop with incised shields. (very worn)
R capital: as L capital
The arch has a thick angle roll followed by a moulding with a triangular profile.
The rear arch is plain.
IV Interior Features
a. Apse/Chancel arches
(i) Chancel arch
Depressed arch of one order in the jambs and two orders in the W arch.
First order, W
Only the N base survives, this is of attic type, but without a torus. Above the base on the N is a detached nookshaft (only the top of a similar shaft survives on the S).
N capital: double scallop capital with incised shields, angle tuck and fine wedges between the cones.
S capital: as N capital. W face obscured by cement repair.
The arch is plain.
The imposts are hollow-chamfered with a roll on the angle followed by a double groove on the upright. These continue onto the E and W faces of the order.
First order, E
Plain apart from the impost.
Second order, arch
The arch has an angle roll followed by a moulding of triangular profile. The same as the N doorway arch mouldings.
VI Loose Sculpture
(i) - (iv) Voussoirs
Four chevron voussoirs, each carved with one large tooth of chevron.
The advowson was held with the manor of Little Hormead. It was in the hands of Count Eustace of Bologne at the time of DS. Occasionally, throughout its history it was held by individuals who did not hold the manor. by 1730 it had been bought by St John's College Cambridge.
The church is known for its 12thc. ironwork which is now displayed on the interior of the N door.
VCH dates the nave to 1140-1150.
- N. Pevsner and B. Cherry, The Buildings of England: Hertfordshire, Harmondsworth, 1953 (1977), 241-242.
- The Victoria County History: A History of the County of Hertford, London, 1914, 4:75-77.