We use cookies to improve your experience, some are essential for the operation of this site.

St Leonard, Bengeo, Hertfordshire

(51°48′18″N, 0°4′20″W)
TL 330 136
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Hertfordshire
now Hertfordshire
  • Hazel Gardiner

Please use this link to cite this page - https://www.crsbi.ac.uk/view-item?i=4265.

Find out how to cite the CRSBI website here.

Feature Sets

The church comprises an apsidal chancel, nave with W bellcote, and N porch. It is substantially 12thc., the timber bellcote is 19thc. and the brick N porch 18thc. The walls are coursed rubble.The plain, round-headed N (blocked) and S nave doorways are 12thc. The S doorway has chamfered imposts. Remains of three round-headed, splayed windows are found on the E, S and N walls of the chancel, and in the N wall of the nave. Romanesque sculpture is found on the chancel arch.


The manor of Bengeo was held by Hugh de Beauchamp at the time of DS, and it appears that Bermondsey Abbey held it toward the end of the 11thc. DS also records that a priest held land of Geoffrey de Bech in Bengeo. Geoffrey de Bech held the manor of Temple Chesin in Bengeo.

The church was granted to Bermondsey Abbey in 1159 by Henry II, a grant confirmed in 1272 by Richard de Tany. Bermondsey held the rectory and advowson until the Dissolution, although part of it may have been mortgaged.


Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches

VCH suggests that one of two roughly cut blocked doorways on the N wall of the chancel was the entrance to an anchorite's cell.

It is possible that the chancel, S capital may have been recut or renewed as the carving is exceptionally crisp.

The Victoria County History: A History of the County of Hertford, London, 1908, 3:426.
N. Pevsner and B. Cherry, The Buildings of England: Hertfordshire, Harmondsworth, 1953 (1977), 219-220.