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All Saints, Little Munden, Hertfordshire

(51°52′43″N, 0°3′48″W)
Little Munden
TL 334 218
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Hertfordshire
now Hertfordshire
  • Ron Baxter
18 April 2018

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Little Munden is a village in the East Hertfordshire district of the county, 5 miles N of Hertford and 6 miles E of Stevenage, situated on the W side of Ermine Street (the A10 at this point. Curiously nether Little Munden nor Great Munden appears on the OS Landranger maps, where the church is shown in Dane End. The church consists of a 12thc chancel with a S vestry, added by H. Godwin in the restoration of 1870-75, and a 2-bay N chapel that houses, in its arcade bays, two monuments of members of the Thornbury family. The nave has a 3-bay N aisle of which the W bay of the arcade is 12thc and the other two bays 14thc The W aisle bay is partitioned off with glazing and fitted with a modern spiral staircase leading to an upper storage area. The lower level houses the usual kitchen and lavatory. At the W end of the nave is an organ gallery. There are porches to N and S, added by Godwin. The W tower is 15thc with battlements and a Hertfordshire spike. Construction is of flint rubble with flint facing and stone dressings. The only Romanesque features recorded here are the S chancel doorway and the N nave arcade.


Little Munden was held by Leofwine, a man of Earl Harold, in 1066, and by Walter the Fleming in 1086. It was assessed at 5 hides and 1 virgate of which 3½ hides were in demesne. Walter’s descendants later took their name from the manor of Wahull or Odell in Bedfordshire, which they also held, and the overlordship remained with them until the 14thc or later. The tenancy was granted to William de Scales at some time before 1181, and it passed to his sone Richard before 1208. At his death c.1231 it passed to his daughter Lucy and thence to her husband Baldwin de Frevill. After that line failed, the manor came at length to the Sir John Thornbury in 1378-79, and the Thornbury monuments in the chancel recall that period of its history.


Exterior Features


Interior Features



A similar herringbone hatched impost is found at Walkern nearby. This has been dated by Tweddle (1995) to the 11thc, before the Conquest, and was thought to have originated in the S doorway. As the imposts here do not match the rest of the arch stylistically, they may also be reset pieces. Pevsner (1953) accepts that the capitals or imposts are early, but rejects a pre-Conquest date.


Historic England Listed Building, English Heritage Legacy ID: 161312

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Hertfordshire, Harmondsworth 1953, 162.

D. Tweddle, M. Biddle, B Kjolbe-Biddle, Corpus of Anglo Saxon Stone Sculpture: IV South-East England, Oxford, 1995, 240–41.

Victoria County History: Hertfordshire vol. 3 (1912), 129-35.