Aldenham Church, Hertfordshire

Aldenham Church is a venerable building, possibly dating back to the Saxon period. However, it seems to have been in a state of almost continuous change which means it is hard to find anything much earlier than the 15th Century, and even that has been buried under heavy Victorian work.

The first definitive mention of a church here is from 1267, but it is considered so likely that a Saxon church was here that a stained glass window – inserted after World War II destroyed the old one – includes an image of King Offa.

The tower and north and south aisles were added in the 14th and 15th Centuries. In the 16th Century the chancel was widened and the vestry added. Because of the piecemeal nature of the additions they give the church a rather lopsided look.

Tinkering in the 19th Century turned into a full scale renovation when Henry Hucks-Gibbs, Lord Aldenham and the compiler of the first Oxford Dictionary arrived and instigated the massive restructure. Sadly, it gives the church a solidly Victorian look which actually belies its much greater age and pedigree.

Aldenham village is a small oasis of rurality amongst the urban landscape of the areas around Watford.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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