Benington Church, Hertfordshire

It is not quite clear when the first church was built here, but in AD 850 a Great Council was held here and a church would have been necessary for that event.

It is likely that the first stone structure dates to the time of Peter de Valognes who held the manor at the time of the Domesday Book. His descendant, Roger, rebelled against King Stephen and built the first version of Benington Castle close by. In 1177 Henry II razed the Castle and the manor was unoccupied leading to the dereliction of the church.

It was not until around 1285 that the manor was rebuilt to any great extent, by John Benstede, Keep of the Wardrobe to Edward I. His family rebuilt the church.

The earliest surviving work now dates to the 14th Century including a statue of St. Michael – odd in a church dedicated to St. Peter. As with most other English parish churches the Victorians undertook a programme of renovations and the church appears more Victorian today than medieval.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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