Hunsdon Church, Hertfordshire

Hunsdon Church has its origins in the mid-Norman period. The north wall of the nave is the main survivor from this date is late 12th Century. The west tower was added around 1423 by John Tyrell, who owned Hunsdon House which stands behind the Church.

A few years later the next tenant of the House, Sir William Oldhall, rebuilt the church almost entirely. Between 1450 and 1460 the roof was raised, the south wall moved 2 feet further out, the chancel lengthened and most of the interior fittings replaced.

Just in time really as Hunsdon House would soon become a favourite of the Tudor monarchs who used it as a hunting lodge. It is said that Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I all stayed at the House and worshipped at the Church.

Edward VI was probably responsible, therefore, for the removal of the rood screen at Hunsdon. The font dates to 1500, although it was re-cut in 1851.

The north chapel was extended in the middle of the 16th Century. The south chapel was added by John Carey, 3rd Lord Hunsdon around 1616, although he died a year later and was buried in the chapel.

Renovations to the church were carried out in the mid to late 19th Century with internal tweaking continuing up until World War I.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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