Little Gaddesden Church, Hertfordshire

There is little remaining at Little Gaddesden to suggest a church of any antiquity, but there are 15th Century windows surviving at the church which suggest a structure here by at least the late Norman period. The nave, aisle and tower are also thought to date from around 1450 but all is so heavily rebuilding in the 19th Century that it is most difficult to discern.

The work was started in 1819 by Jeffry Wyatt on the orders of the 7th Earl of Bridgewater, who was also responsible for nearby Ashridge House. Wyatt almost entirely rebuilt the body of the church which was later altered once more by E.W. Godwin around 1875 for Lord Brownlow who also extended the chancel. Even more alterations followed in the 1960s by John Brandon Jones all of which leaves the impression of a mish-mash of styles and architectural ‘hands’ which is not impressive.

The vast majority of the interior work is down to various Bridgewater Earls and most of the monuments that have survived are also connected to that family.

Only the location of the church pulls it above the mundane with superb views down the north escarpment of the Chilterns.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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