MUCH HADHAM CHURCH

Hertfordshire

Much Hadham Church, Hertfordshire

This large church dates to the 12th Century, but nothing has survived from that period. The earliest remains today are the chancel from around 1220, which was followed by the south aisle around 1250 and the north aisle 50 years later.

The three-stage tower was built between 1382 and 1404 and the roofs and south porch were added in the mid-15th Century. At this point the church was, more or less, in the manner we find it today.

The tower and south porch were added under the instruction of Robert de Braybroke, Bishop of London on whose land the church then stood. The avenue of lime trees leading to the church being added around 1630 by the Rev. Thomas Randolph who was rector here for 63 years.

A number of Tudor and Elizabethan statues have survived inside the church, but many have been damaged when George Thurgood raided the church in 1641 at the instigation of Puritan John Skringle. Thurgood destroyed all the stained glass, stole the church plate and bells and finally whitewashed the church walls.

Much Hadham had a Bishop’s Palace, which is today Much Hadham Hall and was greatly rebuilt in the Elizabethan period and after. It is believed that the Tudor Dynasty began here when Henry V’s widow, Catherine of Valois, gave birth to Edmund Tudor. A similar claim is put forward by Hadham in Bedfordshire, although no palace or large building seems to have existed there, making Much Hadham a far more likely candidate.

A more recent famous resident was Sir Henry Moore, who lived nearby at Perry Green – where the Henry Moore Foundation is now based. Moore created two carvings of a King and a Queen which stand by the entrance to the west door.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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© Text copyright - Raving Loony Productions and Andrew J. Müller, Roy Barton
and Shaun Runham
© Photos and Artwork - Andrew J. Müller
© Web Design and Layout - Andrew J. Müller
2014


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