South Mymms Church, Middlesex

Today, South Mymms – often South Mimms – is universally known as the Motorway Service Station where the A1 meets the M25, a familiar name to most English motorists. However, there is much more to this area than that would suggest. The Service Station is just the latest manifestation of an ancient coaching inn village on the Great North Road.

South Mymms and North Mymms (one in Middlesex, the latter in Hertfordshire) once formed a single parish. In these early days a Castle was built in between the two villages – today it is right net to the modern A1 – and the church at South Mymms was built. This was in the 12th Century, the church being dedicated to St. Giles. It remained the only church in the parish for 200 years or so when the church at North Mymms was built and the parish split along county lines.

The church in South Mymms is first mentioned in 1136, work continued on it over the ensuing five centuries. By the 19th Century the church was in a state of poor repair and G E Street was employed to renovate, work was completed early in the 20th Century by Sir Ninian Comper. The parish was transferred to St. Albans’ Diocese in 1979.

When renovations were being carried out some rare treasures were discovered in the church, including early (pre-Reformation) stained glass, two brass chandeliers and some Tudor period tombs.

One of the oddities of South Mymms is the Good Friday sermon which is delivered from behind the bar of The Black Horse pub!

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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