RICKMANSWORTH CHURCH

Hertfordshire

Rickmansworth Church, Hertfordshire

It isn’t clear when the first church was built in Rickmansworth, but the first vicar is recorded in 1270, of this early Norman church nothing survives today. During Protestant riots in the early 14th Century the church was badly damaged and repairs were undertaken via a series of bequests from parishioners in the 1530s.

Immediately after the Reformation, Rickmansworth entered a period of decline, although the tower was added to the church in 1630. Just ten years after this a further riot broke out and the church was damaged once again. Repairs were next undertaken in 1677 and the church remained in a sorry state until 1803 when a further series of renovations were carried out. It would appear that these renovations were ineffective because in 1824 the church was considered to be in such a poor state that only the tower was serviceable. The remainder was pulled down and a new church built by 1826. This church was an austere and blank walled block of a structure that was unpopular and only 62 years later it was pulled down again and the renowned architect Sir Arthur Blomfield was called in to build a new church to harmonise better with the style of the tower.

It is this church which survives today and, to Blomfield’s credit, it looks suitable ancient, even though it is not. Rickmansworth itself is one of those odd villages that exist around the edges of London that look like a village but feel like a suburb, not least for the amount of traffic thundering through its narrow streets.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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© Text copyright - Raving Loony Productions and Andrew J. Müller, Roy Barton
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© Photos and Artwork - Andrew J. Müller
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