Weston, Hertfordshire

Holy Trinity Church, Weston, Hertfordshire

The church here was built, like most in the area, around the mid-12th Century. Unusually the tower dates from this early period. It was enlarged considerably in the 15th Century and then very heavily rebuilt between 1867 and 1880 when the vestry was added.

Weston is best known locally for the legend of Jack o’Legs. He was an abnormally tall man who lived in the 14th Century and who was known to have stolen flour from the Black Horse Mill in Baldock. One instance of crime became something of an epidemic and eventually the Bakers of Baldock ganged up on Jack and he was caught.

Holy Trinity Churchyard has an 8 foot long grave for Jack o’Legs which may or may not be genuine – some would say it was placed there to lend gravitas to the legend. Over the years Jack has become something of a Robin Hood figure – robbing the rich to give to the poor, albeit in the somewhat more mild way of stealing flour!

The Bakers ambushed Jack in Baldock Churchyard one night and it is thought that poor old Jack had his eyes put out with a hot poker, before being hung from the gibbet at Baldock. However, having a grave in a churchyard was normally not a consideration for someone executed so the legend becomes a bit blurred at this point.

Whatever the case, the old church at Weston is rather overshadowed by its lanky legendary internee.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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