This is the fiftieth Hertfordshire church I’ve written about. (I’ve also covered a couple of dozen churches in other counties.) I like to think of this as something of a milestone. However, to put it into perspective, my main purpose on Icknield Indagations is to write about Herts churches, and I’ve been at it for five years so far; there must be a couple of hundred churches worth attention, and at this rate it will take another fifteen years to do them all by which time I’ll be in my late 70s. In addition, three of the fifty articles - Barkway, Ware and Flamstead - deal with only one or two features of the church, and one more (Royston) is just a few photos without any substantial text. Several others are in need of rewriting. So while I can give myself a pat on the back for getting this far on my journey, I can’t hang up my hiking boots just yet.
Since March 2020 visiting churches has been somewhere between difficult and impossible, so while writing I’ve been relying on old photos, notes and memories, in addition to, of course, Pevsner etc. This is frustrating, particularly because I can’t go back to the church itself to check details or take better photos. All I’ve written since that date must count as provisional, but is, I hope, better than nothing.
Berkhamsted is one of those towns - Harpenden is another - that’s potentially most attractive but is compromised by having a major road running through its centre. (Mind you, when I visit I go by car, so I’m hardly able to complain.) The church roughly follows the line of the road, and is orientated towards the east even more approximately than most.
|View of Lady Chapel from north aisle|
Panel 8: in a Middle Eastern city a male saint (Peter?) blesses kneeling men and women, including some on crutches, echoing the blessing in the panel above. I especially like the exotic spires and domes at the top.