The church was erected over 150 years ago
as a memorial to George Augustus, the sixth Earl Cowper, who
died before he could realise his publicly declared intention
to build a church at Lemsford for the benefit of his
tenants. His widow and children ensured that his wish was
fulfilled, and the church, designed by David Brandon, was
built and dedicated in 1859.
Lemsford Church as reported in the Hertford Mercury, 28th
The postcard below shows how the church looked in 1906, prior to the addition of the Brocket Chapel to the South East elevation - the right-hand side of the church as we look at it in the present day photographs on this site.
Lemsford Church, 1906 (from the "Hatfield Series" - Hertfordshire Genealogy)
The Brocket chapel was built in memory of Florence Nall-Cain, who died in 1927. As you enter the chapel, to the left of the door is her stone effigy lying on a canopied marble tomb, finished in mediaeval style and complete with heraldic cats at her feet. The ceiling displays the armorial bearings of several families associated with Brocket Hall.
Oxford architect F.E. Howard was commissioned to build the chapel in the Perpendicular style by Florence's husband Sir Charles Nall-Cain, great grandfather of Charlie Brocket. The private chapel was dedicated by the Bishop of St Albans in 1930 and is thought to be the last of its kind to be built in England.
The present day church.
The nave and tower are Early English Gothic, the chancel Decorated, and there is a fine East window which was created, again, in memory of the Earl Cowper.
The tower, complete with perforated quatrefoil parapet and corner-mounted dragon gargoyles, remains to this day a prominent landmark in the surrounding countryside. There was no clock until 1876 when the original timepiece was installed by Messrs. Gillet & Bland to the west and south elevations of the tower. The clock is now, of course, electrically powered. If you look closely at both photographs of the church above, the stair turret is just visible above the parapet at the North Eastern corner of the tower. This original feature houses a very steep and narrow spiral staircase that is certainly not for the faint-hearted!