St Leonard's Church, Bengeo

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St Leonard's, Bengeo
St Leonard's Church, Bengeo 1 2020-08-23.jpg
St Leonard's Church, Bengeo, Hertfordshire
DenominationChurch of England
DedicationSt Leonard
Heritage designationGrade I
Architectural typeparish church

The Church of Saint Leonard is a Norman church in Bengeo, Hertfordshire, England. Located on the hillside overlooking the shared Beane and Lea valley, the Grade I Listed church dates from about 1120, and is the oldest building in Hertford.[1][2] The church served as the parish church of Bengeo until the larger Holy Trinity Church was opened in 1855. St Leonard's was stripped of its fittings and stood empty and unused for some years, until the Gosselin family of nearby Bengeo Hall commissioned its restoration and refitting between 1884 and 1894.[3]

The church is built of flint with stone dressings and has a tiled roof. The nave is coated with plaster with an open collar-beam roof. The apse is an unusual feature, found in only a few other medieval churches in Hertfordshire such as Great Wymondley. The south doorway dates from the 12th century, with the addition of an 18th-century brick porch. The chancel roof and the wooden west bellcote both date from the 19th-century restoration. The bellcote houses a single bell, dated 1636.[4]

Remains of medieval wall paintings were uncovered during restoration work in 1938 by William Weir.[3]

The church is used for Sunday services during summer months, and also hosts exhibitions and concerts.[3]


  1. ^ St Leonard's Church (Bengeo) Archived 2009-03-23 at the Wayback Machine,
  2. ^ Historic England. "Church of St Leonard (1268717)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Introduction to St. Leonard's[permanent dead link],
  4. ^ Bengeo, British History Online

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°48′19″N 0°04′48″W / 51.8053°N 0.0800°W / 51.8053; -0.0800