We are a very strange place to find in the fields of Hertfordshire: down narrow, winding lanes, we were built as an 'eye catcher' for the manorial home of Sir Lionel Lyde.
His architect, Nicholas Revett, was a leading exponent of neo classical architecture in the Grecian style, and based this design on the Temple of Apollo on the istand of Delos in the Cyclades. The give away is the fluting detail on the top and bottom of our Doric columns: quite unique and what earned the church its Grade I listing.
Inside, the influence is more Roman in style, with a coffered ceiling modelled on the Pantheon. The little pavilions at either end of the church contain the bodies of Sir Lionel (north side) and his wife Rachel (south side). 'What the church united in life, let it keep separate in death', he decreed in his will, apparently reflecting a life of nuptial discord!
You can also see, a short walk away, the medieval church which was deliberately 'ruined' by Sir Lionel, perhaps in his attempts to create a contrast between old fashioned Gothic tradition and modern, pure thought as embodied in the Greek tradition and much admired in the Enlightenment period in the mid 18h century.
The old church is very close to refreshment at our 16th century village pub, the Brocket Arms, which once housed the monks from the church. Shaw's Corner, the Arts & Crafts house home for 44 years of George Bernard Shaw and his wife Charlotte, is also a short stroll. Owned by the National Trust, check their website for current opening arrangements.