HertfordshireABBOTSLANGLEYStLawrenceMartyr(nigelcoxCC-BY-SA2.0)1 NigelCox

St Lawrence the Martyr

This church was built in 1154AD to extend an old Saxon church and is central to the village of Abbots Langley.

Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire

Opening times

The church is open every day of the week from 9.3am to about 4.30pm.


High Street
Abbots Langley

The site of Abbots Langley parish church was probably originally occupied by a Saxon church.

The nave and aisles with their beautiful Norman arches were added between the years 1140 to 1150 and the church was dedicated to St Lawrence the Martyr in 1154. The tower (with its well used ring of six bells) was built between 1190 and 1200 and the tower arch shows the change in style to the Transitional before the complete development of Early English Gothic architecture. The south east Corpus Christi Chapel was built between 1307 and 1327.

The Saxon church fell into decay and in 1400 was replaced by the present chancel building. In addition, the chancel was linked to the Corpus Christi Chapel by a two bay arcade. In 1450 the aisle walls were rebuilt, the clerestory raised and the nave and aisles re-roofed. Like many local churches of that period, it was built with Totternhoe Clunch, a hard chalk stone, and flint in a chequer pattern.

The most recent addition is the Breakspear room on the north side with a small kitchen, toilets and meeting room. It is named after Nicholas Breakspear, Pope Adrian IV, the only English pope, who was born in the village of Bedmond in this parish. The Breakspear room also provides level access for wheelchair users. In 1969, this church suffered a huge fire, mainly in the sanctuary. The restoration has completely opened up this area and given the church much more flexibility for worship and other events.

St Lawrence the Martyr has a very active connection with this parish and its residents. Every day there are many visitors who come to find a quiet place for peace, for prayer and meditation. But for worship, too, this church is very well supported. Over the years we have grown and now need to run five Christmas Eve nativity services in succession to accommodate everyone coming from far and wide. The services, complete with donkey and real babies, fill the whole church almost to overflowing.

  • Captivating architecture

  • Famous connections

  • Fascinating churchyard

  • Magnificent memorials

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Wildlife haven

  • Accessible toilets in church

  • Bus stop within 100m

  • Car park at church

  • Church shop or souvenirs

  • Dog friendly

  • Level access to the main areas

  • Parking within 250m

  • Space to secure your bike

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Concerts are held on the Saturdays of May and there are other occasional concerts, including visiting choral societies, and the Salvation Army band.

  • Morning Prayer is said on-line every day on our Facebook page. We also have a midweek Eucharist and Meditations, and monthly Taizé service.

  • Church of England

  • Wolfson Fabric Repair Grant, £3,500, 2020

  • Wolfson Fabric Repair Grants are awarded for urgent repair projects, based on our recommendation, to help keep churches open.

  • Gateway Grant, £3,400, 2020

  • Our Gateway Grants fund churches developing building projects and also urgent maintenance and repair projects to help keep churches open.

Contact information

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