LONGMAN COURT WEBSITE

Welcome to the Longman Court website, below is a short history of Apsley or Apsley End.

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St Mary's Church, Apsley
[from Hemel Hempstead in Camera]

Apsley or Apsley End
Hemel Hempstead

The Church of St. Mary at Apsley End was opened for public worship in 1871. It was consecrated at a ceremony on 31st August 1871, by the Bishop of Rochester. The first Vicar of St. Mary's was Rev. D. Ingles M.A. John Evans served as vicar's warden of St. Mary from 1871-1896 and was followed in this role by his son, Lewis Evans, between 1887-1894 and 1899-1902. The Church of St. Mary's was built by Messrs. Bell and Son of Saffron Walden, to a design by Diocesan architect Joseph Clarke F.S.A. The main structure of St. Mary's has rough flint walls and quoins with dressings of Ancaster stone. To this day, its impressively proportioned shingled spire dominates the surroundings. The tower of the church has six bells with a combined weight of 55 cwt. The donor list for these bells reads like a who's who of the leading lights of Victorian Apsley. The tenor bell was the gift of Charles Longman (1809-1875), the High Sheriff of Hertfordshire, the second bell was given by the First vicar, Rev. Ingles, the third was the gift of John Evans FRS (1825-1908), the fourth donated by Frederick Pratt Barlow (1815-1885), who had married John Dickinson's eldest daughter Frances in 1840, and the fifth was the gift of John Dickinson Junior (1815-1876) the only surviving son of the founder of Apsley Mills.

The Church of St. Mary owes its life more to Charles Longman than anyone else. It was he who, on the death of his wife in 1860, declared his ambition to build a church in her memory to serve "the people of Two Waters and Nash Mills". This however was not a scheme favoured by John Dickinson, whose death in 1869 cleared the way to proceed. Undoubtedly, the outstanding feature of St. Mary's is the beautiful reredos, which was presented in 1915 by the Longman family in memory of Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Hampton Longman. The screen depicts Christ as the Priest King and has extensive gliding. The church's internal War Memorial to those who died in both wars is also notable and was carved in oak by Gertrude White.

 

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