Construction commenced in the 12th century and took 40 years to complete. It is cruciform in shape, with chancel, the first part to be built, nave south and north transept, and a tower. A spire, one of the tallest in Europe was added in the 14th century with a total height of 200 feet. It is topped by a gilded weather vane. The church is built from the local clunch stone and flint with some addition of Roman tiles. The architecture is Norman throughout apart from porches added in the 14th and 15th centuries. A 19th century vestry was added on the north east corner.
In 1302 a cell to Ashridge priory was founded in Hemel Hempstead and the church had collegiate status until the desolation of the monasteries in 1536. A door at the base of the tower allowed the monks access to the church and avoided them mixing with the townspeople. It is not known why such a grand church was constructed in what at the time was a small hamlet.
A ring of five bells was recorded in the reign of Edward VI. None of these remain and the present ring is of 8 bells dating from 1590 to 1767. In 1950, as part of the 800th anniversary, the bells were retuned by Gillett and Johnston of Croydon and rehung on steel frames with completely new fittings.
On to the cache:
Starting at the published coordinates you will have a lovely view of the church. However you might like to get an even better one by taking a few steps back into the park (see the above photo). As you look right of the entrance to the church yard you'll see a black plaque with gold lettering. There is a date range, the first date is 11?0 ?=A
Now take a walk clock-wise (that's left of the church) round the church. At the main door in the Western end of the church you'll see 4 ornate hinges. At the end of each hinge you'll see some decoration. How many leaves, flowers and buds are there? This is the total number of each decoration on one of the hinges =B
Continue around the church to the first porch (North side of the Nave). Look at the door you'll find a plaque to commentate the corannation of Queen Elizabeth II. A. L. Selden was Mayor of the borough 1945-194?, C=? divided 3.
Make you way up the hill, keeping the church to your right. Following the path you will see the corn exchange with a way though to the High street. You will now be under the Old Town Hall theatre. At NW end you will see a green door with a white frame. Above the door is a legend starting 'Corn Exchange', there is a date here 1??7 take the 3rd number from the 2nd =X
While you are within the Corn Exchange find a metal cover on the floor with 'Hayward Brothers' on it. Within this cover are a number of small circular glass 'windows'. Take the number of 'windows' and times the number by 2. This should give you a 2 digit number. This number =YZ.
Now take all these numbers and plug them into this matrix: N51 45.ABC W00 28.XYZ
You are looking for a nano cache. Unfortunantly due to nearby caches you will not have a view of the church, or will you? Happy caching!
For full information on how you can expand the Church Micro series by sadexploration please read the Place your own Church Micro page before you contact him at churchmicro.co.uk
See also the Church Micro Statistics and Home pages for further information about the series.