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Church of St Mary and St Thomas, Knebworth facts for kids

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Church of St Mary and St Thomas, Knebworth
St Mary and St Thomas, Knebworth, Herts - - 433256.jpg
The northern side of the church looking towards the tower
Location Knebworth Park, Knebworth, Hertfordshire, SG3 6PY
Country England
Denomination Church of England
Status Active
Functional status Parish church
Heritage designation Grade I listed
Designated 27 May 1968
Bells 8
Parish Knebworth
Deanery Stevenage
Archdeaconry Hertford
Diocese Diocese of St Albans

The Church of St Mary and St Thomas is one of two Anglican churches in Knebworth, Hertfordshire, England. The church dates from the twelfth century and is a grade I listed building.

The church is set in a churchyard which has listed tombstones by Edwin Lutyens. It is surrounded by parkland.



Like a number of Norman churches in the area (for example, St Nicholas' Church, Stevenage; All Saints, Datchworth), the site is on a hill. Archaeological investigations have identified traces of an early settlement between the church and Knebworth House. It is believed that the settlement was abandoned when the park was created in c. 1300.

In 1914 work started on a new church, St Martin's, to serve the main population centre of Knebworth, but St Mary and St Thomas has remained in use.


The architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner described the exterior of the church as "architecturally insignificant". The most prominent feature is the tower, surmounted by a short spire typical of the region called a "Hertfordshire spike".(see note)

Features of interest inside the church include a Norman chancel arch and memorials to the Lytton family. Until the construction of the Lytton Mausoleum in Knebworth Park, the Lytton family used the Lytton Chapel for interments. The chapel is attached to the north side of the church and was rebuilt around 1710 to house three exceptionally fine monuments dedicated to members of the family.

On 27 May 1968, the church was designated a grade I listed building.

Present day

The church still uses the Book of Common Prayer for its services. The church is part of the parish of Knebworth in the Archdeaconry of Hertford of the Diocese of St Albans.

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