The fifteenth century church of Little Gaddesden stands by itself among open fields. The Bridgewater Chapel, which was added to the east end of the south aisle in 1819, makes a charming if slightly unconvincing attempt to match the Perpendicular style of the medieval church. The chapel has a fine plaster vault by Francis Bernasconi and contains an impressive sequence of family monuments dating from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century.
Sir Jeffry Wyatville
Grade I (England and Wales)
The funerary chapel attached to the church was built by John William Egerton, 7th Earl of Bridgewater (1753-1823) in 1819. When he died in 1823, the estate passed to his brother, Francis Egerton, and it was he who erected the monument to their more famous cousin, the Canal Duke, from whom they had inherited the Ashridge estate. The remains of the Canal Duke, who died in 1803, lie in the vault under the chapel. The Latin inscription on his memorial may be translated as: “He sent barges where formerly the farmer tilled his field”.
The monument to the Canal Duke was, like the mausoleum, designed by Wyatville. It stands two miles west of the church and takes the form of an immensely tall column surmounted by an urn.
BoE: Herts (1977) 236-7;
H Colvin, The Architecture of the After-Life (1991), 270, and A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects (1994), 1132;
VCH: Herts (1908) 2, 213-4.
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