St Mary’s church is open for visitors on Sunday afternoons in July and August. It will also be open on Sunday 4th September.
The ancient parish church of Knebworth, dedicated to The Virgin Mary and St Thomas of Canterbury (Thomas á Becket) is known generally as St Mary’s. Both St Mary and St Thomas are commemorated in the West window. Originally St Mary’s stood at the heart of the mediaeval village of Knebworth, the earliest record of which is in the Domesday Book.
When Knebworth Park was created, most probably in the late 13th century, the former settlement was relocated about ½ kilometre to the south, leaving only the church and some earthworks as evidence for the mediaeval village.
The nave and chancel are the oldest parts of the church, dating from 1120 (the reign of Henry I, son of William the Conqueror), but the chancel was rebuilt during the last century. The porch, on the South side of the church, dates from the early 18th century (reign of Queen Anne) but the doorway is much older c1380 (Richard II, son of the Black Prince). The pulpit is of 18th century oak, but it has on it four Flemish carved panels dating from about 1567 (the reign of Elizabeth I). www.knebworthparishchurch.co.uk