South Mimms, sometimes spelt South Mymms, is a village and civil
parish forming part of the
Hertsmere district of
Hertfordshire in the
East of England. It is a small settlement located near to the junction
M25 motorway with the A1(M) motorway and is perhaps more widely
known because of the naming of the service station at that junction.
2 St Giles' Church, South Mimms
South Mimms Castle
5 External links
Sign at Junction 1 of the A1(M) at South Mimms
Potters Bar was originally a small settlement in the parish of South
Potters Bar became the location of the nearest railway station
and eventually became much larger. Both
Potters Bar and South Mimms
were part of
Middlesex until the creation of Greater London, which
abolished the county of
Middlesex in 1965.
South Mimms was the
northernmost village in Middlesex.
South Mimms parish was split in 1894 under the Local Government Act
1894 with the extreme southern tip forming
South Mimms Urban
South Mimms Urban parish in
Barnet Urban District
Barnet Urban District and was transferred to Hertfordshire. This
area now forms part of the London Borough of Barnet. The rest of the
parish became the
South Mimms Rural District, later renamed the
Potters Bar Urban District.
The Grange, a country house in South Mimms, served as a home for Queen
Wilhelmina of the Netherlands
Wilhelmina of the Netherlands during her exile during World War II,
from 1940. On 20 February 1944, a German air attack on South Mimms
narrowly missed her, killing two of her guards, an incident mentioned
in her autobiography. This prompted her move to a house near
Dancers Hill in
South Mimms was the location of a World War II
prisoner-of-war camp, Camp 33, that consisted of two compounds, both
providing tented accommodation for prisoners.
Richmond Thackeray, father of William Makepeace Thackeray, was born in
the parish and baptised in the church in 1781.
For many years Clare Hall Hospital was used as a tuberculosis
sanatorium. It is now used by Cancer Research UK.
A notable person born in
South Mimms is Samuel Tinsley, a famous chess
St Giles' Church, South Mimms
St Giles' Church, South Mimms
Interior of St Giles' Church, South Mimms
The Grade I listed parish church of
South Mimms is dedicated to Saint
Giles. It is situated on the west side of the village. It has a
chancel with north vestry and chapel, nave with north aisle and south
porch, and west tower. Except for the north aisle and chapel, which
are partly of brick, the walls are of flint rubble with stone
The chancel, or at least its western part, is of the 13th-century; the
east end may be an extension of the earlier 14th century, the date of
the east window. It is not structurally divided from the nave which
appears to have been rebuilt at the end of the 14th century, the date
of the windows and doorway in the south wall. The three-stage tower
was added c. 1450 and has a western doorway and an external stair
turret. The north chapel and aisle, with their arcades of two and four
bays, were built in the early 16th century and the latter was
apparently complete by 1526, when the stained glass windows depicting
its donors were in place. The whole church appears to have been richly
provided with stained glass of the medieval period. The chapel, which
may be a little older than the aisle, is enclosed by wooden screens
which are decorated with the leopard's head badge of Frowyk. There was
formerly a late medieval rood screen.
The chancel was out of repair in 1685, when it was ordered that the
communion table be railed in. By the 18th century all the medieval
glass, except the lower part of four panels in the north aisle, had
gone and the chancel, nave, and aisle had flat plaster ceilings. Then
the walls and the screens of the Frowyk chapel were all whitewashed.
There was a gallery for children at the west end, extending some way
along both sides of the nave, and there were box pews, a lofty pulpit,
and a reading desk. The royal arms were 'placed where the rood had
been'. Externally the south porch was of classical design and the
tower was covered in ivy.
The lead roof of the nave was replaced by slates in 1823 and the
gabled roof of the chantry by a flat leaded roof and a battlement
before 1849. In 1846 a flint-and-brick wall was built at the west end
of the church and Lord Salisbury, as lay rector, was asked to repair
the chancel. In 1848 he still had not done so and the vestry resolved
on legal proceedings. By 1876 the fabric was causing concern and the
vestry accordingly appointed
George Edmund Street
George Edmund Street to carry out a
complete restoration. The church was re-opened in 1878, after the
plaster had been stripped from the exterior, a south porch built, and
a battlement added to the south wall to give height to the nave.
Inside, the lath-and-plaster ceilings were taken out but the timber
roof of the aisle was preserved; whitewash and white paint were
removed, the box pews were replaced by oak ones based on the design of
two which had survived from the 16th century, and a stone pulpit and
an oak roodloft were installed. No stained glass had been introduced
into the church since 1541, but in 1889 the central light of the east
window was filled with Munich glass and in 1894 more stained glass was
In 1552 the church possessed a pair of organs. A barrel organ had been
introduced in 1813, although the innovation was not welcomed by all
the parishioners, and a new organ was built in the chantry in 1889.
The square baptismal font dates from the 13th century and has 14th
century panelling on the pier. Its cover, designed by Sir Ninian
Comper in 1938, is supported on four gilt pillars.
The notable collection of monuments includes 15th- to 18th-century
brasses to members of the Frowyk, Ewer, Harrison, Hodsden, and
Ketterick families, including one commemorating Thomas Frowyk (d.
1448), his wife, and nineteen children. Wall-monuments include an
early-17th-century memorial, with a death's-head and carrying the arms
of the Nowell family, and memorials to William Adams by Thomas Denman
and Mary Dakin by William Spratt. There are 17th-century floor-slabs
to the families of Norbury, Marsh, Howkins, Adderley, and Ewer, and a
canopied altar-tomb with some Renaissance features, perhaps that of
Henry Frowyk (d. 1527). In the north chapel there is a canopied tomb
in an earlier style bearing the arms of Frowyk impaled with those of
Throckmorton, Aske, Knollys, and Lewknor, and with an effigy of a man
in armour adorned with the Frowyk leopard's head; it is probably that
of Henry's son Thomas, who died by 1527. The churchyard contains a
large monument to Sir John Austen, MP (d. 1742).
South Mimms Castle
The remains of a motte and bailey castle are situated 1.25 kilometres
northwest of the village, consisting of a circular mound about 9
metres high by 35 m across, in the corner of a kidney-shaped inner
bailey about 125 m long. Traces of an outer bailey survive to the
south of the site. The castle is thought to have been built by
Geoffrey de Mandeville, 1st Earl of Essex in about 1141 during The
Anarchy, a period of civil war between the forces of the Empress
Matilda and those of King Stephen. The site was only identified in
1918 and was excavated in 1960-67 by Dr John Kent. These works
found that the wooden keep, a large framed tower with tapered sides,
had been built on the natural ground level and the motte had been
piled up against it afterwards, using spoil from the ditch. The sides
of the motte had originally been revetted with wood, so that only a
timber wall would have been visible. Entrance to the tower was
through a tunnel at the base of the motte. The castle was probably
destroyed in 1341, but finds at the site suggest that occupation
continued for a time afterwards. The castle remains are on private
land and there is no public access, although a public footpath runs
close to the site.
^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for
National Statistics. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
^ a b "South Mimms: Introduction - A History of the County of
Middlesex: Volume 5, pp. 271-282". www.british-history.ac.uk. British
History Online. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
^ "The key historic locations in Great Britain for the Netherlands
during the Second World War" (PDF). www.netherlandsandyou.nl. Kingdom
of the Netherlands. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
^ "PRISONER OF WAR CAMPS (1939 – 1948)". Historic England. Historic
England. 2003. p. 23. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
^ Historic England, "Church of St Giles (1174342)", National Heritage
List for England, retrieved 17 August 2017
^ a b c d e f "
South Mimms Churches". British History Online.
Retrieved 17 August 2017.
^ a b "National Heritage List for
South Mimms motte and
bailey castle". historicengland.org.uk. Historic England. Retrieved 25
^ "South Mimms: Manors - A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume
5, pp. 282-285". www.british-history.ac.uk. British History Online.
Retrieved 25 June 2017.
^ Barker, Philip (1993). Techniques of Archaeological Excavation.
Routledge. p. 189. ISBN 978-0415151528.
^ Pounds, Norman J. G. (1990). The Medieval Castle in
Wales: A Political and Social History. Cambridge University Press.
p. 13. ISBN 978-0521383493.
^ "Circular walk in search of
South Mimms castle".
wallwalkers.wordpress.com. 14 July 2014. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
St Giles' Church website
Media related to
South Mimms at Wikimedia Commons
Official population figures (PDF)
Civil parishes of Hertfordshire
Nettleden with Potten End
Brent Pelham and Meesden
Buckland and Chipping
Eastwick and Gilston
Stanstead St Margarets
Elstree and Borehamwood
Caldecote and Newnham
Clothall and Luffenhall
Rushden and Wallington
St Paul's Walden
Letchworth Garden City
Ayot St Lawrence
Ayot St Peter
Northaw and Cuffley
Welwyn Garden City
List of place