St Lawrence

Ayot St Lawrence is known mainly for the National Trust property of Shaw's Corner, the Arts and Crafts house where George Bernard Shaw lived from 1906 until his death in 1950.

About this church

Ayot's parish church could hardly be more different. Replicating a temple from Ancient Greece, it was built in 1778 for Sir Lionel Lyde, a wealthy landowner who wanted something impressive to enhance his view from Ayot House. His architect was Nicholas Revett.

A few hundred yards east of the white stuccoed church with its colonnades and portico, very avantgarde for its day, stands what remains of its medieval predecessor.

Lyde had dismantled this into a forlorn, roofless ruin, before the church authorities could object, in the belief that it would make a picturesque addition to his landscape.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Social heritage stories

Visitors information

  • Level access to the main areas
  • On street parking at church
  • Parking within 250m
  • Accessible toilets nearby
  • Dog friendly
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome
  • Space to secure your bike

Other nearby churches

All Saints

The late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, was born and brought up just to the south of the village at St Pauls Walden Bury, home of the Bowes-Lyon family since the 18th century.


St Mary

A small and beautiful George Gilbert Scott church in a serene hamlet just outside St Albans.

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