- All Saints' Church, Brixworth
All Saints' Church, Brixworth
All Saints' Church, Brixworth, showing Anglo-Saxon work and spire
Coordinates: Country United Kingdom Denomination Church of England History Dedication All Saints Architecture Heritage designation Grade I listed Administration Parish Brixworth Deanery Brixworth Archdeaconry Northampton Diocese Diocese of Peterborough Clergy Vicar(s) Revd Anthony John Watkins
All Saints' Church, Brixworth, in Northamptonshire is an outstanding example of early Anglo-Saxon architecture located in central England, and has been called "perhaps the most imposing architectural memorial of the 7th century yet surviving north of the Alps". It is the largest English church which remains substantially as it was in the Anglo-Saxon period.
Brixworth is mentioned in the Peterborough Chronicle as being a monastery founded when Sexwulf became bishop of Mercia, before the death of King Wulfhere in 675AD. Many elements from the original building remain visible, although there are later additions, notably the tower, from further periods of building in the 10th, 13th and 19th centuries. The older building contains features typically found in architecture of a later period, for example an ambulatory. Now it is a parish church and a Grade I listed building.
Roman architecture can be considered the precedent for early Christian church building; hence the term 'Romanesque'. The church design resembled the form of an Early Christian basilica, but with piers instead of columns.
What remains of the original building is an arcaded nave infilled with windows, a presbytery separated from the nave by a great arch, and an apse rebuilt in the nineteenth century on the original foundations. There is also a tower to the west.
Archaeological excavations have shown that the original church had side chambers, called porticus, which would have been in addition to the present nave. At the position of the present tower was a narthex, and original pillars now covered by flooring show that there was a three arched opening separating the nave from the presbytery. The original entrance would have been on the west, and the present south entrance was made in Norman times.
Reclaimed Roman stonework was used in the construction of the building; there was a large Roman villa nearby. There is also the use of Roman-sized brick tiles in the arcading and other arches; the form of which are Roman in precedent. The re-use of Roman stonework can also be seen in other Anglo-Saxon buildings.
One unusual feature of All Saints, Brixworth, is the ambulatory running around the outside of the original apse below ground level. Originally steps led down to the ambulatory, which was covered by a barrel vault. The purpose of this ambulatory was probably to house or provide access to preserved relics.
The tower which replaced the narthex, with a stair turret, was added in the 10th century, still in Anglo-Saxon times, with the upper levels and spire added in the 13th century. This is one of four remaining Anglo-Saxon stair turrets in England, and is similar in design to the one at Brigstock church, a few miles away.
A triple arch was inserted into the existing masonry of the west nave wall at high level, replacing an existing arch. The arches are supported by baluster shafts, which are typical in Anglo-Saxon architecture, and can also be seen at the tower of All Saints' Church, Earls Barton, nearby.
Brixworth has been identified with Clofesho, the unidentified site of Anglo-Saxon synods in the 8th and 9th centuries, though there are other candidates; this might account for the unusually large size of the building by the standards of the time.
- Watkins, Rev. C. F. (1867) The Basilica and the Basilican Church of Brixworth.
- ^ Sir Alfred Clapham, English Romanesque Architecture before the Conquest, Oxford, 1930
- ^ A summary of the dates of the various elements, based on the official county survey, is at the "Images of England" link below
- ^ John Julius Norwich, The Architecture of Southern England, Macmillan, London,1985, ISBN 03333220374
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
All Saints Church — All Saints Church, or All Saints Church or variations on the name may refer to:Australia*All Saints Church, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory *All Saints Church, Henley Brook, Western AustraliaBarbados*All Saints Chapel of Ease… … Wikipedia
Brixworth — 52.3293 0.90378999999999 … Deutsch Wikipedia
Brixworth — Infobox UK place country = England official name= Brixworth latitude= 52.32930 longitude= 0.90379 civil parish= Brixworth population = 5,162 (2001 Census) shire district= Daventry district shire county= Northamptonshire region= East Midlands… … Wikipedia
Church of England — Supreme Governor Queen Elizabeth II Primate Rowan Williams (Archbishop of Canterbury) … Wikipedia
List of oldest churches — Church of the Nativity was built circa 550 on the traditional site of Jesus Christ s birth The designation of the oldest church in the world requires careful use of definitions, and must be divided into two parts, the oldest in the sense of… … Wikipedia
List of abbeys and priories in England — Contents 1 Overview 1.1 Article layout 2 Abbreviations and key … Wikipedia
Councils of Clovesho — The Councils of Clovesho were a series of synods in England in the eighth and ninth centuries. The location of Clovesho has never been conclusively identified, though it must have been in or near the kingdom of Mercia, but also relatively… … Wikipedia
Anglo-Saxon architecture — was a period in the history of architecture in England, and parts of Wales, from the mid 5th century until the Norman Conquest of 1066.Anglo Saxon buildings in Britain were generally simple, constructed mainly using timber with thatch for roofing … Wikipedia
Oldest buildings in the United Kingdom — This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it. Skara Brae 3180 BC–2500 BC a Neolithic village in Scotland with a high degree of sophistication including furnishings and drainage … Wikipedia
Садвен — (VI век) отшельник валлийский. День памяти 29 ноября. Святой Садвен (Sadwen), или Садурн (Sadwrn), или Сатурнин (Saturninus) был братом св. Ильтуда и учеником св. Кадфана. В его честь освящены несколько храмов в Уэльсе. Считается, что св.Садвен… … Википедия