Bradwell

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1913

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68-69

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'Bradwell', An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Buckinghamshire, Volume 2: North (1913), pp. 68-69. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=121211 Date accessed: 26 November 2014.


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113. BRADWELL.

(O.S. 6 in. ix. S.E.)

Ecclesiastical

(1). Parish Church of St. Laurence, stands at the S. end of the village; the walls are of stone rubble, with squared dressings; the roofs are covered with lead and with tiles. The church apparently was built c. 1210, and then consisted of a chancel, Nave and S. aisle. The South Aisle was re-built and widened c. 1360, and the Chancel was probably re-built at the same time. The West Tower was added probably late in the 14th century and the North Porch in the 15th century, but the tower was practically re-built in the 16th century and the walls of the nave were heightened in the same century. The whole building was restored during the 19th century, and again in 1904, when a flying buttress was built to support the W. end of the S. aisle.

The remains of the 13th-century inscriptions on the chancel arch are especially interesting. Among the fittings the two bells by Michael of Wymbis, of c. 1300, are noteworthy.

Architectural Description—The Chancel (19½ ft. by 12 ft.) has a modern E. window, with a 13th-century internal label, enriched with nail-head ornament, said to have been originally over the chancel arch. In the N. wall are two windows, the eastern a single trefoiled light of the 14th century, and the other a low-side window of one trefoiled ogee light, also of the 14th century, with a moulded external label, which has much worn head-stops; the rear arch and internal jambs are modern: between the windows is a modern doorway. In the S. wall are two windows, both modern, but the internal splays, now covered with plaster, are possibly old. The 13th-century chancel arch was widened and partly restored in 1868; it is two-centred and of two slightly chamfered orders with a label on the W. side, and of one similar order on the E. side; the grooved and chamfered imposts have remains of incised inscriptions in Lombardic capitals; the S. impost is inscribed—'H~: ECCLI~A: DEDICATA: Ē: IN: HONORE~: SC~I: LAVRECII: XI . . . . . ', the N. impost is inscribed— 'VIGINTI: DIES: RELAXA~CIONIS: . . . .' The Nave (30 ft. by 15 ft.) has, in the N. wall, between two modern windows, a 14th-century doorway with moulded jambs and two-centred head and a moulded external label; part of the inner member has been cut away. The S. arcade is of c. 1210, and of three bays with square slightly chamfered responds which have grooved and chamfered abaci; the short circular columns have moulded bases and foliated capitals with square moulded abaci; the capital of the eastern column has flat-leaf foliage; the capital of the second column is more elaborate and has sprays of stiff-leaf foliage and a carved head (see Plate, p. 39); the two-centred arches are of one chamfered order. The clearstorey has, on each side, three small foiled windows, all modern, except possibly the internal splays. The South Aisle (10½ ft. wide) has an E. window, all modern, except the jambs. In the S. wall are two windows, the eastern of c. 1360 and of two trefoiled lights and tracery in a two-centred head with a moulded external label; the second window is a modern copy of the other, but the splays and rear arch are old; between the windows is a doorway with chamfered jambs and semi-circular head which has a chamfered external label; it is of the 13th century, removed to its present position when the aisle was widened. In the W. wall is a modern window. The West Tower (10½ ft. by 10 ft.) is of two stages, with W. diagonal buttresses; the N. and S. walls have plain parapets, and the E. and W. walls are gabled. The tower arch was re-built in the 16th century and is of two chamfered orders, the inner order two-centred, the outer four-centred and slightly stilted; the plain massive jambs are chamfered and have moulded stops at the base and rounded stops below the abaci, which are rounded, and chamfered at the top; the arch and jambs are not of the same thickness. The W. window is modern, except part of the jambs; high up in the W. wall is a narrow 14th-century light with a trefoiled head. In the upper stage the E. and W. walls have each a 16th-century window of two four-centred lights under a square head, with a plain label and chamfered jambs, mullion and transom. The N. and S. walls have each a small single light with a segmental pointed head; over the N. window is the date of the restoration of the tower in 1832. The North Porch has an outer doorway with old plain chamfered jambs; the two-centred head is modern, the moulded external label is possibly of the 15th century. The Roof of the N. porch is boarded, but has a 15th-century moulded ridge.

Fittings—Bells: six; 1st and 2nd inscribed 'Michael de UUymbis me fecit', c. 1300; 4th inscribed 'Vox Augustini Sonet In Aure Dei', by John Walgrave, early 15th-century. In ground stage of tower—piece of old bell frame inscribed 'IF WE. 1652', and four old bell clappers. Communion Table: with turned legs, shaped top rail and plain foot rail, 17th-century. Font: small octagonal bowl, cut from the old font, stem modern. Glass: In nave—in N.E. window, three roundels with different patterns, date uncertain. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Floor-slab: In tower— to Sir Joseph Alston, of Bradwell Abbey, baronet, 1688. Piscina: In S. aisle—at E. end of S. wall, chamfered, pointed recess, with circular basin, c. 1360. Plate: includes large flagon and stand paten of 1688, each engraved with a coat of arms. Royal Arms: In chancel—on N. wall, small, carved in oak, Stuart arms, with supporters.

Condition—Good; except the N.E. angle of the nave, which shows cracks in the E. wall; in the joints of the S.E. angle of the S. aisle the mortar is crumbling away; the W. wall of the aisle is cracked, but is supported by a buttress.

Secular

(2). Mount and Bailey, 100 yards N.E. of the church, on fairly level ground about 240 ft. above O.D. The work consists of a mount with one attached bailey, and covers about ½ an acre. The mount, 18ft. by 24 ft. in diameter at the summit, is 8 ft. high and retains traces of its ditch. The defences of the bailey are now only indicated by a slight scarp, except on the W., where a slight bank remains. The work is not shown on the Ordnance Survey maps.

Condition—Poor; the N.E. part of the bailey is obliterated.

(3). Homestead Moat, round Moat House, about 200 yards N.W. of the church, partly filled in and used as a vegetable garden.

(4). Inn, on the N. side of the road, 170 yards N.E. of the church, is of two storeys, built probably early in the 17th century, of stone; the roofs are tiled. The plan of the original house is of central chimney type, with additions of later date at the back and at the N. end. The central chimney stack is of thin bricks. Interior:—The ceilings have chamfered beams and the open fireplaces are partly blocked.

Condition—Good.



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