Bradbourne, Derbyshire – All Saints’

Back home we tried to have a day off on Friday 28 July. We had coffee at the National Stone Centre, and then cut across to Brassington. Sadly the church was locked. We went on to Bradbourne. Here is All Saints’ church which is at SK 207527. They are part of the Wirksworth team, with a website here.

It was not really the weather to wander round outside. If I had, I would have found that part of the north wall is Saxon, and the tower is Norman. The main body of the church is C13 and C14. Restoration in 1909.

In the churchyard is Saxon cross-shaft. We’d like to imagine it standing there for centuries, but it was apparently erected here in 1947, “having been resurrected in the late 1880s from fragments reused in the porch foundations and churchyard stile” (Pevsner). Late C8, early C9.

This painting of the Adoration of the Shepherds was given to the parish by the Reverend R.F. Borough after WW2. The artist is unknown, but it is probably C16/C17, of the Italian school. Not easy to photograph. The parish have produced “A Spiritual Journey” round the church, which invites us to pause and look. It points out that there is a lady at the top of the painting who is simply getting on with her work, and missing he significance of what is going on.

In the chancel is a lovely south window by D. Marion Grant. It has lots to look at. There is a little about her here which says that the design for this window (though Bradbourne is not in Dorset) was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1940. During WW2 she worked for the Air Ministry, designing camouflage – you never think of camouflage being designed!

The East window is a bit boring in comparison, but the lights are fun.

In the Lady Chapel, the size of the statue leaves you in doubts whose chapel it is! It was given in memory of the Reverend Arthur Gamble, curate here from 1887-91, then Vicar until 1918. The days of one man serving one village 31 years have long gone!

Pevsner says this is a “Primitive C16-C17 wall painting … domed polygonal towers surrounding a black-letter inscription from Ecclesiastes 1”. I can understand why the roof support had to go there, but who let them put that wire down one side, and the noticeboard and switch so close?

This is a sad memorial – do you think it was to a son so young he didn’t have a name?

I did find it rather amusing that the MU banner is kept behind bars – do they do the same with the Mothers’ Union?

Pevsner thinks this font is Victorian – apparently there is a possible pre-Conquest one which I missed.

Bradbourne proclaims itself to be a “doubly thankful” village. Most websites are happy to accept it is a Thankful village of WW1, when 18 who served all returned home. The village has researched, and produced a good booklet, which says that 11 who served in WW2 also returned home. However, on 30 March 1944 a plane that took off in poor visibility from RAF Ashbourne, hit high tension cables near Kniveton, then trees on Haven Hill, and crashed by Bradbourne Mill. The four crew members were all killed.

Before the rain started, I went to photo the South door. Rather lovely carvings. This is a church to come back to when the sun is shining.



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One Response to Bradbourne, Derbyshire – All Saints’

  1. Mrs Andrea Pearcey says:

    It is lovely to see how you have captured the beauty of this truly exquisite little church. I am a relation (through marriage) of the church warden Francis Walter Stone whose memorial plaque set in the stained glass window is shown in your collection of photographs.
    My husband John Pearcey who sadly died on 30 March 2017 aged only 68 was the son of the late Vera Stone who passed away in 1982 aged 60, Vera being the daughter of May & Francis W Stone, both of whom are buried in the grounds of the church.

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