School of Historical Studies presents Annual All Saints' Church Lecture, 30 October

Posted by mjs76 at Oct 27, 2010 01:55 PM |
‘Who Served the Altar at Brixworth? Clergy in English Minsters c800-c1100.’ (Also of interest: who serves the tea in the Heritage Centre, 4.00pm-5.00pm?)

Sir Alfred Clapham in his definitive 1930 work English Romanesque Architecture before the Conquest called it “perhaps the most imposing architectural memorial of the 7th century yet surviving north of the Alps”. It is the largest surviving Anglo-Saxon building in England.

It is All Saints’ Church, Brixworth and there’s a lecture there this Saturday. Organised by Friends of All Saints’ Church and our School of Historical Studies, the 28th annual All Saints’ Lecture will be given by Dr Julia Barrow from the University of Nottingham who will speak on the topic: ‘Who Served the Altar at Brixworth? Clergy in English Minsters c800-c1100.’

All Saints’ Church dates back to 680AD when monks from Peterborough founded a place of worship on top of a hill in what is now Northamptonshire. Changes have been made over the centuries, including the addition of a tower and an unusual external stair turret in the 10th century, and the removal of a triple arch between the nave and the presbytery in the 13th century.

There was also some work done during Victorian times when a medieval apse (the semi-circular end of the church) was replaced with one more similar to the original Saxon apse. One of the church’s most distinctive features is a horseshoe-shaped trench around the apse which was originally a covered, subterranean perambulatory allowing the faithful to walk around and examine a religious relic. The nature of this relic was unknown until 1821 when a carved box was discovered containing a fragment of human bone. There is a strong possibility that this is a relic of Saint Boniface, who had links with the area.

If you like your Anglo-Saxon churches (and let’s face it, they’re one of those things – like black holes, Charles Dickens and rock hyraxes – that most people have at least a passing interest in) then All Saints’ in Brixworth is well worth a visit. It is open to visitors during daylight hours and there is a small Heritage Centre adjacent with displays and catering facilities for groups.

This year’s annual lecture is on Saturday 30 October at 5.00pm with tea in the Heritage Centre from 4.00pm, Tickets (including tea) are £5.00 or £3.00 for students. All profits go towards the upkeep of this historically important and fascinating church. Brixworth lies on the A508 about five miles due North of Northampton.

Please enclose an SAE with postal applications for tickets and make cheques payable to ‘The Friends of All Saints’ Church, Brixworth’. You can send them to Dr Jo Story, School of Historical Studies, University of Leicester LE1 7RH or Bev King, 6 High Street, Brixworth, Northants. NN6 9DD. For more information contact Jo on or Bev on 01604 880951 or