http://www.ahmackenziedesign.com/?educ=maps12 This delightful church is of Norman origin and is located in the centre of the village.
An account of the condition of Brampton Abbotts Church before restoration, dated 1907 from the Ross Gazette
“the date of this church is about 1,100 and considerable architectural features of the early Norman structure still exist, such as the nearly complete doorway in the south wall; the internal arch of the east window, and the moulded jambs of the chancel arch.
There exists also the ancient bowl of the piscina which was discovered 50 years ago built into the wall of the church.
14th century renovations
“The original Norman chancel arch was dealt with some time in the first half of the 14th century, and built up as we see it now. At the same time, the walls of the nave were raised and covered by a new roof.
Perhaps also the chancel was enlarged; previously its arch had either been as wide as it is now, in which case it may have been in danger of collapse the span being somewhat large – or else as is more likely, it was a much narrower arch, too narrow for the enlarged chancel, and a wider one was made to which the moulded jambs were set back as they now appear. The rest of the Norman work was cut down to a 14th century guise.
Anyway, the character of the arch was completely altered, while the stones of the Norman builders were used for the new arch as far as they would go, and new ones were inserted in long lengths as required.
The shape of the present arch is interesting but somewhat peculiar, and it seems to have become more depressed since it was originally built, from the weight of the masonry above. As has been stated, the walls of the nave were raised at this time about three feet, the old wall plate not being removed but built into the wall, where some of it has been lately found. As the workman remarked who discovered it, it is a very long time since that oak was an acorn. Of the same date, about 1350, is the pretty two light square headed window in the south wall, which took the place of a small Norman window.
Lastly, as regards fourteenth century work, we have the remains of the porch. This was originally a wooden structure but for a long time its ancient character has been completely hidden and it was difficult to realise what it had once been. The roof only remained of the old structure and some of the woodwork of the front was very decayed. The sides were built up with stone and the whole had been rendered absolutely tasteless and uninteresting.
15th century renovations
“In the 15th century the following additions were made to the church; the small doorway which is now in the north wall of the vestry, having been moved, in all probability, from the north wall of the chancel, and the four light window in the chancel. At this date also, the rood screen was erected, the doorway to which at the head of the stairs has been lately revealed, the staircase itself having been solidly built up and therefore completely obliterated.
A later addition of interest is the bell turret which rises from the west end of the church, a very common arrangement in small country churches. This is the time of Charles I, say 1640. The date inscribed outside (1686) with the names of the churchwardens of that year, may refer to a subsequent restoration. There is also the pulpit, now much decayed, of which the panels are Jacobean, if not the whole structure.
In the chancel a single light window on the south side has been blocked up for a considerable period. It has unfortunately been sadly abused and mutilated; but part of the work of restoration is to reopen and restore it to its original use. Its date is around the middle of the 13th century.
The font is interesting being of late perpendicular design dated around 1480. That is to say, the upper portion is this date and the rest is of very inferior and unsuitable design and workmanship.
When the thick coat of plaster was lately removed from the interior walls of the church, a single light window was revealed in the east end of the north wall of the nave, which had been so built up that outside it did not appear at all. Underneath this window has been discovered a very curious recess about five feet six inches high, the meaning of which no one has as yet been able to explain. Within it, remains of fresco work can be discerned on the plaster, and adjoining it was once a small doorway. Of the north doorway at the west end of the north wall, all traces have been obliterated.
It may be mentioned that a hundred years ago, considerable traces of fresco work were discovered on the east wall of the chancel, when some of the plaster was removed, and the existence of the east window which before that time was quite hidden, was made known.
There was once a dial somewhere on the church but it has disappeared as has the ancient door.
The bells are three in number and were cast by William Evans in 1764. Their gearing is in bad order. There is no room for any more bells in the tower.”
1857 Restoration of Brampton Abbotts Church
“In 1857, the third year of the Rev. W. Hulme’s incumbency, a general and much needed restoration was carried out. The galleries, said to have been three in number and the high pews were removed and open seats substituted for them.
The floor was covered with encaustic tiles and the tower was made safe with new and massive woodwork.
Two windows were added on the north side. The tower was shingled; on the work in the nave, more than £240 was spent, of which all but about £47 was raised by voluntary subscription, the Rector and principal parishioners giving liberally.
In addition, the Rector and his family defrayed the expense of the restoration and refitting of the chancel, and of the erection and subsequent enlargement of the vestry and organ chamber.
Restoration in early 1900s
The church was formally re-opened on 12th February 1908