Maiden Bradley is a village about 6 miles SW of Warminster. The name 'Maiden' derives from the 12thc leper asylum for maidens (see History). The church lies on the SE of the village and is adjacent to Maiden Bradley House. The present building was almost certainly erected on the site formerly occupied by a Saxon church or chapel. It was extensively rebuilt in 1385 and consists of a chancel, nave, aisles; the porch and W tower are largely Perpendicular in style and date from the 14th and 15thc. The three W bays of the N nave arcade date from the 12thc and a fourth E bay was added in the 14thc. The S arcade and chancel were built in the 14thc.
The Domesday Books records that in 1066 Earl Tostig Godwinson held the manor; its ownership passed in 1086 to Walter Giffard, first Earl of Buckingham. The church was first mentioned in 1102 when it was granted by Henry Bisset to Notley Abbey (Buckinghamshire). In the 12thc the manor was held by Manasser Bisset, who founded the leper hospital for women converted in 1189 into the Augustinian Priory of St Mary and St Lazarus. In 1401 the church became a possession of Maiden Bradley Augustinian Priory.
Three N nave arcade bays appear to date from the 12thc. The piers are square with chamfered corners between 0.07m and 0.10m. The arches feature chamfers of around 0.08m.
|Depth of arches||0.57m|
|Height of piers (floor to impost top)||1.89m|
|Width of each pier||0.74m|
The Purbeck marble font has a bowl supported by a large column and four surrounding shafts. The bowl is decorated with four shallow panels on each face. It probably dates from the second quarter of the 13thc and it was illustrated by Buckler in the early 19thc. It is similar in form to a group of earlier and contemporary fonts in the area around Salisbury, e.g. Amesbury, Dinton, Downton, Ebbesbourne Wake, Heytesbury (destroyed), Kingston Deverill (removed in 1847), Rushall, Steeple Langford, Stratford sub Castle.
DCMS Listing Description.
Victoria County History: Wiltshire, vol. III (1956), 295-302.
J. Buckler, Unpublished album of drawings. Devizes Museum, vol. VIII, pl. 15.
N. Pevsner and B. Cherry, Buildings of England: Wiltshire. Harmondsworth 1975, 2nd edition, 320-321.