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St Mary, Brilley, Herefordshire

(52°8′13″N, 3°4′57″W)
SO 260 493
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Herefordshire
now Herefordshire
medieval Hereford
now Hereford
medieval St Mary
now St Mary
  • George Zarnecki
  • Ron Baxter
20 June 1993, 05 September 2012

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Feature Sets

Brilley is a small settlement consisting of a few houses and the church in the west of the county, 16 miles W of Hereford and under a mile from the Welsh border. It has a nave and chancel in one with a timber screen seaparating them and a timber apse arch further W. There is also a W tower and a N transept. The chancel, nave and N transept were built in the late 13thc. or early 14thc. The font is the only survival from a Romanesque building.


The medieval name Brynlegh, Brunleg or Brunlege means 'burnt clearing', 'place cleared by burning' (Ekwall, 65). It is not mentioned in the Domesday Survey.





The font is of extreme simplicity, so much so that it was ignored by Pevsner, although noted by Brooks, who dated it c.1200, a date accepted here.


F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications or England’s Patron Saints, London 1899, III, 65.

A. Brooks and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire. New Haven and London 2012, 129-30.

E. Ekwall, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names, 4th ed. Oxford, 1960, 65.

G. Marshall, “Fonts in Herefordshire”, Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists’ Field Club, III (1951), no. 55, p. 40.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Herefordshire. Harmondsworth 1963, 86.

RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, 3: North-west, 1934, 23.