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All Saints, Braybrooke, Northamptonshire

(52°27′14″N, 0°52′32″W)
SP 765 846
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Northamptonshire
now Northamptonshire
  • Ron Baxter

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Feature Sets

All Saints' as it now appears has a nave with four-bay aisles, but the eastern bays on either side were originally transept arches. They date from the 13thc., whereas the remainder of the nave arcades are of c.1300. The chancel has no arch, but its E window suggests a date around 1300. To the S of it is an imposing chapel with a tall three-bay arcade, dated by Pevsner to c.1520-30. The chapel also contains the important wooden effigy of Sir Thomas de Latymer. The entire eastern arm, chancel and chapel, have been partitioned off with panelled studding to make a parish room. This seriously compromises what must have been a beautiful, airy space, and one hopes that it is a temporary arrangement. At the west is a two-storey Perpendicular tower in ironstone ashlar with an octagonal ashlar spire. The remainder of the church is of large, rough ironstone blocks, except for the south chapel, in very fine grey ashlar. No Romanesque fabric, then, but a 12thc. font which stands out even in a county with many fine examples.


In 1087 the largest landholder was the Abbey of Grestain with two hides. In addition, Countess Judith held half a virgate of sokeland, and Ketilbert held one hide and a virgate from her. Robert de Vessey held one hide, and St Edmundsbury Abbey held half a virgate of sokeland. In none of these holdings was a church recorded.

Benefice of Desborough, Brampton Ash, Dingley and Braybrooke.





This must be compared with the earlier font at Aston-le-Walls, which is also square with a different design on each face. The only shared design, however, is the knotwork and this is not identical. Pevsner finds the conjunction of cross and siren on the S face incongruous. The siren, however, provided the most popular shorthand for the allurements of the world tempting mankind into sin and damnation; while the baptismal cross offered a road to salvation, through the sacrament the font was designed to perform.

R. Baxter, Bestiaries and their Users in the Middle Ages, Stroud, 1998, 35-36.
F. Bond, Fonts and Font Covers, Oxford, 1908, 45, 97.
N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Northamptonshire, Harmondsworth, 1961, rev. by B. Cherry 1973, 121.