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St Brendan, Brendon, Devon

(51°12′56″N, 3°47′22″W)
SS 751 478
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Devon
now Devon
medieval Exeter
now Exeter
  • Hazel Gardiner
17 September 2001

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Feature Sets

The church stands in an isolated position high up on Exmoor. It comprises nave with N aisle and S porch, chancel with N transept and lean-to NE vestry, and W tower. The nave, chancel and S porch are of 1738. The tower was rebuilt in 1828. In 1873 the church was restored and the N aisle, N transept and vestry were added (Pevsner, 210; Historic England list:1289343). Pevsner suggests that was built from materials salvaged from a 12thc. church at nearby Cheriton which had been abandoned in the early 18thc. Romanesque sculpture is found on the font and on a pillar piscina.


At the time of the Conquest, Cheriton was held by Ketil and Brendon by Alward (Son of Toki) and Edwin. In 1086 Ralph de Pomeroy was lord and tenant-in-chief of Cheriton and Brendon.




Piscinae/Pillar Piscinae


The pillar piscina appears to be composed of two separate pillar piscinae, one crudely formed, acting as the base, and the other ornately carved, consisting of support and bowl. The flattened N face of the lower pillar piscina could suggest that it was originally set against a wall.


N. Pevsner and B. Cherry, The Buildings of England: Devon, 2nd ed., London, 1989, 210.

F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications: or, England's patron saints, London, 1899, 62.

Domesday Book: Devon, eds. C. and F. Thorn, Chichester, 1985, 34,15 (Cheriton); 34,14 (Brendon).