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St Mary, Cold Brayfield, Buckinghamshire

(52°9′36″N, 0°38′36″W)
Cold Brayfield
SP 929 522
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Buckinghamshire
now Milton Keynes
  • Ron Baxter
08 September 2006

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Cold Brayfield, in the ancient hundred of Bunsty, is in the NE of the county 5 miles N of Newport Pagnell and less than a mile from the Bedfordshire border. It lies alongside the main road fromBedfordtoNorthampton, in flattish arable land in a loop of the Great Ouse. The village consists of a few houses and farm buildings on either side of the busy main road, with a lane to the church, Brayfield House and a few modern cottages running off to the S. It is numbered among the so-called villages ofMilton Keynes.

The church is of limestone rubble and comprises an unaisled nave with a N porch, a chancel and a W tower. The oldest features are the 12thc N doorway, much interfered with and given new jambs in the 13thc; a plain window above it offset to the W; and the 12thc chancel arch jambs (the arch itself is neo-Norman). The nave and the W part of the chancel are 13thc work, and the chancel has 13thc plain low side windows on both sides. The chancel was lengthened in the 19thc and the windows in the new work, as well as those in the S wall of the nave, are 19thc replacements in a style of c.1300. The tower and its arch are 13thc, and it has been given stumpy diagonal buttresses and an embattled parapet. Romanesque sculpture is found in the N doorway and the chancel arch.


Cold Brayfield is not mentioned by name in the Domesday Survey, but it seems likely that it was among the three holdings of Countess Judith in nearby Lavendon. One of these, held from the Countess by Gilbert de Blosseville, must correspond to Newton Blossomville. The other two were held respectively by Roger and Ralph from the Countess.


Exterior Features


Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches

RCHM dates the N doorway and the chancel arch to c.1160. The chancel arch may be compared with the S doorway atUpper Winchendon, which has similar bases and imposts, decorated nook-shafts, plain scallop capitals and a heavy angle roll in the arch.


N. Pevsner and E. Williamson, Buildings ofEngland: Buckinghamshire.London1960, 2nd ed. 1994, 258.

RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in theCountyofBuckingham. Volume 2 (north).London1913, 93-94.

Victoria County History: Buckinghamshire. IV (1927), 323-27.