Rood Screen, Bramfield

Rood Screen, Bramfield

Rood Screen, Bramfield

St Andrew’s at Bramfield was one of the highlights of my day, a wonderful and greatly rewarding church with much to enjoy, principally one of the finest medieval rood-screens surviving in the country.

The exterior is distinctive enough with its detached round tower (a Norman structure in flint) whilst the main body of the church has been attractively rendered and limewashed, which may surprise some but was a more common sight in the Middle Ages and an effective way of protecting vulnerable stonework.

Within the church is one long open space divided into nave and chancel without aisles. The rood-screen draws the eye at the end of the nave, it is an exquisite piece of late medieval woodwork with delicate miniature vaults above where the rood-loft would have formerly been located. Even more importantly much of its original colouring survives, and includes five of the original eight painted saints along its base, high quality work of early 16th century date.

Beyond the screen the chancel contains a striking 17th century memorial to the Coke family by Nicholas Stone, with husband kneeling in prayer above and his wife and baby reclining below, a sensitive and touching tribute.

Bramfield is well worth a visit and kept open accordingly for visitors. I was not alone here at the end of my visit as a couple arrived who I was to encounter yet again at two more churches later that day, the churchcrawling circuit in this area is a clearly popular one, and rightly so!

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