St Laurence's Church, Bradford on Avon
, is one of relatively few surviving Saxon
churches in England
that does not show later medieval alteration or rebuilding.
The church is dedicated to St Laurence
and may have been founded by Saint Aldhelm
around 700, although the architectural style suggests a 10th or 11th century date.Stephanie James, Church of St Laurence It could have been a temporary burial site for King Edward the Martyr.
St. Laurence's stands on rising ground close to the larger Norman
parish church of the Holy Trinity
. The building was used as a school and cottage for many years.
The date of the building has been much debated, but careful investigation in the middle of the 20th century has led to the belief that the main fabric dates from Aldhelm's life-time, the original chapel being as later described by William of Malmesbury
, but some details belonging to a later restoration at the end of the 10th century. H. M. Taylor
states that he believes the main fabric of the walls to their full height belongs to Aldhelm's time, and Taylor's discussions with Dr Edward Gilbert led him to that conclusion.
The arcading on the exterior walls is produced, not by incision (as thought by Jackson and Fletcher) but by setting the massive stone pilaster
-strips forward from the wall-face. In this... Read More