Church building - an overview


    There is a wide range of literature that visitors can enjoy through our website.  Striking a balance between general and detailed descriptions is not easy.  We have tried to strike this balance by providing a range of articles to cater for different audiences.

Perhaps the most common question asked is “How old is the church?”.  This is not necessarily an easy question to answer but we can provide a Timeline of the construction of the building that also highlights some of the individuals involved with our church over the centuries (click here)

For the next level of detail we have put together an illustrated Church Tour, which is a series of images of St Michael’s that is linked by captions.  To go to our webpage that accesses the Tour click here.

All churches provide a general description of their building that includes some elements of its history.  To access this document click here

There are two notable features of St Michael’s church that should be mentioned in this introduction to the building.

The Fox and Goose benchends

These three carved benchends depict the downfall of an ecclesiastical Fox and his flock of Geese.  There have been various interpretations of the story that unfolds as the Fox is captured and then hanged.  In 2015 Ged Keele wrote an article in a St Michael’s Friends Newsletter in which he contrasts the older views on the story and the one that has been carefully researched by John Page in his Millenium History.  This article can be downloaded by clicking here.  The chapter on the detailed research by John Page can be accessed through the link below to the full history of St Michael’s.

John Somerset Monument

The major monument on the south nave wall is to the family of John Somerset a local gentleman who had a large family.  He was involved in a notorious episode in Brent Knoll’s history in 1645 during the Civil War when a troop of Royalist soldiers ran riot in the village destroying property.  There is a detailed account of this event written by a local historian Peter  Synge, which can be downloaded by clicking here.  John Page also devotes a whole chapter of the Millennium History to John Somerset and gives us a detailed description of the monument itself.

The Millennium History

In 2000 an extended history of St Michael’s was published by John Page, our local historian.  This was extensively researched and provided significant architectural detail.  This was the “gold standard” on our church heritage John has reviewed his original work and updated it in the light of new knowledge that has come to light over the past 20 years. The history is organised into chapters and you can read an overview of its various sections and download whichever section interests you by clicking here.

People and monuments in the history of St Michael’s Church

As part of our project work Rosemary Keele has researched the background of a number of people associated with the church and those buried in the churchyard. A series of articles were written for the Brent Knoll News, under the title PEACH Slices.  These articles can be accessed by clicking here.

Church music

Music and singing has been an integral part of church worship for a thousand years. In England this history has been charted by Andrew Gant who published a book entitled O Sing Unto the Lord in 2015.  Ged Keele read the book soon after publication and wrote an article for the 2016 Friends of St Michael’s Newsletter.  This article, which also contains some personal reminiscences of about experiences at school in the 1950s, can be accessed by clicking here.

Page last updated: Monday 5th December 2022 5:08 PM
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