The Anglo-Saxon Church of All Saints, Brixworth, Northamptonshire
Survey, Excavation and Analysis, 1972-2010
Imprint: Oxbow Books
336 Pages, col illus, inc. foldouts
- May 2013
From the early 19th century the church attracted much antiquarian interest, especially by topographical draughtsmen, whose drawings are crucial to its understanding before major restoration. Reverend Charles Frederick Watkins (Vicar, 1832–1871) made a particular study of the church fabric and identified both surviving and demolished Anglo-Saxon structures. Restoration under his direction reversed most of the medieval changes he recognized within the standing fabric, leaving the church with much the same appearance as it has today.
The Brixworth Archaeological Research Committee, founded in 1972, embarked on an in-depth archaeological and historical study of All Saints’. Limited excavation revealed evidence for the former extent of the cemetery and examined remains of the early structures to the north of the church, including one whose foundations cut a ditch containing 8th-century material. The later 8th-century date for the foundation of the church was confirmed by radiocarbon dates from charcoal extracted from construction mortar in the church fabric. A complete stone-by-stone survey of the standing fabric, accompanied by petrological identifications, has led to a refined appraisal of the construction sequence and the identification of ‘exotic’ stone types and Roman bricks reused from earlier buildings up to 40 km distant.
The archaeological, geological and laboratory findings presented here have been amplified by contextual studies placing the church against its archaeological, architectural, liturgical and historical background, with detailed comparisons with standing and excavated buildings of similar age in north Europe and Italy.
Part One: The Presentation of the Evidence
Section 2: Introduction
Section 3: Brief General Description of the Church
Section 4: Observations and Investigations, 19th to Mid-20th Centuries
Section 5: The Survey of The Fabric of All Saints’ Church: Methods and Procedures
Section 6: The Building Materials (D. S. Sutherland)
Section 7: Description, Analysis and Structural Sequence
Section 8: Summary if Archaeological Investigations Since C. 1950: Excavations, Geophysical Survey and Artefactual Evidence
Section 9: A Summary of Dating Evidence
Part Two: Analysis and Synthesis
Section 10: The Significance of the Building Materials (D. S. Sutherland)
Section 11: The Interpretation of the Church Fabric
Section 12: The Anglo -Saxon Church in its Insular and Continental Setting
Section 13: Research Outcomes and Future Investigations
It is profusely illustrated with good photographs, maps and plans which incorporate splendid re-constructions, and a series of fabric survey and colour-coded elevation drawings. ~John Hunt, History West Midlands, Volume 2, Issue 3 (Autumn 2014)