All Saints' Church, Brixworth
This church is considered the largest and most complete Saxon church in England.
The first church constructed on this site was founded by monks from the Medehampstead Abbey in 680 CE during the reign of King Offa of Mercia. Around 750 CE, the original wooden building was demolished and replaced with the All Saints Church, built to serve the monastery.
A century later, the abbey came under siege from marauding Vikings. The abbey was destroyed and the church was greatly damaged but withstood the onslaught.
Around 970 CE repairs to the church created what visitors see today. This massive church is only part of what originally stood. The side chapels, damaged in the attack, were removed and clerestory windows were added.
Everywhere visitors look, the church reveals little gems of its past. When viewing the church from the south, brickwork on the walls shows where the side chapel once stood. A closer look reveals fragments of Roman tiles in the arches. The entrance to the church consists of a Norman doorway constructed inside a larger Saxon arch.
In 1809, the stone “Brixworth Reliquary” was discovered. When opened, the 14th-century container used for housing relics contained a human throat bone wrapped in cloth. However, due to the weathering, the inscription on the cloth and who the bone belonged to was lost.
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