St Andrew’s Church, Bredwardine

St Andrew's Church Brewardine

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St Andrew’s Bredwardine is a fascinating church of considerable antiquity, in a beautiful and peaceful setting above the banks of the River Wye.

The south doorway and much of the nave date from the time of the Conquest, and the chancel was rebuilt after being partially destroyed by Owain Glyndwr’s soldiers in 1406. Inside, notable features include a massive font, and the tombs of a gigantic knight, Walter Baskerville, and a smaller effigy of Sir Roger Vaughan who died defending Henry V at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. Another striking feature is the “bend” in the nave towards the altar, which means that the altar is not visible from all seats.

The colourful stained glass windows depict: the cardinal virtues of faith, hope and charity; the twelve apostles; the angel announcing the birth of Jesus to the shepherds; a ship (possibly an offering of thanks for the safe return of the Penoyre family members from Jamaca); the baptism of the Lord; his crucifiction and the last supper.

In the churchyard are the tombs of two notable residents who lived in Bredwardine, albeit for a short time only, namely George Jarvis and the Reverend Francis Kilvert. The former’s will set up the Jarvis Charity in the late 1700s, which still continues to generate intense debate in this area, while Francis Kilvert is known much more widely for his fascinating Diary, which shed light, humour and pathos on the hard life of the poor in Victorian Times. Kilvert ministered in St Andrew’s from November 1877 until his untimely death in September 1879.

Leaflets and booklets on the church and the area can be found in St. Andrew’s.