St Barnabas, Brampton Bryan
- Road reference: Dark Lane
The original Norman church was largely demolished during the English Civil War siege of the adjacent castle. Its successor dates from 1656, and is significant as one of only six churches known to have been allowed redevelopment during the ‘Commonwealth’ period. This was probably due to the standing of Sir Robert Harley, who had been high in Government before the execution of Charles I (which he did not support!). It may also be relevant that before the Civil War Brampton Bryan had become, with Sir Robert’s active encouragement, quite a centre of Puritanism.
The breadth of the new building is out of all usual proportion to its length, producing a nave & chancel in one, the totality surmounted by an exceptional double hammerbeam roof, possibly salvaged from the ruined castle. Victorian alterations – including a fine east window – have not destroyed the sense of simple sacred space.
An early 14th century effigy/tomb (of Margaret de Brampton?) survives in the old south wall. Also notable is the memorial to Robert Harley (1661-1724), Queen Anne’s First Minister and created 1St Earl of Oxford & Mortimer by her – he was subsequently charged with High Treason and then acquitted by his Peers.