Monday, 24 April 2017

St. Nicholas Bradfield - The Interior

A view along the nave at the church of St. Nicholas in High Bradfield

Having quickly surveyed the exterior of St. Nicholas' church in High Bradfield, where the styles of its architectural elements now appeared very familiar, I had limited time available to explore its interior before I had to make my way down to Low Bradfield to briefly look at the vernacular architecture in this village – from which I planned to catch the hourly bus back to Sheffield.

The Norman font

Without artificial lighting, the interior of St. Nicholas' church was quite dark and, although there were intermittent periods of sunshine that enabled me to clearly see some of the architectural details, on this occasion I had to be content with taking a few general record photographs of the principal structural elements.

A general view of the chancel

According to Sir Nikolaus Pevsner, the various piers – which are alternately circular and octagonal in the north arcade and octagonal in the south arcade – are recycled from an earlier structure of c.1200, as seen at Ecclesfield church where the bases have also been raised.

Carved capitals with floral decoration and castellated upper details

The western respond of the arcades, adjacent to the 14th century tower, have very unusual capitals – being flat faced with floral decoration and a castellated upper section; however, the capitals to the rest of the piers in the arcades have been hacked off completely and reprofiled.

A general view of the reformed piers and the arches to the arcades

Above these reformed piers, the arches that spring from them and the rest of the masonry that rises to form the clerestory appears to be very uniform – as does the general masonry to the walls of the aisles and this coincides with the general rebuilding that is considered to have taken place in the Perpendicular Gothic style during the1480's.

A general view of the south chapel and nave from the chancel

Taking a quick look around the chancel and the adjoining south chapel, the piers and capitals are all octagonal and the profiles of the various arches are similar to those of the arcades. At high level, there are also a series of crudely carved corbels, which support the posts to the roof, which was renewed in 1901.

A memorial to victims of the Great Sheffield Flood

There are various Victorian white marble monuments scattered around the various walls, along with a Welsh slate memorial to the victims of the Great Sheffield Flood, and there is also a very plain Norman font and an old Saxon cross, which was originally in Low Bradfield but subsequently relocated to St. Nicholas' church.

The Saxon cross

At the end of a year spent exploring various mediaeval churches in and around South Yorkshire – as well as the local geology and historic buildings of the places that I have visited - I now had a much better appreciation of the building stones and architectural styles that help the standing buildings archaeologist to unravel their construction history and architects to select a suitable stone for repairs.

Colour variation in the sandstone used for flooring

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