The House That Dad Built
A Nicely Curved Tree

More Than Just Wall Paintings

This is the church of St Lawrence in Broughton, Milton Keynes.

I’ve already shown you the well known 15th Century wall paintings here on the NBW, (there’s a fine one of St George battling the dragon) but the rest of the church tends to get overlooked, so here’s a few of its other features.

St Lawrence's church  Broughton  BucksThe nave and chancel date from 1330, though some believe the core of the church might be older. The Reticulated style nave window to the left of the porch is original, but the tracery in the C. 1400 Perpendicular window on the right hand end was renewed in the 1880-1 restoration.

The Perpendicular window to its left is of different design; most likely these two windows replaced the original Reticulated ones at different times. What’s strange is that the one on the right is shorter than the original. I can’t see the Victorians doing this in their restoration, so I suspect it originally came from another church at a rather later date than the left one. The tower is also from about 1400.

The Paraphrases of ErasmusYes, this book is chained up. It sits at one side of the chancel arch and is a copy of the New Testament; an English translation of a Latin translation of a Greek version. The Latin version was done by the Dutch Christian scholar Desiderius Erasmus, so this book is known as The Paraphrases of Erasmus. It was printed in 1547 or 1548.

The Apologie of the Church of EnglandOpposite the book above and on the other side of the chancel arch is another book, also chained. It is A Defence of the Apologie of the Churche of Englande. Unusually for such an old book it has a printing date; around 20 years later than the Erasmus book, it is still over 450 years old.

It isn’t a first edition though. John Jewell, Bishop of Salisbury, wrote the first one in Latin and it was published in 1562. A contemporary, Thomas Harding, wrote an “Answer” in 1564. Jewell made a “Reply” in 1565 which Harding replied to with a “Confutation”. So it went on; like a modern argument on social media.

You can buy a copy of the Apologie on Amazon; there’s even a Kindle version. But, I’m told, this 1567 version doesn’t have just the original Apologie like the modern editions, but the whole argument between Jewell and Harding.


A modern edition of the Apologie.

Kempe window  Broughton  BucksThe South window of the chancel was most likely built as a two light window until the 1880-1 restoration, so originally another Reticulated style window. The stained glass was by Charles Eamer Kempe and installed in 1882. Kempe windows are known for the use of a silver stain on clear glass to produce complex and shading in grey or yellow. The glass is a memorial to the Revd. Irving’s wife, who died in 1852.

East window by Kemp  Broughton  Milton KeynesThis is another Kempe window, made in memory of the Revd Irving who died in 1893. As well as the subtle use of silver stain, Kempe windows can be recognised by the frequent use of wheatsheaves, from Kempe’s family coat of arms.

Broughton  Bucks church  at duskThe two nearest windows are the ones pictured above; the three light East Window and the single light South window of the chancel. The South porch has been rebuilt, but with 14th Century materials. The South door may be 600 years old, and still has an original sanctuary ring; once grasped a fugitive could claim right of sanctuary within the church.

The church is now cared for by The Churches Conservation Trust. The keyholder Raymond Tetlow was very helpful and told me a few things that I couldn’t get from anywhere else.

To gain entry, you can ring him on the number on the public noticeboard; it’s just on the church side of London Road, mounted on the same wall as the post box and not far from the old phone kiosk.

I use Pentax cameras for many of the photos on the North Bucks Wanderer.

I make a small percentage from sales through Amazon links, no matter what you buy while you visit their site from here. This helps me but costs you nothing, so if you make a purchase via the NBW, thank you.

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