Brundall – Church of St Michael and All Angels

We visited here on our third training walk for the LDWA 100 next year, and it’s the Church of St Michael All Angels on the edges of Brundall, in what is the deserted medieval village of Braydeston. Although nothing now remains of Braydeston, this settlement was listed in the Domesday Book in 1086 and it’s known that there were ten households here in 1428. The date of this means that the village wasn’t abandoned due to the Black Death, it was probably just a change in either the fishing or farming needs of the local community.

The village of Braydeston was located in the field by the church and this building dates to the thirteenth century, although has some Saxon structure within it. For such a relatively small settlement, it’s a substantial church and the tower was added later following a bequest from John Berney in 1440. The roof line of the church was also lifted at the same time at what appeared to be the height of the building’s fortunes.

Due to the current situation, there was no access to the interior of the church, but it does hold one of the few bread ovens which remain in church buildings.

An early medieval doorway which was bricked up in the nineteenth century. The church had fallen out of usage in the seventeenth century, but as part of the Victorian resurgence of religion, services were again held here and a new organ was installed.

One of the railed-off tombs.

I’ve seen many grave markers like this, although they’re normally older. This one commemorates the life of Elizabeth Mary Theobald and Harold Thomas Theobald.

At the front of the church, there was a footpath query in the early twentieth century, something a little rarer then. This related to the meadow path which crosses into Brundall and although it was defined as a footpath, cars started to use it, not least hearses getting to the church. The local council said that cars could use the track, although wiser heads have since prevailed and it’d be quite difficult to get a hearse along that track today.