The date of the present St. Brelade's is unknown, but it is mentioned in deeds of patronage. In AD 1035, Robert of Normandy confirmed the patronage of the church to the monastery of Montivilliers, which shows that the church was here before 1035. The chancel is the oldest part of the building. The original building extended some six feet into the nave. It was then only a small monastic chapel. Early in the 12th century St. Brelade's became a parish church and in the 14th–15th centuries, the roof was raised some two-and-a-half feet higher to a Gothic pitch. The roof of the Fishermen's Chapel was raised at the same time.
The church of the 12th century was cruciform in structure, consisting of a chancel, a nave (built in two periods) and two transepts—the latter forming the two arms. At a later date, perhaps a century later, the chancel aisle was built, and after that the nave aisle. The date of the tower is uncertain. It is, however, older than the chancel.
The font disappeared during the Reformation and was found on the slopes near the church, hidden in bracken and gorse, in 1840 and restored to the church. An ornate wooden cover for the font was provided in memory of H. G. Shepard, long-time warden at the church. A processional cross dating from the 13th century is to be seen in the Lady Chapel; this was found buried in the church. The stained glass is the work of Henry Thomas Bosdet and replaced plain glass windows dating from the Reformation iconoclasm.
Before the restoration of Balleine in the 1890s, the whole of the interior stone work was covered in plaster which was whitewashed; the plaster was removed to show the granite, and the whole re-pointed with cement. Balleine's restoration also saw Art Nouveau woodwork in the choir stalls and pulpit and modern paving in the chancel; it is made of five different types of Jersey granite and represents the waves breaking on the sea-shore.
The legend has the site of the church being placed in the centre of St Brelade's Bay and moved by night by fairy folk from their sacred site to where it now stands, until the workmen got the message and left it where it now stands.References:
The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the main sights of St. Petersburg. The church was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated and was dedicated in his memory. Construction began in 1883 under Alexander III, as a memorial to his father, Alexander II. Work progressed slowly and was finally completed during the reign of Nicholas II in 1907. Funding was provided by the Imperial family with the support of many private donors.
Architecturally, the Cathedral differs from St. Petersburg's other structures. The city's architecture is predominantly Baroque and Neoclassical, but the Savior on Blood harks back to medieval Russian architecture in the spirit of romantic nationalism. It intentionally resembles the 17th-century Yaroslavl churches and the celebrated St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.
The Church contains over 7500 square metres of mosaics — according to its restorers, more than any other church in the world. The interior was designed by some of the most celebrated Russian artists of the day — including Viktor Vasnetsov, Mikhail Nesterov and Mikhail Vrubel — but the church's chief architect, Alfred Alexandrovich Parland, was relatively little-known (born in St. Petersburg in 1842 in a Baltic-German Lutheran family). Perhaps not surprisingly, the Church's construction ran well over budget, having been estimated at 3.6 million roubles but ending up costing over 4.6 million. The walls and ceilings inside the Church are completely covered in intricately detailed mosaics — the main pictures being biblical scenes or figures — but with very fine patterned borders setting off each picture.
In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, the church was ransacked and looted, badly damaging its interior. The Soviet government closed the church in the early 1930s. During the Second World War when many people were starving due to the Siege of Leningrad by Nazi German military forces, the church was used as a temporary morgue for those who died in combat and from starvation and illness. The church suffered significant damage. After the war, it was used as a warehouse for vegetables, leading to the sardonic name of Saviour on Potatoes.
In July 1970, management of the Church passed to Saint Isaac's Cathedral (then used as a highly profitable museum) and proceeds from the Cathedral were funneled back into restoring the Church. It was reopened in August 1997, after 27 years of restoration, but has not been reconsecrated and does not function as a full-time place of worship; it is a Museum of Mosaics. Even before the Revolution it never functioned as a public place of worship; having been dedicated exclusively to the memory of the assassinated tsar, the only services were panikhidas (memorial services). The Church is now one of the main tourist attractions in St. Petersburg.